Is Facebook Trying to Save Face With Publishers?

[responsive]fbpost[/responsive]While recent research finds that time spent on Facebook is a waste for most brands, the social media giant is attempting to sweeten the pot for media publishers, with new tools and insights that aim to help them target their posts more effectively.

“The new targeting tools will allow publishers to serve content to specific subsets of people who like their pages, pull down time sensitive posts to avoid displaying outdated content and, optionally, allow Facebook to automatically post articles that are already popular on the social network,” writes Martin Beck in MarketingLand.

“The auto-post feature is available only for a select number of large media organizations, but Facebook said it hopes to make it more broadly available in the coming months,” Beck continues.

According to Facebook, “we now offer the ability to target posts to a subset of the people that like your Page. For example, a publisher can use Interest Targeting to post a story about a sports game that will only be shown to people that like the teams playing.”

For pages that include time-sensitive material, the Post End Date feature “allows Page admins to specify a day and time to stop showing a post in News Feed. This tool prevents people from seeing out-of-date posts in News Feed, but posts will continue to appear on your Page. For instance, a publisher can use this to remove yesterday’s weather report from News Feed.”

(To access these two features on your own page, enable the Target and Privacy setting. Note this feature is only available on desktop for the time being.)

A third feature — Smart Publishing – is now available to “a limited number of media organizations,” and will automatically publish stories to your newsfeed that have a high number of likes or shares.

The tools come with added insights about performance, which is never a bad thing. We’ll be interested to see if this provides some relief to the problems many brands are having on Facebook with limited visibility and lack of tangible results.