Social Fresh recently reported that companies are broadening the audiences they target with Facebook ad content.

A report from Social Fresh, a social media education company, found that the most frequently used targeting characteristics for companies including Facebook are age and the interests of the users. These traits are key to identifying target Facebook audiences for 55 percent and 50 percent of marketers, respectively.

According to the report, marketers typically onsider a series of factors when targeting social content. While certain characteristics are included more than others, Social Fresh found that those using paid social content on Facebook are shifting their focus to reach wider audiences. Targeting content is a critical component of success with any web marketing campaign, but occasionally broadening the reach of social campaigns can help companies improve clickthrough rates.

Other areas frequently targeted by social media marketing campaigns include regional elements, gender and education level. Social Fresh found that companies are committed to the success of their social campaigns, which has led them to test different combinations of audiences. For example, some may choose to aim a campaign at a certain region, with a focus on females with at least a college degree. Moreover, the most successful social marketers are making changes to the content based on the success of their campaigns.

Leveraging analytics data, whether it’s Facebook Insights or another tool, is a critical to successful web marketing efforts.

Brafton highlighted the capability of Facebook Insights last year in light of its rollout of real-time measuring tools to help companies make adjustments to campaigns more frequently and with greater confidence. Despite the availability of Insights and other measurement suites, Brafton has also reported that 27 percent of companies using social content still gauge the success or failure of their campaigns on intuition.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.