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What Facebook’s New Audience Optimization Means for Your Brand

Facebook recently launched Audience Optimization, “an organic targeting tool to help publishers reach and engage their audiences on Facebook and better understand the interests of people clicking on their posts.”

Photo from Facebook

But what does this mean for your brand’s Facebook content?

It’s More Likely to Reach the Right People

One of the new features within the Audience Optimization feature is called Preferred Audience.

Preferred Audience

This feature allows you to add interest tags to content to help Facebook connect people with the topics and subtopics that are most likely to engage them.

These tags prioritize, uniquely for each person, the topics that are most likely to interest them.

What this means for your brand: Invest time in exploring the interest tags available to you and experiment with different tags and different combinations of tags to understand how your engagement is affected depending on your usage.

It Won’t Be Wasted on the Wrong People

The Audience Restrictions feature gives you the opportunity to choose which audiences would not find your post relevant, based on location, language, age, and gender. While this feature has long existed on Facebook, it can now be used in tandem with Facebook’s Preferred Audience option.

Facebook Audience Restrictions

What this means for your brand: By excluding audiences, you will be able to create more targeted Facebook content. For instance, if your target marketing persona is 30-something professional women, you can ask questions and reference experiences specific to this group (instead of “umbrella” content, which is seen by everybody and becomes diluted in its message and effect for this very reason).

This feature also allows you to understand the effect of your campaigns with your target demographic, instead of with the public at large, so you can make better content decisions in the future.

It’s Easier to Run Multiple Campaigns

…in an informed way, with the Audience Insights feature, an add-on to the existing Page insights product. The Audience Insights feature gives publishers greater visibility into content performance, down to the post level, with breakdowns by interest tag.

Once a post is published, insights for the preferred audience will help you understand how different subsets of people are responding by showing reach and engagement metrics for each interest tag.

What this means for your brand: By having a deeper understanding of the effect of individual pieces of content with specific tags, you will be able to optimize future campaigns and content planning in a way that maps towards your fan base’s interests — which may be different than you anticipate. This leaves the door wide open for making 2016 a more fruitful year for your Facebook content.

Major media brands like Bleacher Report, The New York Times, and MTV have already given Audience Optimization a try. The New York Times had this to say:

Our stories generally find a wide audience on Facebook, but some stories can take off thanks to especially strong engagement from niche Facebook communities such as TV show fans, sports fans, etc. The vibrant discussions taking place on some of these posts suggests that this new tagging feature is helping to attract the readers who are most passionate about specific topics.

Want more information on Audience Optimization and tips on how to best use this new feature? Head to Facebook’s Best Practices page for Audience Optimization. Need more engagement-boosting tips for Facebook? Check out our cheat sheets below.

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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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