Facebook's Page Post Targeting Reinforces Importance of Engagement

Facebook's announcement of Page Post Targeting rings in new era of engagement.  Until now, organic targeting was limited to language and location, but now Brands can publish posts to fans"™ news feeds based on Age, Gender, Interested In, Relationship Status, Language, Education, Workplace, and Location.

At Spredfast, our customers have used Facebook"™s existing capabilities to target their audiences based on language and location.  One of our customers, a leading manufacturer of consumer and commercial machinery, publishes targeted posts to their audience that are relevant to their geographic region.  Another consumer brand engages their international audience through Spredfast, and relies on targeting to send identical posts to various subsets of their audience in different languages.  While language and location have been helpful, we"™ve all wanted more - especially given the fact that we are all using the rich targeting capabilities on the paid side of the house with Sponsored Stories.  By making this rich targeting available to both paid and organic posting, Facebook is telling us that engagement with the right people, in the right places, at the right time is more important than ever.

More relevance equals more engagement

All of our customers are focused on driving better engagement on Facebook. So just seeing a post is not good enough "“ they want their audience to like, share and comment on the post. Real engagement is the most organic path for them to reach extended audiences.  Often times, blanket brand messages in the Newsfeed are interesting and compelling enough to earn some kind of engagement, but who does not want to go to 11?  Every one of our customers will tell you that they would jump on the chance to deliver more focused targeting, because it naturally boosts engagement, bolsters visibility, reduces negative engagement, and keeps social fatigue at bay. More relevant targeting gives them unprecedented control over when and where company posts will appear in the Newsfeed.

For example, we have several customers that use Facebook for recruiting.  For one particular financial services company, Page Post Targeting will allow them to post job openings to individuals in their network that graduated from college with a degree in finance or accounting.  This will drastically increase the success of these posts, since only qualified candidates will be able to see and share them with their network.

Key Takeaways

Page Post Targeting will help brands distinguish between different groups in within their audiences, in order to message to them in distinct and deliberate ways.  In order to take advantage of this opportunity, brands need to address significant challenges:

  • Managing Profiles:  Large organizations need the ability to create, reuse, and integrate targeting profiles in their day-to-day social operations.  Our global brands meet this challenge by creating Facebook profiles that divide the world   into regions that make sense for their teams and their engagement strategies. We expect these targeting profiles to proliferate.
  • Enforcing Usage:  One of our largest customers, a global Fortune 500 company in the restaurant industry, found that defining profiles is only half the battle.  Given their globally distributed social organization, they leverage Spredfast to limit the usage of targeting profiles to appropriate team members.  This ensures that right team members are engaging with the right audiences, keeping the brand"™s engagement authentic and relevant.
  • Comparing Performance:  Each of our customers make a commitment to social, which requires time, money, and effort.  They all tell us it"™s critical for them to compare performance across their social campaigns to know whether they"™re spending the right resources on the right members of their audiences.  Our customers compare Facebook post level analytics across 20 dimensions to surface engagement successes and audience insight. Determining which profiles are performing is going to require another level of analytical sophistication. The good news is that many companies that have been buying Sponsored Stories on Facebook probably already have a profile analysis framework in place that can now be applied to the organic posting process.

The announcement of Page Post Targeting reinforces that engagement is still at the core social strategy on Facebook.  In order to prepare for Page Post Targeting, social media teams need to create and execute their campaigns in a more focused way.  This narrower focus will also mean those teams need to execute more social campaigns in order to reach more people.   These challenges can"™t be met with fragmented tools and organizational processes: they require a consolidated approach.  Customizable workflows, targeted listening, triage, profile management, and comparative analytics have never been so necessary.

As a member of the Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer Program, we"™ve been working closely with Facebook to create Page Post Targeting functionality in Spredfast that is intuitive, accurate, and flexible, so stay tuned to over the next few weeks for some exciting announcements.

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