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Audience Targeting

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Sprout Social allows you to quickly target various segments of your audience when composing a message. This article will detail how to select specific targeting options when creating content.

Topics:

Facebook
LinkedIn
Google+
Compose Targeting FAQs

 

To open up post targeting options, simply click the globe icon in the lower left corner of the compose window.

Sprout will remember what settings you last had for each network at a group level. Keep that in mind when drafting content for profiles in the same group.

 

Facebook

Facebook offers a few different options for your posts. You can Limit Your Post's Audience, Target Your Post or create an Unpublished Post.

 

Limit Your Post's Audience if you want to restrict the visibility of a post to a certain audience segment on your Facebook page. This post will only ever be visible to those who are in the targeted segment, regardless if the post is shared.

Facebook posts can target the following:

  • Country
  • State/Province
  • City
  • Language

When selecting any of the above, you can simply start typing the name of the desired target to see a dropdown menu begin to populate. Select one or more items to add them to your posts targeting options.

Note: To target a specific State/Province or City, you must first select the Country in which that target is located.

Target Your Post if you want to ensure the post only shows up in the News Feeds of a specific segment of your fans. Unlike limiting your post's audience, targeting a News Feed will not restrict visibility of the post on your actual fan page.

Example: if you target a post to College Grads, that post will only potentially show up in the News Feeds of people who meet that requirement. However, the post will still be visible to anyone who visits your Facebook page directly.

You can target specific News Feeds based on the following criteria:

  • Gender
  • Relationship Status
  • Educational Status
  • Age
  • Location
  • Languages

Note: It is possible to use both Limit Your Post's Audience and Target Your Post for a single post. A possible use case is if you have a post that's written in Spanish, you may limit the audience to only people who speak Spanish, ensuring only Spanish speakers could see it. Then you might target the news feed of people who are at least 24 years old.

That post will only potentially show up in the News Feed of a Spanish-speaking individual who is at least 24. However, any Spanish speaker who visits your page directly could still see that post.

Unpublished Post

As you choose a targeted audience for your Facebook post, you'll notice the ability to select Unpublished Post. This allows you to create an Unpublished (or "Dark") Post from within Sprout.

If you choose this option, you will not be able to select any targeting options, and when you Send this post from the Compose window, it will not publish publicly on your timeline. It will publish directly to the Facebook Ad Management Console where you or your team can choose extensive ad options through Facebook natively.

 

LinkedIn

When a LinkedIn Company Page is selected in the Compose window, click the globe icon to open the Audience Targeting pane. LinkedIn allows targeting for the following fields:

  • Company Size
  • Industries
  • Function
  • Seniority
  • Continents
  • Countries
  • State/Province
  • Cities

li-targeting-tray_compose.png

Unlike Facebook or Google+, LinkedIn has a requirement of at least 300 followers to enable targeting. You must have at least 300 followers as part of the targeted segment for the post to publish successfully. 

Example: if a company has 140 followers in the company size 51-200 employees, and 160 followers in the company size 201-500 employees, both of those segments must be selected in order for the targeted post to publish successfully. If the follower counts do not add up to at least 300, the post will not publish.

Sprout’s LinkedIn targeting is built intuitively to let you know in real-time if you are meeting the follower count requirements, whether you are posting to one Company Page or many.

Note: If you have less than 300 followers in a targeted demographic, the Follower Counts tray will show 0 followers. This is a limitation of the API. If you have over 300 followers in the targeted demographic, the number will reflect the exact number of followers targeted.

You may have multiple segments you want to target, and as you add new targets, the Follower Counts tray will update seamlessly. Within each section, follower numbers are additive. If you have 300 followers spread across the two different company sizes, like in our previous example, you can successfully publish that post. However, if you select other criteria in different sections, such as Industry or City, the total follower count representing all selected criteria from all sections will need to add up to 300 again. You may need to widen your selections if you aren’t able to find the 300 followers to target.

Note: When choosing targeting options for LinkedIn Company Pages, if you do not meet the 300 followers requirement for one or more of the profiles, you will receive an alert when you try to exit the targeting panel as well as when trying to publish the post.

Clicking Continue will allow you to proceed back to the post, but if you attempt to publish, the message will not send to the profiles that do not meet the follower requirements. An email will also be sent at the time of publishing to notify of the failure. Any profile that meets the follower requirements will still have the message published.

 

Google+

Google+ circle targeting is available in Sprout Social. When you select Google+ from the targeting menu, you'll be able to see the circles you've already created in Google+.

Also choose whether or not to Allow Comments in this particular post.

Note: When publishing to multiple Google+ pages, you will only be able to target PublicYour Circles, and Extended Circles. Individual circles will not be available for targeting.

 

Compose Targeting FAQs

Q: What happens if I am publishing a targeted post to multiple LinkedIn pages, and one or more do not meet the follower requirements?

A: We will notify you of the pages that do not meet the follower requirements. All pages that meet the requirements will successfully publish the post, whereas any post for a page that does not meet the requirements will fail to publish.

Q: What happens if I schedule a LinkedIn post with less than 300 followers in the targeted segments, but my page gains 300 or more followers by the time it is scheduled to publish?

A: In this case, the post will successfully publish, since LinkedIn checks follower count numbers at the time the post is sent, rather than when it is scheduled in Sprout. 

Conversely, if you had 300 or more followers at the time of scheduling, but lost followers (putting you below the follower requirement) by the time the message tries to publish, the message will fail to publish.

We’ll always send an email in case a post fails to publish.

Q: I selected North America as a target in LinkedIn, but now I can’t select Chicago at the city level. Why?

A: Since you already specified North America as the broad target, it’s not possible to drill down further into a State or City that is in North America. You’ll need to remove the Continent target before selecting a more specific area. 

Q: Why can’t I target LinkedIn posts based on language?

A: Currently, LinkedIn’s API does not support language targeting.

Q: Can I set up paid targeting through Sprout?

A: We do not offer paid targeting through Sprout Social. For paid targeting options, you will want to use the native platform.

Q: Why can't I target a Tweet?

A: Twitter no longer supports audience targeting for Tweets.

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