How To Improve Facebook EdgeRank Using This Hidden Feature

Do you ever have an update that would be awesome for the ladies that follow your page but would probably annoy the fellas and put you in jeopardy of being “unliked”?

Do you ever need to update fans from a certain city but don’t want to bother fans everywhere else?

Do you want to connect with your spanish speaking followers in their language?

Do have an idea for a special update for your baby boomer fans that your younger fans might not understand?

Here’s a problem that I often face as a social media community manager: I have a great idea for a post that I know a certain portion of my fans will really relate to and potentially engage with, but the rest of my fans might not get it or appreciate it. The targeting feature on Facebook is a great way to custom tailor your posts to certain audiences, be more creative with your content, boost engagement rates AND improve Facebook EdgeRank.

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Set Up

In order to start playing with this feature, you must first turn it on. The feature is called “Post Privacy Gating” (I know, horrible name), and is located in the “Manage Permissions” section of the admin dashboard for your page:

facebook settings
facebook post privacy gating

Make sure this checkbox is clicked, click “Save Changes”, and you are ready to start boosting your Facebook engagement.

With Post Privacy Gating on Facebook you can target your updates according to the following demographics:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Relationship Status
  • Educational status
  • Interested in
  • Location
  • Language

Here are a couple ideas on how to use Facebook Post Privacy Gating:

Reference Facebook Insights for Ideas

Look through your Facebook insights to discover what certain audiences like your page, and be thinking of scaled posts for them.

For example, I run a page for my town of Clermont, Florida and I noticed from the insights that we have about 17 people from the United Kingdom that like our page. Now I know that’s not a large number, and certainly not large enough to warrant an update by the page that would appeal especially to them because Facebook EdgeRank might prevent any of them from ever seeing the post. But, after the United States they are the second highest country of origin for likes and these are 17 real people we are talking about here, not 17 clicks of a button.

So I sent out a targeted post to people who liked the page from the United Kingdom using Post Privacy Gating just to recognize them and scale interaction to include them.

targeted facebook page posts

Those 17 people didn’t know that the post only went to them, not that they would care anyway. But the added benefit of posting targeted Facebook updates is that since this post is only going out to 17 people, it is much more likely that they will see that message. And do you know how that benefits your business? The benefit is higher engagement on Facebook, which translates into more people seeing your posts and your page becoming favorable in the eyes of Facebook EdgeRank, that evil Facebook algorithm that Mark Cuban loves to hate.

So what were the results of this little case study? Well, out of 17 people that the post went to, 35 people saw it and 7 people engaged. Doesn’t sound like much until you realize that more than twice the number of people who were targeted saw this post, which is better than the 31% of our 1,089 fans that see our updates on our best day. That would be like 2,242 people seeing our posts vs. 338.

facebook targeted post case study

facebook virality percentage

Redeem Yourself After Purchasing Likes

uncle si that's a fact jackThis feature will also help you if you’ve made the huge, unethical mistake of purchasing likes. Purchased likes are low quality and provide no value to your business. If they aren’t robots, they are people who most likely will never purchase from you. Sure they may be a number on the screen that you see as a “status” symbol, but they are hurting your Facebook EdgeRank score and preventing actual customers from seeing your updates. And that’s a fact, Jack.

If you have purchased likes, use the targeting feature to only include people in the United States and eliminate people who like your page from places like Bangladesh or India. The benefit will be that you will boost your page engagement and be seen by more people who are actual customers.

The Downside

What is the downside of Facebook’s Post Privacy Gating? Well the downside is that your fans outside the specified audience you choose will not be able to see the update. Depending on how you use it, less people may see your update than if you just sent a blanket message to everyone. Although, there’s a good chance your targeted post will carry more weight and have a greater impact even if it reaches less people. So use this feature as part of your strategy, but use it intelligently.

Likes = People

Being able to customize and scale yourself to be as social as possible is the key to success with social media. Facebook’s Post Privacy Gating feature makes that much easier to do. Just remember, “likes” represent actual human beings. People that matter, and people who the success of your business depends on. Don’t get hung up on numbers, because you will never reach the hearts of your customers that way. Focus on the customer, see every “like” as a person, and you will be successful.

Do you use post privacy gating as a part of your Facebook page strategy? Share your experiences with us all in the comment section below. If you haven’t used this feature, experiment with it today & come back to let us know how it worked for you.

Discuss This Article

Comments: 1

  • Great article Brittany – targeting fans on Facebook is a great and little-used feature that, if used wisely, can have great results. I would however add a note of caution – if you auto-post from Facebook to Twitter, any targeted posts you make still get Tweeted to everyone on Twitter, so either be careful how you word your targeted posts, or un-link your accounts before posting :-)

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