Facebook's New Post Targeting Options Launching Soon, Learn How To Use Them Now

by Chad Wittman on Aug 06, 2012
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Facebook TargetingFacebook recently announced a new targeting option for page admins trying to Reach particular segments of their audience.

With the new Facebook targeting options, admins will soon be able to target a variety of options such as:

  • age new
  • gender new
  • interested in new
  • relationship status new
  • language
  • education new
  • workplace new
  • location (country, state, city)

These new targeted segments open up a whole new array of options for marketers trying to pin point their brand’s message.

Typically with brand new features on Facebook, comes new opportunities for early adopters. Understanding why Facebook has created new targeting options and what they may do with them in the future, can help you expand your Reach once this feature is rolled out to all audiences (Rumor has it that it will be rolled out to all admins on August 7th).

It will look like this:

Facebook new page post targeting options

Why is Facebook Adding Additional Targeting Options?

In my opinion, Facebook is adding additional targeting options for two reasons: decrease a barrier of entry for creating an ad unit and help admins increase reach. By allowing admins the ability to target their update right from the Timeline, they can quickly Promote the post and pay to Reach their desired audience. For organic content, admins will be able to restructure the content and target it in optimal ways.

How To Use Targeting To Increase Reach

Let’s create a hypothetical situation to help explain how a brand can increase their Reach using the new targeting options. We’ll use a chocolate company such as Dove Chocolate on Valentine’s Day for our hypothetical situation. Dove has approximately 1 million fans of their page with a diverse audience. Previously (before advanced targeting options), Dove Chocolate made a widely appealing Valentine’s Day post:

Dove Facebook Chocolate Valentine's Day

This Valentine’s Day post attempted to Reach their entire audience but most likely only reached a small percentage. However, this upcoming Valentine’s Day, Dove will have an opportunity to expand the Reach of this post without Promoting it.

Here’s how they would do it:

  • Identify Demographic Information Within Facebook Insights
  • Select Demographics To Be Targeted
  • Craft Content To Target Audience

This Valentine’s Day, Dove has a new opportunity to target their content for each selected segment. For each brand, the amount of segments will differ depending on their fan demographics, this should be determined by the admin and the brand’s strategy.

Dove would target the following segments:

  • Young Single Women
  • Young Single Men
  • Young Married Women
  • Young Married Men
  • Old Married Women
  • Old Married Men

The work for the admin has now sextupled, as they now have to create (or modify) content to each of our targeted segments. Here are some sample posts:

Young Single Women 
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world” – Lucille Ball

Young Single Men
Give a special woman in your life a box of chocolates this Valentine’s Day.

Young Married Women
Hint: Your husband loves chocolate on Valentine’s Day too.

Young Married Men
Now that she’s your wife, doesn’t change her love for chocolate. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Old Married Women
Chocolate you love is best enjoyed with someone you love.

Old Married Men
Reminder: Today is Valentine’s Day. Another Reminder: Your wife loves dark chocolate.

Each of the above posts should be targeted to the corresponding segmented audience. By custom tailoring both the message and targeting of the posts, you’ll have a higher opportunity of engaging your fans. Engaging more fans and publishing more relevant content will increase the Reach for your content.

For the advanced admins, they’ll analyze when each demographic is online to view the posts, then publish the posts at the optimal times of day for each segmented audience.

A Note To Small Brands

For the millions of small brands marketing on Facebook, the targeting options will be less impactful. Facebook requires certain levels of fans in order to be able to target a particular demographic.

However, there will still be value in the targeting as you’ll be able to target broad segments such as gender or age.

The brands that have millions of fans will most likely be able to use a variety targeting options to fine tune their targeted audience. Large brands often suffer in the news feed due to the diversity of their fans and fan acquisition methods. Segmenting may begin a process of Reaching these hard to reach fans.

Post Author

Co-Founder & VP of Product at Dolly, an iPhone and Android app that is like Uber meets U-Haul or Lyft for Moving. Former Founder of EdgeRank Checker (acquired by Socialbakers)...

  • Bravo! Excellent article.  Thanks Chad.

  • Thank you for your great information, it has been very useful

  • Hi Chad, what is the min amount of fans that a Page can have to be able to activate these features?

  • Hi Chad– any relative performance comparisons between Promoted Posts and Page Post ads showing in the newsfeed placement? My understanding was the Promoted Posts were for small businesses that weren’t big enough for Power Editor.

  • Very good information. I like the idea of creating a post for a certain target, then using the Promotion feature to push it deeper in to News Feeds. I am assuming you can use the two together. Any confirmation of that?

  • I believe this to be the case from reading the information Facebook provided, but I cannot officially confirm. 

  • Great question, I’m unsure of the answer. Personally, I would lean towards Facebook enabling more Promoted Posts due to removing a step in the process. Definitely could be wrong.

  • From what I’ve heard, it sounds like Pages with at least 20 applicable fans will be able to target that particular segment.

  • It would make sense to be able to lump them together. Thanks for your Reply. Facebook just keeps getting more complex. Good for the people who want jobs as social media managers!

  • Very informative. Thank you.

  • JimiFontaine

    a new step to a real Social CRM … this feature should help CM to enhance personalization and engagement and not only the reach

  • Great article, can’t wait to use this

  • Alexis Ceule

    I wish I had a client with MILLIONS of followers to really give this a go.  Fantastic information.

  • tried using the feature and not of the 20+ pages that we manage have it yet. One of our pages has 900k fans and growing? Any idea when we should see it?

  • Rumor had it that it was rolling out on the 7th, we’re not seeing widespread implementation yet.

  • Chelsea

    “Facebook requires certain levels of fans in order to be able to target a particular demographic.” What is this number?

  • lettingagent

    Very useful feather but how can this feather will increase fans rapidly?

  • Really looking forward to playing with this feature set. Is anyone seeing this rollout yet?

  • What about older single women and men?

  • I opted to skip the example, but by all means they have that ability.

  • I wonder if this will cause massive post flooding in newsfeeds due to overlap of demographics. All of a sudden you see 5 posts from same fanpage. Might be problematic.

  • I wonder what Social Management systems out there will be able to connect with the facebook API that will give this as options external of facebook. Some I’m looking into recently are: Argyle Social Media – InfintiGraph – Spredfast

  • Alex

    Hello. Can you tell me, in your opinion, what a Facebook report for a brand must contain?

  • I can imagine Facebook also thinking the centre of it’s business – the private users. This may reduce perceived spam as the posted content is likely to be more relevant to the audience. On the other hand, when will it get too creepy to the private users that the companies know so much about them?