Get the Right Content to the Right People: How to Use Facebook’s Targeted Posts

September 1, 2015 | Content Marketing, Facebook Marketing, Social Media Advertising

Facebook has an unbridled amount of potential, and is so far unmatched by competing platforms when it comes delivering targeted content to the right audience. Twitter even seems to have based the changes they’re making to their ad system off of Facebook Ads.

Until relatively recently, the only way to deliver targeted content to your audience on Facebook—including to your fans— was to use Facebook Ads. That’s no longer the case.

Facebook Ads isn’t the only way you can deliver targeted content to your fans; you can also target regular posts that you share on your Timeline.

Being able to deliver targeted content in the form of regular, free posts has been a huge development and a great tool for businesses on Facebook, especially considering the decline in organic reach that’s making it more and more difficult to connect with the people who have liked your Page.  When used strategically, these targeted posts have the potential to allow you to turn Facebook into a revenue generating machine.

Here’s how…

Create a Sticky Piece of Content

The first thing you need to do is create a sticky piece of content for your target audience.

Keep in mind that this particular “target audience” for this particular post can be more specific than your target audience in general; they may share a similar interest, or be from a specific location. Since it’s a free post, you have the ability to run as many targeted posts you’d like to as many different target audiences as you can dream up.

This presents the opportunity to create highly targeted messages that you know certain members of your audience will respond well to. And the more highly targeted the message is, the more successful it will be.

Let’s say, for example, that you own a general shoe store carrying all different types of footwear, and you just got in a new supply or brand of running shoes. You could run the post for everyone, or you could create engaging content specifically for runners (or people who are athletic in general), and target only them. You can use esoteric language specific to runners, or make references only they would get, without worrying about the rest of your audience feeling excluded.

Targeting a specific branch of your audience can not only help increase the engagement on your post, but it can also lead to an increase in sales.

One goal to have in mind when creating the is content is to create a post that your audience will engage and interact with. No matter what you’re using targeted posts for (which we’ll talk about in a few minutes), the ultimate goal will really be the same no matter what—you want people to like, comment on, and share the post so you can increase your overall engagement and/or measure the response to your content.

When you’re using targeted posts, focus on the interests and commonalities of the small group that you’re targeting to create the content they’ll be most receptive to and enthusiastic about.

How to Created Targeted Posts

Creating targeted posts is a process that is both simple and quick to go through.

After you’ve created the content for the post and decided who your target audience for the post will be (which is similar to deciding your targeting options for Facebook Ads), go to your Page like you do when you normally post content.

After you type in your new status, image, videos, or links, you’ll see a small targeting symbol in the options below the “write something” box.

targeted posts on Facebook

When you click on it, you’ll get the option to set a post end date and, more importantly for this post, narrow down the audience who will see the post in their Newsfeed.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 6.13.47 PM

The targeting options are similar to Facebook Ads, including options such as education level, relationship status, gender, and interests.

Facebook's targeted posts

Choose your targeting options, review your post, and when you’re ready, hit the “post” button, because it’s ready to run.

How to Use Facebook’s Targeted Posts

Ultimately, one of the best features of Facebook’s targeted posts means that your content will be seen by the right people. Without it, and with declining reach continuing, you may have great content that no one in that specific target audience would see. When you’re using the targeted posts, only your target audience will see it in their Newsfeeds, increasing the chance that it will be received well, and giving you more clear and accurate feedback.

One of the most common and purest ways you take advantage of targeted posts is by using specific content to engage with certain people. Highly targeted content will often perform better, garnering you more engagement and helping you show up more often in Newsfeeds.

Not only can you use targeted posts to get closer to ensuring that the right content gets to the right people, you can also use them to test out content for free.

You can test multiple types of content. An obvious choice is testing potential ad content to see how your current audience (making them an ideal representation of your target audience) responds to it before you pay to launch the campaign. Though split testing is still always a smart move, testing out your content first gives you a head start. If a targeted post does particularly well, you can choose to boost or promote the post, paying for it to reach users that you haven’t yet connected with.

In addition to using posts to test ad content, you can also test out content for potential blog post topics or e-mail campaigns. If your fans are highly receptive to something you post, you can find a way to convert it into a full-length article that they’ll likely be just as receptive to.

If, for example, our faithful shoe store posted a tip about how to properly clean and care for leather boots and it got a ton of engagement, they could easily write a blog post with six or seven tips about taking care of leather boots, and they could do so knowing that it would likely be received well by their audience. When it came time to share the post on Facebook, after all, they could target users they originally targeted with a positive response. This can save a lot of time and money, preventing us from generating content users aren’t interested in.

We’ve already touched upon how you can use targeted posts to sell or advertise products. A lot of businesses will fit into a niche, but their products will often fall into various sub-niches. Office Max, for example, has office supplies, but they always have school supplies like crayons and colored pencils. They could easily use targeted posts to advertise “back to school sales” on crayons to parents; after all, the rest of their audience likely wouldn’t care much that Crayola crayons were 15% off.

Another example of using targeted posts to advertise products or sales only some of your customers could be interested in would be if you have location-specific events or specials. If you have a brick-and-mortar business with several locations, and only one location (far away from the others) is having a sale, it makes sense to target only users near that location for the post.

The only thing to be careful of when using targeted posts to advertise your products is to not break Facebook’s rules against promoting or selling on your timeline. From what I’ve seen, however, as long as you say “Crayons are 15% off” you should be fine; saying “Crayons are 15% off, come buy them now, here’s the link!” is where they draw the line (though for this you can always run ads).

In addition to advertising current products, you can also test out reception to–  or get new ideas for– new products. If you’re able to detect a need or a pain your customers have that you can address, you’ll be able to get or create new products based on those needs—and you’ll be able to do so knowing there is a need. Again, this substantially lowers the risk of spending a lot of money on something that eventually flops because it wasn’t quite right for your target audience.

use targeted posts to test content on Facebook

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback outright!

Finally, targeted posts gives you the chance to receive unfiltered, honest feedback from specific groups of people. This feedback can be about any part of your business, and breaking it down into different targeted groups can help you see which customers you’re helping the most, and which you can offer more to. A lot of businesses and corporations will pay a ton of money to marketing consultants to get information from case studies and feedback groups to see how people are responding to different aspects of their business; with targeted posts (and users’ overall unfiltered honesty on the social media site), you can get all this information for free, and implement it as you see it.

Purpose

By using targeted posts and content on Facebook, not only are you combatting the decline in organic reach and better connecting with your fans, you are also greatly decreasing conversion costs by delivering highly targeted messages to your current audience (essentially remarketing) for free.

Using targeted posts gives you the opportunity to test content for a variety of uses and avenues, increase your engagement and fight against declining reach, and deliver highly targeted content for remarketing or revenue generating purposes, and all at absolutely no cost to you.

 

Have you ever tested content out as a post before expanding on it? How will you use Facebook’s targeted posts?

James Dickerson

Founder of CrushCampaigns

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