Scheduling and Targeting On Facebook: A Marketer’s Dream

It’s 2012, and Facebook has reached mass appeal with over 955 million active users. With those numbers, it’s likely you have a Facebook Page for your business and use it to post updates and interact with your customers.

(Need a quick tutorial on how to do this? Check out Facebook’s guide for businesses.)

Recently, Facebook rolled out some new features designed to make your life even easier as a small business marketer. Here’s the scoop on what those tools are, and how to use them for your business.

Scheduled Posts

Although third-party scheduling services exist (personally, I’m a big fan of Hootsuite) it’s nice to have the ability to schedule within Facebook’s control panel.

What are the advantages to scheduling a Facebook post?

  • The time that inspiration strikes you might not coincide with when your audience is on Facebook. So, instead of posting your thoughts immediately, schedule for a more optimal time.
  • Are you planning an event? Create a series of promotional Facebook posts, and schedule them at various times leading up to your event.
  • As you browse the Internet and come across interesting articles, go ahead share with your Facebook followers – but spaced out over time to maintain regular interaction.

How do you go about scheduling a post? It’s quite simple.

1. Visit your Facebook page and enter your post.

2. Click the small clock icon in the bottom left. You’ll then have the option of entering the year, month, day and time when you’d like your post to be published.

3. Finally, click the blue “Schedule” button to queue your post.

If you need to review or change the posts you’ve scheduled, simply go to the top of your page, click “Edit Page” and then click “Use Activity Log.” There, you’ll be able to modify your scheduled posts.

Targeted Posts

Within AWeber’s staff of marketing geeks, we were especially excited to see Facebook provide the ability to target posts.

Do you ever create a post in Facebook that only appeals to a certain percentage of your followers, and feel a twinge of guilt about putting it in the newsfeed of all your followers? Now you can put that guilt behind you by targeting your posts.

For example, AWeber regularly hosts educational events in the Philadelphia area, and tries to get the word out with email and social media. It’s reasonable to assume that our followers in California or England probably aren’t interested in attending (though they are more than welcome! ;)) To avoid appearing in their newsfeed, I create my post, click the “Public” button, then “Target by: Location/Language.”

There, I’m able to single out the areas in which I’d like my post to appear.

(By the way, if you’d like to receive email notifications of our Philly-area events, sign up here.)

Right now, Facebook allows you to target by geographic region and language, but according to Marketing Land, Facebook is rolling out the ability to also target by:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interested In
  • Relationship Status
  • Education
  • Workplace

For more on what this will look like for Facebook Pages, Mashable provides a sneak peak with screenshots.

Will You Schedule and Target Your Posts?

How do you plan on using these new features from Facebook? Have you already had success scheduling and targeting your posts? I’d love to hear about your experience!