Facebook unveiled what could become a pretty powerful marketing tool for large multinationals and brands last night. You can now target specific locations and languages when you send out updates on a Facebook page. A brand like McDonald’s could use the new feature to send out coupons to Japanese followers, for example.

Why is this important? “Drip marketing”, or social media marketing — whatever term you want to use for it — has become increasingly essential over the last few years. Brands engage in a conversation with potential customers who choose to listen to them for deals or news. The goal is to establish a long-term rapport so that when a customer reaches a purchase point, they’ll pick your brand. Facebook originally developed Pages as the professional publishing space for companies and celebrities on the social network.


The new feature is built into the status update part of the Page. Like on a personal profile, you can choose to share with everyone or you can pick a specific country or language.


This gives Facebook a pretty serious advantage over Twitter as a marketing tool at this point — there’s nothing really stopping the company from refining this further by adding gender and age targeting (unless it cannibalizes paid advertising).

If you’re a big multinational brand on Twitter, you’d have to come up with dozens of accounts for every single country. That said, with the new location application programming interface, Twitter could eventually roll out geographic targeting.

But it might not be able to go further than that. People don’t give Twitter as much explicit demographic information about themselves as they do on Facebook, plus there are plenty of fake and spammy accounts. (You could probably scan tweets and come up with some conclusions, but the level of overall detail and accuracy probably doesn’t come close to what Facebook has.)