Facebook has announced the launch of a new tool that will make it easier for businesses to get their content in front of audiences that are most likely to be interested in it. Audience Optimization was launched last week and is currently being rolled out to all English-language pages.
How it Works
The new tool is simple, but when used strategically, it will make your Facebook marketing more effective. To start using it, you’ll need to go to your page’s settings and click “General” and then check the box next to “Audience Optimization for Posts.”
Once the feature is turned on, look for the targeting icon when you compose a Facebook post, which will give you access to three new functions.
First, you’ll be able to tell Facebook who is most likely to like your post based on their interests. Just start adding interests to the Preferred Audience menu box. Facebook will use those tags to prioritise your posts in users’ News Feeds. Facebook does note that the tags you enter here will not restrict your post’s reach.
If you toggle to the Audience Restrictions tab, you’ll see that you can limit who can see a post by their age, gender, location and language. This will help you reach a more narrow audience and give you a chance to exclude some Facebook users, in a country you don’t ship to for example, if you don’t want them to see a particular post.
Facebook has also given businesses a way to learn whether or not the tags they are using for Preferred Audience targeting are helping them generate reach, likes, clicks and shares. After a post has been published, you can check back to see how each tag you chose contributed to the post’s level of engagement.
Tracking these results will help you refine your process and learn which tags are most beneficial to your Facebook marketing. Since these analytics are organised by post, you can also use them to get a good idea of who your target audience should be, based on the responses you get by targeting content to different groups of people.
You’ll find these three functions in the page post composer, Graph API, Instant Articles and some third-party publishing tools.
Developing a Strategy
You probably already know a lot about your target audience, so using this tool strategically will be a matter of successfully combining that knowledge with your Facebook marketing strategy. Start by making sure you are sharing content and posts that will be attractive to the audience you want to reach.
Then, brainstorm a list of interest tags that could be used to target your audience. You’ll likely have some generic, broad tags that you use for most of your posts. Then, each time you publish a post, use some of those general tags and then add some more specific tags to reach a niche segment of your audience. Be sure to track your results with Audience Insights to find tags that bring the most engagement for your posts.
This new tool gives businesses one more way to reach their target audience on Facebook and generate engagement that will make their marketing more effective. You can learn more about Audience Optimization and how to use it in Facebook’s guide.