Why Boosted Posts Should Be “Canceled” in Facebook Ads for Auto (And What to Do Instead)

Why Boosted Posts Should Be “Canceled” in Facebook Ads for Auto (And What to Do Instead)


When something is “cancelled,” it goes away. A TV show is cancelled when it delivers poor ratings. School is cancelled when a major winter blizzard moves through the area.

In the year 2020, however, “cancel” has taken on a whole new meaning. Recently, the phrase “cancel culture” has gained traction, especially among celebrities and politicians. 

Merriam-Webster explains this new edition of the word “cancel” as “a means to stop giving support to a person… usually due to the person in question having conducted themselves in a way that is unacceptable.”

While boosting a post doesn’t necessarily qualify as a “questionable action,” there are much better ways for auto dealers to promote their content on Facebook. 

What Is the Facebook Boost Button?

By now auto dealers have heard about the decline in organic reach on Facebook. You know you need to start putting some money behind your content and products if anyone is going to see it. 

The simplest way to accomplish this is to “boost a post” on Facebook. 

According to Facebook, a boosted post is a post to your Page’s timeline that you can apply money to in order to boost it to an audience of your choosing.”

After you’ve posted to your timeline, you can boost a post by clicking the blue box in the bottom righ

Facebook boosted posts

From here you can pick a target audience based on Facebook interests and demographics, set a max budget, and decide how long you want the ad to run. 

Boosted post targeting
Boosted post budgeting

Boosting posts on Facebook is a fairly simple process, which is why many auto marketing managers and GMs incorporate them into their Facebook marketing for dealerships. However, boosted posts also come with quite a few limitations.    

5 Limitations of Facebook Boosted Posts for Auto

Boosting a post is easy and sounds attractive, but in reality there are many reasons why auto dealers and other businesses should move away from boosted posts, and focus on creating automotive Facebook ads in the Ads Manager platform.

1. Limited Audience Targeting

While boosted posts allow you to do some demographic and interest-based targeting, there is little room to incorporate Custom Audience targeting. 

Custom Audiences, which can only be built in Ads Manager, allow you to target people who are already connected to your dealership in some way. This could be a list of contacts from your CRM, people who have engaged with your Facebook content in the past, and people who have recently been browsing your website. 

You can also create Lookalike Audiences and Special Ad Audiences in Ads Manager, which allow you to increase your Facebook ad reach to those most like the people in your Custom Audiences.

Looking for more targeting tips? Read this post on the power of Facebook targeting. 

2. Fewer Placements

When you boost a post, there are only three placement (or platform) options for your ads to appear: Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram. 

If you build your automotive Facebook ads in Ads Manager, you get all of these wonderful placement options: 

Facebook ad placements in Ads Manager

More placement options means more opportunities for your ads to be seen beyond the Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram platforms alone!

3. No Dynamic Ads for Auto 

As your dealership’s Facebook strategy becomes more refined, you’ll likely want to incorporate dynamic ads for auto, as these ads often take less time to build, and deliver better results than non-dynamic ads

When creating a dynamic ad, instead of individually creating an ad for each of your products, you create an ad template that automatically uses images and details from your product catalog for vehicles you’d like to advertise.

Using the Facebook pixel and a product catalog, dynamic ads immediately update with price, availability, and other detail changes to your inventory. You can even retarget them to people who have already looked at certain vehicles on your website, so you know they’re interested.

Sounds genius, right?! Well, it is, but it’s only possible in Ads Manager. 

When you only boost posts on Facebook, you miss out on all of the opportunities dynamic ads have to help you dealership capture more leads, and eventually sell more vehicles!

4. Inability to A/B Test

Another downfall of Facebook boosted posts is the inability to test if the ad targeting, images, and copy are as optimized as possible through A/B testing. 

Whether it’s testing the price vs. vehicle mileage, carousel ad format vs. collection ad format, or Custom Audience targeting vs. interest-based targeting, there’s never a shortage of things to test in your automotive Facebook ads. 

Why test? It can help inform your dealership’s Facebook ad strategy moving forward.

If after a few months of testing you’ve determined that including the vehicle mileage in your ads performs better than when you include the price, consider testing another variation like vehicle mileage vs. price and vehicle mileage. 

5. Inability to Include Multiple Ads in a Single Campaign

Facebook’s boost button is focused on a single post, meaning you’re not able to create additional ad variations in the single campaign. 

Your dealership will likely want multiple ads (and potentially multiple ad sets) to try different copy, creative, ad formats, and audiences — all possible, but only when built in Ads Manager.

Bye Boosted Posts, Hello Facebook Ads Manager

The five limitations mentioned above are just a few of the many downfalls of Facebook’s boosted post feature. 

Boosted posts at their core are simple one-off ads that, in the long run, have little impact on your dealership’s digital strategy, other than wasting valuable marketing dollars

Dealerships who incorporate Ads Manager into their automotive Facebook strategy are able to create more robust ads that fall into a greater campaign strategy that show the right people the right Facebook ad at the right stage in the buyer’s journey.  

Take On Ads Manager and More with Help from 9 Clouds

If your dealership is ready to “cancel” boosted posts for good, you’ve come to the right people

In addition to scheduling your marketing assessment with 9 Clouds, we have many helpful Facebook ad resources for auto dealers to help you step up your Facebook advertising game for 2020 and beyond.  

Download the Facebook eBook »