Wouldn’t you think that Facebook would have just one?
Why would they have 3 different tools to create Facebook ads?

Well, technically, you could count Atlas, I suppose. That would make it four.
But for everyone else we’re looking at Power Editor (for the ad geeks/snobs), Ads Manager, and post boosts.

There is a smart reason for this and let’s break down what to use when.

Even Google only two: AdWords Editor and the web interface.
That’s if you don’t count YouTube or DoubleClick (which is required for certain GDN placements).

And for neither of these are we counting what you can do with the Facebook Ads API (a lot, I can tell you, since that’s where we play).

TLDR: 

-Boost all your posts from the timeline. 
-Do your set-up and weekly reviews in Ads Manager.
-If you’re an ads snob or have complex campaigns, use Power Editor or the API.

So which ones do you use and when?

FBPPC has a lot of ad geeks, from what I understand.
If you’ve read this far, then clearly you’re not some small business or mid-level marketer who is confused about how Business Manager works.

But at the same time, you have to keep up appearances and talk about Power Editor with clients or your boss, right?

After all, if running ads were as easy as boosting posts straight from the newsfeed, you can’t claim your high priest status, can you?

Certainly being able to use an abacus is cool, but I’ll let my handy, dandy computer do the job, thank you.
And with Facebook now handling a lot of the heavy lifting, I’m a big fan of boosting posts.  Here’s why:

Optimized CPM rocks.  Yes, the results were horrible a year ago, but the last two months for driving engagement and sometimes sales, it kicks butt.
-You can now save audiences for re-use in different posts, which used to be a Power Editor only feature.
-If you’re clever, you can even use custom audiences here, but Facebook scolded us in the article where we mention how, since it’s complex.
-The page has a lot of posts and you don’t have time to mess around: to evaluate content, respond to community members, and amplify.

We use Ads Manager when we want to:

-Specify a particular business objective, of which there are 9 of them.
-Use workplace targeting, custom audiences, or various combo targeting. For guerrilla PR, you need this badly.
-Mess with set-up items such as pixels, audience uploads, audience insights, etc…

But these items are infrequent.
Your dark posts to drive website conversions are much like Google AdWords.

You let the thing run until it burns out of is not relevant (the event/sale is over).

Most of the time, you’ll be spending promoting individual pieces of content to drive audience and engagement.

Funnel Graphic2 V3
It’s once you get their email or have them pixeled via Facebook or Google that you then get all fancy with marketing automation and Power Editor.fr
 
Power Editor is great for:

-Mass creating/editing of ads: bulk operations like Google’s AdWords Editor.
-Maybe you have a ton of creatives to test against different audience segments, sequenced like you would a drip campaign.
-Or you have to append a number of url parameters in your Omniture or Google Analytics.
-Perhaps you have access to private partner category targets, perhaps via Acxiom or a DSP you’re working with.

But increasingly, Power Editor’s features are moving into these other interfaces.
And if you want to do complex targeting triggered by external variables (show $1 off ice cream coupons in cities where it hits 100 degrees that day), then you need the API, a third party tool, or a FBX partner.

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Alex Houg is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Portage. He has been called the young Steve Jobs, selling his first business at the age of 15. A frequent contributor on SocialTimes, Social Fresh, and FBPPC, Alex is co-author of Facebook Nation, a textbook on Facebook marketing that is taught at over 500 universities. He is an expert in Facebook advertising, social analytics, content marketing, and search engine optimization.Mr. Houg has worked with the Golden State Warriors, Infusionsoft, Adidas, Miva Merchant, and Jack Daniels. He has been featured in USA Today, Search Engine Journal, Business 2 Community, InsideFacebook, and other publications. He is an Eagle Scout and has a passion to teach. You can reach out to him at alex@portage.co, his blog or on Facebook.