How do I use Audience Targeting in Sprout?

New to Sprout Social? Learn more about how our audience target tools fit into our social media publishing suite here.

Target various segments of your audience when composing a message. This article explains how to select specific targeting options when creating content.

This article contains the following sections:

Getting started

To open Targeting Options, click Screen_Shot_2019-12-30_at_2.37.14_PM.png in the icon bar in Compose.

Sprout remembers what configuration you last had for each network at a Group level. Keep that in mind when drafting content for profiles in the same Group.

Note: The Cross-Network Audience Targeting feature is only available on Professional and Advanced plans.

How do I target posts on 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 You can Limit Your Post's Audience, Target Your Post or create an Unpublished Post.

FB_Targeting_Options.png 

Limit Your Post's Audience if you want to restrict the visibility of a post to a certain audience segment on your Facebook Company Page. This post is only visible to those who are in the targeted segment, regardless of whether or not the post is shared.

Facebook posts can target the following:

  • Country
  • State/Province
  • Cities

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

Facebook_Llimit_Your_Post_Options.png

Note: To target a specific State/Province or City, 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 Feed of a specific segment of your fans. Unlike limiting your post's audience, targeting a News Feed doesn't restrict visibility of the post on your actual Company Page.

Example: if you target a post to College Grads, that post only shows up in the News Feed of people who meet that requirement. However, the post is still visible to anyone who visits your Facebook Company Page directly.

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

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

Note: It's possible to use both Limit Your Post's Audience and Target Your Post for a single post. For example, say you have a post in Spanish. You can limit the audience to only people who speak Spanish, ensuring only Spanish speakers could see it. Then you might target the News Feed of individuals who are at least 24 years old. That post only potentially shows 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 can select Unpublished Post. This enables you to create an Unpublished (or "Dark") Post from within Sprout.

If you choose this option, you can't select any targeting options, and when you Send this post from Compose, it won't 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. 

How do I target posts on LinkedIn?

When you add a LinkedIn Company Page in Compose, click Screen_Shot_2019-12-30_at_2.37.14_PM.png to open the Targeting Options. You can target based on the following:

  • Company Size
  • Industries
  • Function
  • Seniority
  • Locations
  • Locales (Languages)

Targeting_1.png

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. 

Note that Targeted posts actively appear only to members that fit within the target criteria. If that post is shared or reposted, then members outside of the target can see the post. All posts, targeted and not are visible in admin view.

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 won't publish.

LinkedIn targeting lets 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 shows 0 followers. This is a limitation of the API. If you have over 300 followers in the targeted demographic, the number reflects the exact number of followers targeted.

You may have multiple segments you want to target. Within each section, follower numbers are additive. If you have 300 followers spread across the two different company sizes, you can successfully publish that post. However, if you select other criteria in different sections, such as Industry or Location, the total follower count representing all selected criteria from all sections needs to add up to 300 again. You can widen your selections if you can't find at least 300 followers to target.

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

LI_Targeting_Warning.png

Clicking Continue sends you back to the post, but if you attempt to publish, the message won't send to the profiles that don't meet the follower requirements. An email is also sent at the time of publishing to notify of the failure. Any profile that meets the follower requirements will still have the message published. 

 

FAQs

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

Sprout notifies you of the pages that don't meet the follower requirements. All pages that meet the requirements successfully publish, pages that don't fail.

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?

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.

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

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

Why can't I target a Tweet?

X no longer supports audience targeting for Tweets.

 

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