Facebook updates Promoted Post targeting after page owners complain about reaching less relevant audiences

Facebook today released an update for Promoted Posts that will by default target a page owner’s ad spend to the countries where most of the page’s fans reside.

Promoted Posts are a way for page owners to reach more fans and friends of fans without having to create ads using the Facebook ad tool. Instead they can use the “promote” button directly under a page post they’ve made. Previously, Promoted Posts seemed to optimize for reach, which led to many impressions among audiences in other countries that page owners did not value as highly. Many page owners were frustrated to spend money and still not reach the fans they wanted to reach.

Facebook says it took this feedback into account and decided to focus the budget on where the majority of fans come from. This could help some pages reach more relevant audiences, however, it’s recommended that page owners select their own targeting criteria rather than relying on the default.

Page posts can be targeted to specific locations or demographics, such as age, gender, education or relationship status. Page owners must select these criteria before making a post if they want to ensure that their Promoted Posts are only seen by this audience.

It’s possible to use Facebook’s self-serve ad tool to select targeting criteria after a page post has been published, and also to add more detailed targeting parameters, such as ZIP code, interests or mobile device type. However, page owners who use the self-serve ad tool cannot control whether their ads appear in News Feed or on mobile, whereas Promoted Posts always appear in the feed, never in the sidebar. Marketers have to work with a third-party ad vendor or gain access to the Facebook Power Editor in order to create more highly targeted ads and control their placement.