21 Jul 2011

Targeting Your Facebook Messaging

Targeting Your Facebook Messaging

The following excerpt is from Kaila Strong’s book, “Facebook for Business: A How-To Guide” available in the Vertical Measures store for $9.99.

Trends in social media have morphed the way businesses advertise to consumers. Gone are the days of one-way communication, and here to stay are two-way engaged conversations with your target market.

In part, targeting your message to your demographic will require trial and error. Continuous testing with particular messaging strategies, listed below, and measuring their success or failure will help you figure out the right strategy for the fans you build on your Page. Monitor each of the following when trying out targeted messaging strategies:

Number of “Likes” and When

Which types of messages produce more “Likes” and at what time of day? Data analyzed by HubSpot can provide you with some general information regarding time and day. They’ve found weekends are the best time to message because those messages are shared more often. A study by Virtue discovered that the biggest spike in conversations on Facebook happens at 3PM EST. They’ve also found that messages posted at the top of the hour tend to be more successful than at other times.

Shares per message

Using Facebook search you can get a good feel for how often your messages are shared by simply doing a search for a particular message sent out from your business Page.

At the end of February 2011 Facebook made yet another change to the site: previously when those who “Like” your business Page indicate that they “Like” a particular post on your wall or a particular page on your website (if you have the “Like” button installed) it would show on their personal profile in a simple one line format. It would also show in news feeds of friends but less prominently. Those who “Like” your business Page also had the option to “Share” an individual post from your wall and post it on their wall with their comments. Now, whether a comment is added or not, when a user indicates they “Like” a post on your wall or “Share” a post with friends it will show as a full feed on their own wall and will also show more prominently in the news feeds of their friends.

Insights per message

In Section 5 we’ll discuss Facebook Insights, analytics available to each Page which keeps record of data such as “Like” count, limited demographic data, interaction per post and more. Use Facebook Insights to determine the success or failure of each individual message placed on your business Page’s wall.

Targeted Messaging Examples

Q & A

Simply ask fans questions. What did you do this weekend? Would you rather watch: 10 hours of Lifetime Movie Network or be forced to watch grass grow for two days straight? What was the last check you wrote for? Do you often check your credit history? Each of these questions can help you figure out what fans do in their leisure time, their preferred method of punishment, their spending habits and their attention to spending. Noticing patterns in responses from fans, and figuring out what gets them to engage, can all help in targeting your messaging for the greatest impact.


Sharing content with your fans is an effective way to gain success on Facebook. If you’re seen as an expert in your industry, continually “sharing and caring,” and sparking discussion, then one would assume that the next time one of your fans is in the market to purchase what you sell they’ll come to you.


Everyone loves a bit of trivia. If you know trivia about something specific in your industry, share it. Examples like those on DidYouKnow.org are interesting and can get you noticed. Did you know that the muscle that lets your eye blink is the fastest muscle in your body? Did you know, if a soup is too salty, to add raw cut potatoes and discard them after cooking to get rid of the saltiness? Did you know you can take pictures of a mirage? These factoids are perfect for an eye doctor, cooking fanatic, and photographer looking to engage with their fans.


Searching a keyword in your industry paired with the word “statistics” will show a plethora of stats that you can share with your fans. This is a simple way to engage and share.


Coupons, sweepstakes, giveaways, contests we all love winning something, especially if it’s free. What better way to understand your customers than through a promotion? Gather data, analyze it and notice trends.


Some might not feel comfortable integrating humor into their messaging, but we all love a good laugh. There are thousands of humor/joke sites available on the web. Search them out, and find a few jokes for your industry to share with fans. Or heck, if you’re funny enough, make up a few of your own.


Sometimes, simplicity is the best way to go about your Facebook messaging and social media marketing. Your fans might not want to engage daily (or even monthly), or you might work in an industry that doesn’t support a lot of discussion (think hemorrhoid cream product.) That’s when simple messaging, short and to the point, will have the greatest impact.

Use the information you gather when experimenting with any of the above targeted messaging techniques or unique ideas on your own. What works? What doesn’t? Continue to target your messaging and find the right mix that: 1) engages your fans, 2) completes goals you set for your brand – whether traffic, conversions, mentions, rankings, fan increases, etc… and 3) creates brand advocates for your Page.

What types of targeted messaging strategies have you tried on Facebook? Which ones work the best for your brand?


  • donnie Jul 21, 2011

    Honestly, this is one of the best articles I’ve read on using Facebook as a business/branding strategy. There is a lot of fluff out there written by so called “experts”. I will be keeping this article in mind as I do my own trials with Facebook.

  • Ana | Traffic Generation Jul 22, 2011

    This is an excellent post, Kaila! I do some of the things already, but I really like the way in which you analyse your shares. It would be interesting to see the results. Thanks.

  • Kaila Strong Jul 22, 2011

    Thanks Ana, that’s a huge compliment coming from you!! :) I’ll have to put together a post to show some of the metrics we usually monitor. Very good idea for another post, and I’ll be sure to let you know when it goes live.