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Harness the Power of Facebook Ad Targeting

facebook ad targeting

Are you advertising on Facebook? Although many business owners were upset that Facebook essentially made their business platform pay to play, it turned out to be worth the cost for many companies. They are reaching audiences they otherwise can’t reach with traditional media. And they don’t just get people to “like their page,” but actually get them to purchase their products or services. How do they do it? There are many moving parts involved, but one of the great things about Facebook advertising is its comprehensive targeting options you can use to zero-in on your audience.

Facebook Custom Audiences

Why leave it for later? Let’s start with one of the most powerful tools in Facebook’s advertising suite – custom audiences. If you are not familiar with custom audiences, they are essentially lists of Facebook users that Facebook build for you based on your source. Currently, custom audiences can be created from:

  • People on your email list
  • People who visited your website
  • People who engaged with your Facebook app

What does this mean? Let’s say you have an email newsletter in Aweber or MailChimp. You can export your list of subscribers and upload them to Facebook. Facebook will then try to match the emails on your list with email addresses of its registered users. As a result you will have a list of your email subscribers that you can now target with Facebook ads. And because these people are already familiar with your business, they may be one of the most likely ones to buy from you.

There are many powerful Facebook custom audiences you could create and test:

  • People who visited your website in the past 30 days
  • People who visited your offer/contact pages but didn’t fill them out
  • People who entered your contests in the past
  • List of your current clients

Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences are another nifty tool. They allow you to create an audience based on characteristics of another audience you have. When creating a lookalike audience you specify the source, the country and the size of the audience. The smaller the size, the closer the match with your source audience. The smallest lookalike audience size is 1.9 million, which is usually plenty enough for most campaigns.

Currently you can create a lookalike audience based on the following sources:

  • Your Facebook fans
  • Any of your custom audiences
  • People who triggered the conversion pixel on your site

Imagine the possibilities! If you want to grow your Facebook fan base, you can create a lookalike audience based on the people who already like your page. When you use this audience in ads, you can further restrict it by gender, location and a number of other parameters. This will allow you to stretch your advertising dollars by using them only on people you actually want to reach.

Saved Targeted Groups

Even if all you do is boost posts, you should still go into ads manager and create your audiences first. This way you don’t have to recreate your audience every time—you can just pick from the drop-down and you are all set!

Facebook gives you dozens of different filtering options to help narrow down your targeting. Besides the basic location, age and gender, you also get to play around with filters like income, home owner/renter, parent or not, etc. Don’t ask me how Facebook knows all this about its users. From what I understand it has partnerships with large data aggregators.

Anyway, without going into too much detail, here are some interesting targeting options you may find useful for your business:

  • Job title: sell marketing software to marketing professionals.
  • Type of vehicle owned: sell eco-friendly products to owners of hybrid cars.
  • Charitable donations: get your non-profit in front of people who support similar causes.
  • Financial/investments: market your property to people who invest in real estate.
  • Media/TV Shows: sell your custom chrome rims to people who watch auto shows.
  • Purchase behavior: sell your jewelry pliers to people who buy arts and crafts supplies.

These examples are merely scratching the surface of what you can do with Facebook ad targeting. You can mix and match different parameters to create that unique audience that will most likely respond to your ads. Keep in mind that it will take some testing and fine-tuning to weed out low-performing ads and audiences. But in the end you will have a solid foundation you could use for many future ad campaigns.

Need help figuring out how to do this and how to get started? Our social media marketing experts are just a phone call away!

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