On Tuesday, Facebook threw a curveball at every community manager’s content strategy. They announced even more advanced post targeting options (allowing posts to target beyond the existing location and language functions).
With these updates, page administrators will now be able to target posts based on specific characteristics identified in a fan’s profile. Check out this sneak peek at the new targeting options as described in this TechCrunch article — posts can now be shared based on:
• interested in
• relationship status
It’s important to note, however, that post targeting only applies to fans of the page. This means that targeted posts can (and will) trickle into the News Feed of fans’ friends through commenting, liking or sharing these posts. Additionally, all posts will be visible on the page’s Timeline — unless they’ve been hidden from the wall.
Takeaway: With the addition of more targeting options, pages will have the luxury of tailoring their messaging to a more specific audience segment. Fans will be able to receive deliberate messaging depending on certain characteristics denoted in their profiles.
Facebook Leads Social Marketing in a New Direction
With large brands boasting fans in the high millions, the next evolution in successful social marketing has to focus on personalization and message segmentation. Communicating to certain segments of a consumer base is something that email has long taken advantage of. Segmentation variables have kept the email heartbeat from flat-lining. Tuesday’s announcement now begs the question: Are the new targeting features the “Fountain of Youth” for Facebook brand pages?
By targeting fans with highly relevant content, brands can now become even more personal to the consumer. Targeted messaging allows pages to break through the bulk of social marketing and catch the eye of the fan through communicating with them based on their unique attributes.
Takeaway: Additional post targeting features will allow pages to tailor messages to specific audience segments, helping to decrease brand fatigue and increase engagement.
Back to Basics: Moving Away from Mass Communication to One-on-One Messaging
For big brands like Coca-Cola, which has over 46 million diverse Facebook fans around the world, additional targeting options open new doors for post messaging. Being able to cut a post demographic in half through gender targeting will allow Coke to craft a more pointed message. Narrowing the scope further to college-aged fans creates exclusive messaging opportunities that were previously unavailable.
Additional targeting options also bring new opportunities for brands sharing information that may be more applicable to one type of fan over another. By segmenting messages based on certain demographics, brands like Cosmopolitan Magazine can transform a fan’s News Feed into a reader-specific edition of the magazine. While a recently engaged fan could read a post titled How to Plan the Perfect Honeymoon, a single reader might see How to Secure a 2nd Date on the same day in their News Feed.
Takeaway: Targeted messaging will allow pages to modify message content to best engage their fans and personalize their brand experience.
The future of Relevant Messaging
Advanced post targeting only further increases the power of social marketing by making fans’ social experiences personal. Facebook has taken a big step toward lighting the way for the future of social marketing. Ideally, this step will cause brand love to be higher than ever and prove successful for Facebook in both active account numbers and revenue. Moving forward, it is crucial that brands have a deep understanding of their Facebook fan base and develop best practices around advanced targeting messages.
Takeaway: Advanced post targeting is sure to change the way social marketing is performed. New opportunities and obstacles are created by the exciting step toward message personalization. The ability to further court your customer only enhances the power of social marketing.
Important Things to Note:
While advanced targeting appears to be the next thing in social marketing, it does not come without cause for hesitation, for instance:
• With the ability to target posts more specifically comes the necessity for more post creation, which requires additional time and resources.
• It will now be more important than ever to understand fans in order to maximize targeting effectiveness.
• Maintaining a consistent brand voice across multiple target demographics will be an increasing challenge for social writers.
Takeaway: As with all good things, moderation is key. The obstacles of advanced targeting should be considered when deciding how to best communicate with fans.