How To Use Facebook’s New Post Targeting Features To Create Engaging Content

Tuesday, 04 September 2012

In case you hadn’t figured it out by now, I’m a serious Facebook geek. I get super excited over oven mitts and stickers that let you “like” everything in real life. Not to mention new Facebook features. So when brand pages got new targeting abilities for page posts last week, I did a little happy dance.

I won’t show you the dance but trust me, it’s good. And why so happy? For starters, the new targeting is free. And who doesn’t love free? Facebook often reserves their best stuff for the big-wig advertisers, so it’s nice to get some free features everyone can enjoy. Yes, there still are a lot more ways to target users through paid promotion, but the addition of gender, age, relationship status, education level and romantic interests is huge. Add that to the previous language and geographic options and you are well on your way to a highly targeted Facebook post.

So how do you use these features to your advantage? Here are a few ideas.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Play around with how post targeting works, especially if you haven’t used regional posts before. You can get pretty far along in the process without publishing, so don’t worry about accidentally updating the page. Normally you could use a test page for this but if you don’t have any fans, it won’t work. Try a post that you wouldn’t mind if it went to all (or none) of your fans.

Check Your Insights

From the admin panel of your Facebook page, click “Insights,” then “Likes.” This will show you the gender, age, country, city and language information for all your fans. It doesn’t go as deep as post targeting but it gives you an idea of your current fan base. And as you add targeting criteria to a post, it will tell you exactly how many fans match the information you’re targeting.

Compare Demographic Averages

Using some basic demographic information and statistics for the country as a whole, you can very quickly make some valid assumptions and use them to target posts. The average age for women in the US to get married is 26? Talk about engagement rings to women age 24-27 who are “in a relationship” but not engaged. It sounds simple, but most pages don’t target effectively.

Think Outside The Box

Granted, engagement rings are easy. But there are lots of other ways you can get creative with targeting. Extrapolate beyond marriage and think about what people starting a new family would want to read. Target geographic areas to talk about weather or local sports. Whatever your business, there is a way to make a post seem more relevant to fans with these targeting tools.

Experiment. Get creative. Go nuts! The beauty of the new Facebook targeting features is that it targets fans only as far as the Newsfeed. So if your targeting isn’t exact, or someone hasn’t filled out their profile correctly to match what you select, they can still see the post if they visit your page itself.

4 Comments

  • Thanks for the info! One question though- with Facebook already limiting posts in an effort to get businesses to promote (pay for) them, do you know how would this affect their visibility?

    Would targeting the posts even further mean that even fewer people see them, or would targeting ensure more views, by more relevant audiences, even if the post is not promoted?

    Comment by Marisa — September 4, 2012 @ 12:24 pm
  • Marisa-the nature of targeting is that yes, you are “sending” your post to fewer Newsfeeds. As you set the targeting criteria, Facebook will tell you how many of your fans meet those criteria, just like they do with paid ads.

    However, the idea of these targeted posts is that a relevant audience, who is much more likely to click/like/comment, will see them and engage with these posts. I’m not suggesting you ONLY use targeted posts but I think it can be a helpful supplement to your Facebook content efforts.

    Comment by Alison — September 4, 2012 @ 12:29 pm
  • Thanks for the quick reply! I’m looking forward to trying it out to see how it affects everything. I’d previously been hesitant about targeting because I didn’t want to limit the viewing any more- but it’s worth a shot to get more relevant interaction. Thanks again!

    Comment by Marisa — September 4, 2012 @ 12:36 pm
  • “The idea of targeted posts is that a relevant audience, who is much more likely to click/like/comment, will see them and engage with these posts. I’m not suggesting you ONLY use targeted posts but I think it can be a helpful supplement to your Facebook content efforts.”

    I wouldn’t have said it better. I would love to read more posts from you. Are you working on anything new?

    Comment by Kevin — September 14, 2012 @ 4:44 am

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