Targeting and Limiting Audiences in Facebook

Overview

Facebook allows Page Content Managers to target posts to certain demographics and even to limit audiences based on location and language. As described in Facebook's online documentation on Pages, there are two ways to target posts to audiences:

  • Limit Audience - Limit access to the Post to users from specific countries and/or users with specific language capabilities.
  • News Feed Targeting - Optimize your post's reach by targeting the post to certain demographics, thus increase the chance of the post showing up in the user's Facebook News Feed.

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 VSocial supports both of these features.

Permissions

You need explicit permissions to be able to target or limit audience. Please contact support@vsocial.com or your administrator if you require access and don't yet. For details of User Permissions, please see this article: VSocial Community Manager User Permissions

Audience Limiting

First, a quick explanation on what Audience Limiting is. Audience Limiting allows a Page Content Manager to restrict access to a Page Post to users who are from a specific location and/or who have certain language capabilities.

This means, for a regional page for example, you can localize you content and restrict access to the posts to those who the post is actually for - for example, if you're managing a Page that covers several countries, such as Korea, Singapore and Malaysia, you'll be able to write a post in Korea and limit viewing of that post to only those physically located in Korea by limiting the audience at a country level. In the case of a country where multiple languages are common, such as Malaysia, you can write a post in Bahasa Malayu and another post in English, and limit the audiences to those who speak/read Bahasa and English, respectively.

According to Facebook, "Your Page post will only show in News Feed or on your Page for people in the countries you choose or for people who speak the languages you specify."

Example - Limit to a Country

In the Korea example, a post would most likely be authored exclusively in Korean. You wouldn't want your fans from other countries who can't read Korean to see such posts. 

In order to limit by country, you would first click the "Add Audience Limit" link.

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From here, a dropdown will appear allowing you to select either Country or Language. Select Country.

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Finally, you will be able to type in one or more Countries. The list of Countries comes directly from Facebook so you can target to any country Facebook supports.

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Finally, when you Publish, only users physically located in Korea will be able to see the post. It is important to note that for Facebook users who travel, they may or may not see posts limited to the countries they are visiting depending on Facebook's algorithms in determining the user's location. Facebook sometimes employes the use of location caching if they detect a user recently logged in from one country but then logs in from another.

Example - Limit to a Language

Limiting a post to users who have specific language capabilities is especially useful for countries that have multiple common languages, such as Malaysia. If you're managing content for a Page that is meant to be consumed by users in Malaysia, you may wish to post content in both English and in Bahasa Malayu.

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Multiple Limits

You can of course limit a post's availability to users with specific languages in a specific country. Back to the Bahasa Malayu example, you can limit the post to users in Malaysia who speak Bahasa. Simply press "Add Audience Limit" again and select your desired setting.

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News Feed Targeting

First, a quick explanation on what News Feed Targeting is. News Feed Targeting allows a Page Content Manager to target the News Feed's visibility of the Page Post to certain demographics, thus increasing the chance of the post showing up in the user's Facebook News Feed. Note that the key phrase here is "increase the chance" - there is no guarantee from Facebook that your Post will be seen from your fans in their News Feed. Facebook employes many different algorithms to determine who sees what content in their News Feed. (Facebook hasn't revealed their secret sauce, but there are many online articles purporting to shed some light on their "Edgerank" system). 

What Facebook does say is Targeting a post to certain users will increase the chances of them seeing the Post.

According to Facebook, "You can add targeting to your Page posts so that only the most relevant people will see them in their News Feeds. Unlike limiting your Page's audience, adding News Feed targeting does not affect who can see the post on your Page."

Targets Supported

At this time, VSocial supports targeting to any combination of the following:

  • Gender
  • Age Range (between Facebook's built-in ages of 13 and 65)
  • Country 
  • City (for supported countries)
  • Language

A use case for targeting is when you have a Post that you want everyone to see on your Page, but it may be more interesting or relevant for a certain subset of users, such as if you're announcing a new product that is targeted at a segment of your customers, such as teenagers, but you want everyone to see it on your post.

Example - Age Targeting

In the above example, to target the news feed visibility to users who satisfy a specific age range (based on their Facebook profile), you would first click the "Add News Feed Target" button, and then select "Age".

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After clicking on "Age", an age range slider will appear allowing you to change both lower and upper bounds of the age range. In this case, since we're targeting teens, we set the lower bound to 13 (this is the minimum age Facebook supports), and upper bound to 19.

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Like with Audience Limiting, you can mix and match the different targeting options. Below, we're targeting the post to Females between 13 and 19 in Singapore.

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Confirming your Targeting

Once published, in VSocial you can view the targeting options by placing your mouse over the "i" icon:

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To verify that your targeting is working, once published, if you're an admin, you can view the targeting options by placing your mouse over the little icon of the earth:

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