Facebook already lets you narrow down who can see content you post to a Page by location or language, but the options are about to be greatly expanded. The social network is in the process of expanding the post targeting feature to let you target age, gender, workplace, relationship status, and education.
Either way, this is a very powerful tool for marketers, and it’s something that competing services like Twitter simply don’t offer. Facebook is built on top of a detailed graph of consumers’ personal data points, and those data points have been used previously to target ads. Now you’ll be able to target your News Feed updates using this information too.
Note that these data points won’t change what’s visible on your Page’s Timeline — only whether the updates appear in fans’ individual home page News Feeds. And obviously, it’s not much use to brands that only have a few Facebook fans. But for large, national brands that have a diverse following, this is a watershed feature.
As usual, Facebook isn’t revealing the nature of the roll out — that is to say, when each Page will get the feature. We just know that it’s happening gradually. Keep in mind also that fans who are particularly concerned with privacy may not like the feature, so a backlash is possible.
[Image credit: Sreejith K]
Samuel Axon: Samuel is the Editorial Director supervising Sprout Social's editorial and web content projects. He has years of experience in blogging and social media, having previously worked as an editor at social media and technology news sites Mashable and Engadget. He also helped build the white label web content management system Crowd Fusion from the ground up.