Understanding Facebook audience targeting for business growth.
I will be forever stunned by Facebook. It is so good at what it does.
The up-to-date view it gives you of every person and interest in your life is endlessly alluring - and just plain fun! And that’s just on the personal side.
To truly understand Facebook’s capabilities, get to know the advertising power it offers to businesses.
Facebook generated $27 billion in advertising revenue last year! There’s a reason so many businesses are spending money to advertise on Facebook. It has 2 billion users, and quality information on each.
Many Facebook users voluntarily share information about their age, location, relationship status, and career on their profiles. Facebook also gleans a ton of information from users based on what they post, what they like, what pages they follow, and where they are logged in from.
With all of this data, Facebook has thoughtfully designed ad targeting capabilities that are unmatched. Here’s how your business can take advantage.
Create an audience
When you use Facebook for business advertising, you’ll get to know its Ads Manager platform. From Ads Manager, you can create the look and message of your ad and determine the ad’s audience.
Audiences can be broad, or hyper-targeted. Determining the level of targeting is a balancing act. Ads that are too targeted will reach fewer people, while broadly targeted ads will reach more people, but maybe not all the right people.
I recommend targeting precisely.
You can create multiple audiences, save them for ongoing use, modify them, and compare their responses to your ads.
Let’s look at each of Facebook’s targeting capabilities:
- Location - If you have a physical storefront, location will be one of your key targeting variables. Ad Manager lets you pinpoint your business location and choose a mile radius around your business that you want to advertise to. Your ad will appear to people who are on Facebook within that radius.
Facebook lets you choose whether to advertise to everyone within the radius, or a subset. Subset options include local residents, new local residents, and visitors to an area. The visitor option is perfect for businesses that serve a tourist market. It targets people who have checked-in or been tagged in a location that isn’t their primary place of residence.
- Demographic - Simply age and gender.
- Interests - Here’s where it gets, well, interesting. Many Facebook users self-identify in their profile what their hobbies and interests are. But Facebook also continually collects data on users’ activity on Facebook. What users are posting about, liking, following, and commenting on creates data that classifies users based on interest.
Advertisers can choose the interest they want to target. Facebook will suggest interests to target once you get started targeting.
Facebook also uses data from third-party platforms that identify users’ purchasing behaviors for the benefit of advertisers.
- Connection to you - You can include or exclude people from your audience based on their level of engagement with your company. Facebook also lets you target the friends of people who follow your page or have engaged with your posts.
Facebook does not allow you to directly target the followers of a specific competitor, but by using the interest targeting mentioned above, you can come pretty close to reaching a competitor’s following.
Preparing for launch
Ad Manager offers mobile- and desktop-view previews of your ad so you can tweak as needed before it launches.
Then, set a budget and time-frame for your ad, and you are ready to go! Facebook will estimate the number of people who will see your ad based on the budget you submit, the timeframe, and the targeting you have set.
Want to learn more about Facebook advertising? Facebook’s educational platform, Facebook Blueprint, offers dozens of free classes that walk you through the basics of using Facebook for Business.
Thanks for stopping by,
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