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Organic targeting for better Facebook engagement

Facebook’s paid advertising options allow for superb targeting and audiences can be saved for re-use or editing at a future date. But did you know you can use very similar targeting criteria for organic posts? Better still, it’s free!

Facebook continues to, ahem, ‘gently’ nudge brand page owners towards its myriad advertising options. It’s getting increasingly difficult for brand pages to achieve decent reach using organic posts. Fair enough, advertising works. But relatively few admins realise they can harness targeting criteria that’s very similar to that available in Ad Manager for their organic posts.

By using Facebook demographic and interest-based targeting for organic posts you can segment audiences and tailor updates more precisely. Such segmentation should mean more relevance for your fans and therefore more engagement.

Demographic options include:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Relationship
  • Educational status
  • Location
  • Language

Targeting by Interests is also very useful, though the range of Interests seems constrained (compared to Interests available in Ad Manager). 

Once you target your posts in this way, only people who fit the targeting criteria may see the post in their newsfeed. People hitting your page timeline will also be able to see that post.

How to set up targeting

You must be a top level admin to set up organic targeting in Facebook. If you don’t see a ‘target’ symbol in your update area, then you need to implement it in Settings.

  1. Go to Settings. Choose the General tab on the left sidebar.
  2. Check the box in Newsfeed Audience and Visibility for Posts.
  3. Save changes !

When you go to write your post you can now choose several targeting choices (see graphic below). For example, if your page serves customers in several territories, you can tailor the post to each one with local references.

Facebook targeting means the reach of individual posts may be smaller than generic posting; but my experience is that engagement is higher. On a common sense level, targeting like this harnesses the basic principle of marketing — segmentation — and gets you that little bit closer to the Holy Grail of relevance for your page fans.

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Tags: Facebook