Free Facebook Targeting Trick

Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn every post on your Facebook business page into a targeted ad? Well, apparently, you can! Either this feature has been a well-kept secret or I’ve been living under a rock, but either way, I’m glad I discovered it a few days ago. The best part: it’s FREE!

From your Facebook Page, click “Settings” in the upper right corner. At this point, you should be in the “General” settings (has a gear icon next to it). Over on the right look for “Audience Optimization for Posts” and click “Edit”. A box will pop up allowing you to turn on this feature by clicking the box. Be sure to click “Save” after you’ve checked the box. That’s it.

Now, every time you create a new post, there will be a symbol available (as shown below) that looks a bit like a compass rose.

When you click the symbol before choosing publish, you will be able to specify the target audiences for that particular post. A box will pop up highlighting “Preferred Audience“. For example, if you’re posting a recipe, you would want to target Facebook users who have shown an interest in cooking. Start typing in a few terms and you will be given suggestions to choose from along with how many people have expressed interest in each particular term. So, you may end up using more than one targeted term or phrase, such as Cooking, Recipes, or Healthy Diet.

Tip: You can also leverage the followers of large companies that align with (or compete with) your own niche. For instance, if you have a cooking blog, you might choose to include “AllRecipes” in the Interest box so that you will be able to get the attention of those who follow the AllRecipes website.

In the tab called “Audience Restrictions“, you may target specific locations, languages, genders, and age groups. If you only sell products in Canada, or your blog is in French, then you might wish to limit your posts to target only those demographics. Since Facebook age default for users is 13, I like to change this to a minimum age of 18 even though I don’t share “adult content”. I just don’t want to appear as if I’m targeting minors for any reason.

Before you click “Publish”, be sure to “Save” when you are finished with your Audience selections and restrictions.

Bonus Tips for posting to Facebook:

Include an Attractive Image – People are drawn to eye-catching graphics or photos. You can create your own custom images using free programs such as Canva, Over, or PicMonkey. If you place words on your image, don’t overdo it. It’s better to add a short, interest-inducing blurb that will make viewers want to read the description. Do include your website URL, Facebook page URL or name in small letters right on the image. When it gets shared, you’re getting free advertising. Be sure the images you choose are either your own photos, come from a reputable free source, or you’ve purchased the right to use them.

Keep Descriptions Short – Being a writer myself, I catch myself getting “wordy” ALL the time! I sometimes talk all “around” a subject in an effort to build up to the “reveal” when what I need to do is just get to the point and leave the rest out of my social media posts. It’s a hard habit to break, but if you can whittle down your post to one or two sentences that get right to the meat of the message, you’ll be further ahead. Be sure to include “keywords” in the text as well.

Hashtags – Some people loathe them, but they can be an effective marketing tool on social platforms. For Facebook, I try to use no more than three #hashtags. Typically, I post them in a line below my post text, rather than within the post. People on Facebook seem to dislike reading the hashtag-filled messages. So, a post that says,

“#WeightLoss #tip – Eat this #healthy #recipe for best results. Link to URL.” on Twitter…

might go over a lot better on Facebook if it is presented like this: “New recipe speeds weight loss results! Get this healthy flaxseed recipe right now for FREE at Link to URL. #weightloss #health #recipe”.

Posting Times – Many free charts and guides exist online which showcase the best times of the day and days of the week to post to Facebook and other social media sites. Definitely take advantage of the research to help insure your posts are seen by as many people in your target audience as possible. Follow my “Web Design Hacks” Board on Pinterest for more, frequently updated tips.

Engagement – Entice your page followers to actually interact with you and your posts. Give them useful information rather than sales pitches, and fun things to participate in rather than to scroll by. You might try reader polls, inspiring quotes, interesting facts, contests, nostalgia (do you remember when?), asking for advice (none of us knows everything – show you are “human” and be real), inquire about their day, or ask how they are feeling about a current major event or national holiday. When readers DO engage, acknowledge them and answer as quickly as possible! It is called “social” media for a reason. 😉

What are some of your favorite tips and hacks for getting the most from your Facebook posts and activities?