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All the single ladies! Or how to target segments of your audience on Facebook

Last year I started working on a documentary set in the Amazon, working together on the social outreach campaign with a Venezuelan team keen to post in Spanish. No problem, I thought. Surely Facebook will give us the option to localize posts? Think again. The local post functionality was only available in the US at the time which left us with little choice but to post in multiple languages. The site soon found itself in muddy waters leaving our online community confused.

Enter Facebook Geo Targeting, now available in Europe! Facebook now gives you the option to target your posts by location, language or even gender, relationship status, education, interests and age. Here’s how:

  1. On the admin panel of your fan page go to edit page > edit settings > then tick the box at post privacy gating. This will allow you to control the privacy of new posts & will add the audience selector.
  2. Now you can geographically target your post. To set this, click the icon below the status update text box which is likely defaulted to ‘Public’, then select Location / Language: how-to-geographically-target-facebook-location
  3. Or target your post by language. This can be useful if you’d like to provide custom marketing to specific groups, such as Italian communities within the UK, or multiple Spanish speaking countries: tips-to-localize-facebook-post-language
  4. Or, click on the crosshair / location icon directly below and left of the text box and target your post to certain demographics. This could help when promoting an over-age classified film. tips-to-localize-facebook-post-targeting-audience

Localizing posts can also work well when you’re touring festivals or not planning on a worldwide simultaneous release. I’ve joined many films’ communities on Facebook and start to wander off when my timeline fills up with updates on screenings in Mexico, Tokyo or Spain. Sure, it’s exciting to share your film’s been selected to yet another far-away festival – who even knew it existed?! – but as a UK-resident it is unlikely I will make it to the screening. I simply stop engaging with the fan page resulting in a decreasing EdgeRank on your end…

It can be quite tricky, promoting your film to more than one language territory. If you want to release in Europe outside of the festival circuit you’re dealing with over 23 of them. Surely you can talk to your audience in plain ol’ English but take my Dutch word for it: people prefer to talk in their mother tongue. In fact, when I partnered up with our Belgian department on releases in Dutch speaking regions (FYI – Dutch & Flemish are the same language) we still had to finetune the cultural differences. Subtle changes in subtitles, the campaign’s tone of voice and even artwork can make the world a difference. By sticking with a generic English approach, your campaign will get stuck in shallow waters so if you feel the market’s got potential to dig deeper, than partner up with someone local.


Thanks to Chris Silver Smith & his blog’s community for giving me some good pointers on crafting local updates.

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