Two Simple Facebook Features Your Page Should Be Using

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Ah, Facebook. It seems like everyone I’ve ever met, and every brand I’ve ever heard of, is on there. Which is great, because I love the site and I’ve never been stingy with “likes.” But the huge number of Facebook Profiles and Pages poses quite a few challenges for marketers. How do you break through the clutter of a congested and swiftly moving Newsfeed? What’s the best way to reach the right target market and provide effective messaging? And how do you do this without blowing all your budget on paid advertising?

Improve Facebook Messaging and Targeting, For Free

There is no one quick fix on Facebook, and advertising is often a large part of a social media marketing strategy. But there are also plenty of free, standard Facebook features that will help you widen your Facebook reach, improve messaging and better target potential customers.By adding a mix of regional posts to your current content strategy, as well as @ mentions, you’ll be able to target messaging to fans in specific geographic areas and cross-promote your content on like-minded Facebook Pages.

Post a Regional Facebook Update

When a Facebook user signs up for the site, they start by filling out a Profile. This includes basic information, like their birthdate and where they live, as well as their favorite activities, movies, books and more. In the Facebook advertising platform, you can pay to target people very specifically based on their profile information. But you can also target your own fans for free using a regional post. Specify a certain city, state or group of states to show a status update to and only the fans who live in that area will be able to see your page’s post.

It’s incredibly simple, but super helpful for promoting events and other updates tied to location. That way, you can post updates about an event in New England without worrying about your California fans feeling left out. Just remember that this is based on user-supplied information, so if a fan recently moved and hasn’t updated their Facebook profile, they may miss regional posts for their new home.

Here’s how you do it:

1) Navigate to your Facebook Page and begin posting a status update as you normally would on the Wall. You can include a link, photo or video just like you would a standard post.

2) On the lower right side of the text box, to the left of the “Share” button, is a dropdown link labeled “Everyone,” with a lock icon. This is the default format for posts, so that an update goes to every person who has liked the Page.

3) Click “Everyone” to bring up other options, then click “Customize.”

4) You will now be able to target your post. This will pull from user-supplied information to Facebook. (So, if a fan says they live in Massachusetts, they will be shown posts targeted to that state, even if they have since moved but forgot to update their profile. It is NOT tied to IP address.)

5) Select the country for your post, then city and/or state. It is generally better to select just a state, and not a city, for wider reach. You can also select multiple states.

6) Click “OK,” then click “Share” just like a regular post. Only fans who included the city or state you selected in their profile will see the post. (As an Admin, you will be able to see the post even if you are not in the target state.)

Link to Other Pages With @ Tagging

For greater synergy of posts that mention or include other brands, you can also use an @-tag to mention other Facebook Pages. This will create an in-text link to the other Page, making it easy for your fans to find them. This @ mention will also cause your post to not only show up on your Pages’ Wall and Newsfeed, but on the Wall of the Page you mention as well. This is a great feature to ask partners to use when mentioning you, and to offer them as well, as it gives you the chance to get in front of new Facebook users who may not have liked your Page yet.

Here’s how you do it:

1) Visit the Page you would like to link to and click “like” at the top of the Page, if you haven’t already “liked” it before.

2) In your status update, make sure you mention the Page you want to link to by name.

3) As you type your status update, type the @ symbol, immediately followed by the name of the Page you are mentioning. (It should looks like @The…) By the time you type a few letters of the Page name, Facebook should prompt you to select the correct Page as the one you want to mention in your post.

4) Select the Page name and type the rest of the post as usual, including links or photos as you normally would. Once you hit “Share,” the name of the Page you mentioned will become a link to their Page. Your post will show up on your Page’s Wall and Newsfeed as usual, as well as the other Page’s Wall for their fans to see.

These step-by-step guides to regional Facebook posts and @-tag mentions should make it easy and painless to take your Facebook marketing strategy to the next level. Got a question or another tip for Facebook Page Admins? Post it here!

4 Comments

  • Thanks for the tips. Good ones.

    Comment by Ann Swanson — July 19, 2011 @ 5:17 pm
  • Super tips here Alison! With all the talk of G+ Cirlces, it’s great to see a review of this functionality in Facebook. One thing I didn’t know: “This @ mention will also cause your post to not only show up on your Pages’ Wall and Newsfeed, but on the Wall of the Page you mention as well.” A real link economy/synergy could be set up through this. Thanks for sharing. @ryoatcision

    Comment by Ryo Yamaguchi — July 20, 2011 @ 4:06 pm
  • [...] to invite only those living in a certain area to a local event. I attach a link to a useful blog by Alison Zarella on how to do this plus using @tagging to link to other Facebook pages if you have some which fans [...]

    Pingback by Top 10 seasonal Facebook tips — July 29, 2011 @ 4:14 am
  • [...] where their name is mentioned. The post will then also show up on the tagged friend’s wall. This feature is also available for pages that a user is connected to. But now, you can tag any person or page on Facebook, even if you [...]

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