Jun 18, 2013

Facebook quietly unveils more cost-efficient customer targeting

Facebook quietly unveils more cost-efficient customer targeting
BY Peggy Nordeen

B2B | Performance Media | SFBJ | Social

Reprinted from the South Florida Business Journal

Facebook is increasing the targeting power of promoted posts to help local businesses grow their profits. Marketers in early June were given the ability to geo-target the promoted post so it will reach fans and friends of fans in a specific location. While it seems that this option may not be rolled out to all Pages as yet, marketers are excited to test its ability to make their Facebook promotion budgets more productive.

Your brand’s ability to promote posts to local fans and friends of fans is an opportunity to capture even more relevancy, familiarity and trust. Whether you are a large university or a small dental office, familiarity and trust increases business. Geo-targeted promoted posts help you earn “share of mind” among potential customers, which is the ultimate goal of social engagement.

Promoted posts have become popular quickly because they don’t require Page owners to create campaigns and ads through the more complex Ads Manager or Power Editor. More significantly, promoted posts are powerful because they allow business owners to push their most important posts higher in the News Feeds of fans and friends of fans.

Increase local awareness and engagement; lower costs

It’s true: Simply publishing posts on your Facebook brand page won’t get them seen by 100 percent of your audience. In fact, Facebook estimates through its algorithmic filtering of stories that only 16 percent of fans see your posts. As a result, paying to promote your post locally – about an event or sale – is an incredibly efficient way to maximize your Facebook engagement and lower overall promotion costs. In other words, you can increase your reach to local customers while reducing budgets for tactics like postcards and coupons.

To promote a post, simply click on the “Boost Post” button displayed below each post and set your budget for how many people you want to reach. Once you pay to promote a post, the post will be labeled as “sponsored” and appear in user News Feeds. Promoted posts can be more effective than Facebook ads that appear in the right-hand column, as ads are smaller and easier to skip over than a post on a News Feed.

Tools help small business look big

Many professional services and local businesses have wondered about the value of working or keeping up a Facebook page. This new local targeting for promoted posts – combined with the market segmentation capabilities of Facebook’s new custom audience lists and lookalike audiences – is increasing Facebook’s ability to become a productive (perhaps someday indispensable) tool for all marketers. Facebook must believe that we will discover additional value from these tools because they have also increased the spending limit in their budget pull-down menus.

In today’s global marketplace, we often look internationally for what’s next. A new survey from Fasthosts Internet Ltd. says that four in 10 British consumers believe it is “crucial” that small businesses maintain a social media presence. The survey also shows that consumers expect smaller companies to provide support and advice for their customers through online channels. It is becoming common knowledge that small businesses need to use social media like Twitter and Facebook to remain relevant alongside larger firms.

These new promotional tools not only allow small businesses to remain relevant, but they also offer an opportunity for faster growth and industry leadership. That’s why media leaders are promoting the synergy between traditional and new channels to reach, impress and capture prospects. The South Florida Business Journal’s Social Madness competition is an example of this new focus.