Organic social targeting for PR SEO practitioners gets smarter

Organic social targeting for PR SEO practitioners gets smarter

Christian Sharp

Christian Sharp

4600503019_368e08f915_oI can picture the scene. It’s about 2010. I’m an account manager talking to a client about a case study for an educational institution using new HR software. We’re talking about target media. It sounds obvious, but I recommend HR, education tech and tech trade press.

You know what I don’t recommend? Talking to every Tom, Dick and Harry about the news. It’s not going to go to the guys at Utility Week. Nor did I recommend the Daily Mail.

Knowing who your audience is, what they like, dislike and how they consume media is central to almost every good communications strategy.

But social media isn’t like this at the moment. Unless you pay, or engage 1:1, there’s no middle ground for brands. It’s like blurting out your company news to a roomful of strangers.

Of course, paid social gives brands a significant advantage; on some networks, you can do ‘dark’ posts targeted at a specific audience, so that they don’t show up on your core feed. You can aim specifically at audiences of just ten people on another. But the free / organic side of things has been less targeted.

Until now.

Facebook has taken the first bold step of offering segmentation by interest for organic posts, which is ideal for helping certain updates reach certain parts of your following. For example, clothing retailers can now release updates about men’s clothes vs. women’s clothes and make sure that they only reach each group with the right update.

And whilst there’s a hefty caveat - Facebook says that it’s only ‘more likely’ that posts will reach the intended audience - it’s a step in the right direction.

If all the other social channels start taking similar steps, then this represents a very exciting step for the industry. Before too long, we could be seeing smarter, non-broadcast, targeted organic communications for big social networks.

And that’s not something that PRs can afford to ignore.

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