Facebook have released a new organic tool to help publishers improve the reach and engagement of their ads. Available on all English language pages, the new Audience Optimisation tool uses three features to improve the organic reach of Facebook advertising: Preferred Audiences, Audience Restrictions, and Audience Insights.

Preferred audience

The Preferred Audience feature replaces Interest Targeting and uses user interest tags to prioritise a post on a newsfeed. By using the tool, you are able to promote your post to people who are most likely to enjoy the content. For example, if your post is in relation to the upcoming release of Captain America: Civil War, then recommended tags could include Marvel, Comic books, or Superheroes. Facebook believe that the optimum amount of tags is between 6 and 10, though you do have up to sixteen to play with.

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It differs to the previous Interest Targeting feature in that it will still show to subsets of people even if they do not match the interest tags. Previously, a post would only show to people that match the tags attached to a post, which heavily limited its reach. With the new feature any extended user will be able to see a share or a like regardless of their interest tags. This will effectively extend the organic reach of a publisher’s post through likes and shares.

Audience restrictions

This can be used alongside Audience Restrictions to further focus your posts. This allows publishers to limit and restrict who will see a post based on location, which can be included or excluded, as well as age, gender, and language. By limiting content to specific demographics across Facebook you can really optimise the targeting of your post.

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Audience insights

Whilst using these features to their full potential you may want to learn more about how your audience is responding to a post with interest tags. The Audience Insights feature shows you how each interest tag you set contributed to a post’s reach, clicks, shares, and likes. Once you have published a post using Preferred Audiences, insights help publishers understand how different subsets of people are responding by showing metrics for reach and engagement. This will allow publishers to keep their finger on the pulse of their audiences expanding interests on Facebook by watching how particular tags perform over a timeframe.

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As mentioned earlier, Audience Optimisation is available to all English language pages, and if your page has more than 5,000 likes then the features will automatically be turned on; If not, the tool can be activated via the settings tab where you can also start adding tags. This feature can only be activated via the desktop site at the moment.

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So overall, this is a useful feature that is going to enable publishers to extend the organic reach of their Facebook posts whilst focussing the initial targeting of it using interest tags.

Are you already using this feature to extend your organic reach? Let us know your thoughts on the new tool via twitter @rocketmill