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Grow Your Business Social Media

Target Your Facebook Posts with New Publisher Tools

Target Your Facebook Posts with New Publisher Tools
Credit: Facebook

Targeting audiences is key to any marketing campaign, especially on social media. And now, Facebook lets you control the targeting of more than just ads. You can target posts, too.

This week, Facebook released new publishing tools and an improved Insights dashboard to help businesses better reach, connect with and understand their followers. This gives Facebook Page admins and publishers more control over posts, and over who gets to see that content and when.

Here's how Facebook's new publishing tools can help businesses manage their Facebook Pages and optimize how their content performs. [8 Facebook Tools Your Business Should Be Using]

Interest Targeting

Facebook ads are so effective in part because they let you target audiences based on highly specific and relevant metrics, such as interests. Now, businesses can do the same with their posts to make sure the right people see the company's messages.

With Interest Targeting, Facebook Page owners can make sure only those people who have a specific interest see the posts. For instance, restaurant owners can set their posts so that only those who like the type of food the business serves and that type of eatery will see the posts.

Availability: To target posts by interest, make sure the Targeting and Privacy setting is enabled. Note that the feature is available to all Pages, but is only accessible on desktop.

Post End Date

Facebook's newsfeed often shows outdated posts, sometimes even from days before. This is especially problematic for businesses that host special events, such as sales and promotions that are only available for a limited time. The new Post End Date feature can help.

Facebook Page admins can now specify how long posts stay active, so followers no longer see the posts after an event ends. For example, if an online store is having a flash, 24-hour sale, the store's Page admin can use Post End Date to set the day and time the post will go live and when it will stop. This means the post will completely disappear from followers' newsfeeds, but will remain on the business Page.

Availability: Like Interest Targeting, Post End Date is available to all Pages that have enabled their Targeting and Privacy setting, but is currently not available on mobile devices.

Smart Publishing

Want to know which products, services, blog posts and other stories resonate most with followers? Smart Publishing identifies the most frequently shared links to your website and publishes them on followers' newsfeeds.

The caveat is that Smart Publishing won't show these links on business Pages themselves. However, Page admins will have access to analytics via a new Insights dashboard, where admins can choose which links to publish on their Pages.

Availability: Smart Publishing is currently only available to media organizations. The feature will be rolled out to other Page owners over the next few months, and businesses can opt in. To do so, go to Page settings, then Publisher Tools.

Better Insights

In addition to giving businesses more control over targeting and timing their posts, Facebook also improved publishers' Insights dashboards to give admins enhanced analytics tools.

To help businesses gauge how their content is performing on Facebook, Insights can now show how Pages, social plugins and different types of content drive website traffic. This includes a Top URLs feature — a new section that shows a website's top performing link on Facebook and who shared it, such as influencers or another Facebook Page — and the ability to segment data hourly, daily, weekly or by some other specific time span.

Bug fixes

If you use a third-party analytics tool to measure Facebook performance, it may have been undercounting organic traffic by neglecting outbound clicks from mobile devices. Facebook has fixed this bug for iOS and will soon issue a fix for Android.

Sara Angeles

Sara is a tech writer with a background in business and marketing. After graduating from UC Irvine, she worked as a copywriter and blogger for nonprofit organizations, tech labs and lifestyle companies. She started freelancing in 2009 and joined Business News Daily in 2013. Follow Sara Angeles on Twitter @sara_angeles.