With 2.32 billion monthly active users Facebook is one of the most effective marketing tools out there. This is evidenced by the more than 6 million advertisers that are active on Facebook on a monthly basis to sell their products and services. But marketing doesn’t just come with being on a platform like Facebook. One must learn to take advantage of the full range of strategic targeting options that the social media giant offers. Sure, some of them have come under scrutiny and have been curtailed in light of recent privacy scandals on Facebook but there are still plenty of targeting options left, which are explored right below.
Of course, targeting and brand awareness go hand in hand. Therefore, it is worth taking time to design a comprehensive brand awareness strategy before delving fully into targeting.
1. Target people that already know you – at least on a basic level
People are most likely to trust those that are familiar to them. And in turn, people are most likely to buy from those they trust. So, it is important to target them. This can be done in a variety of ways like:
a) Email list: Build an email list – first and foremost! And then integrate it with Facebook to put ads in front the people that you’ve already interacted with.
b) Retargeting: It is a way to put ads in front of people who have already interacted with your website. You need to install Facebook pixel in your website. This enables Facebook to track every visit to your website which it then uses to put ads in front of former visitors to ensure continued exposure. For more information, read the digital retargeting section of this post.
c) Followers: Just simply target people who like your posts and Facebook page. They already agree with your brand and like what it has to offer. Just giving them that extra nudge to actually get up and spend money on your brand through ads.
2. Similar/Look-alike audiences
In addition to marketing to people you know, Facebook allows you to market to people that look like (in the metaphorical sense) to the people you know. Marketing to people who share common interests with pre-existing clients and followers means it is easier to get them to act in a similar fashion. Plus, you don’t have to start from scratch because you can adopt the same strategy that has already worked with your previous audience base. Facebook makes this further easy by allowing you to target custom audiences.
3. Narrow down the lookalike pool by including specific interests/ Interest targeting
Original and lookalike customers form a huge base, all of whom may not be necessary to target. In fact, the whole concept of targeting is to be as specific as possible. So, it is best to add a specific interest parameter to the custom audience filter offered by Facebook and only spend your time and resources catering to the specific interest group that is most desirable to you.
4. Detailed Targeting
Detailed targeting adds behaviour to the interest filter employed in the preceding point and allows you to further get into the specific demographics.
For instance, you’re a Pokhara-based niche travel company that wants to market its bicycle tour to young women. Facebook can be set to only show the ad you put out to women between the ages of 22-24 who live in Pokhara, who have an interest in cycling and own a bicycle. Yu may go further by specifying that you only want women who use an iPhone 6s plus. Sone! Facebook only shows the ad to those who log into Facebook with an iPhone 6s plus.
Detailed targeting does shrink your audience base significantly, but it gives you quality customers. It trades in quantity so you can refine the parameters of your search to such a degree that you avoid any unqualified people.
5. Life Targeting/Life-events targeting
This is best explained through an example of a florist. Facebook ads can be employed by the florist to market to those people who have an anniversary coming up soon. Anniversary is a life-event and people often gift flowers to their spouses on that day. This is life targeting or life-events targeting. Similar targeting of people can be done on the basis of their spending history, their travel destinations, the food they eat etc.
6. Look at the bigger picture though
These tips do not fit for all and for every situation. Be sure use these in your own context-specific ways and to best meet your own needs. Here are a few small tips on how you can do that:
a) Avoid recent clients: Although we suggested in the first point to market to pre-existing customers, avoid the most recent ones. They aren’t as likely to turn around and buy from you again because they either just used your service or ignored it (and know why they ignored it).
b) Optimise your ads: No amount of targeting will yield results if your ads don’t speak to your target audience. Choose simple and bold images and write engaging copies that work in attracting the person you want to buy your product or service.
Remember that Facebook is one of the many traffic sources to your website, so you need to place it in an overall strategy picture that complements the other tactics you are employing.
Bonus: Keep following this site for a future blog providing tutorials and explaining the steps to implement each of the targeting techniques explained here!!
TARGET YOUR CUSTOMERS ON FACEBOOK – TUTORIAL
As promised earlier, here are a few tutorials on how to target your customers on Facebook:
1. Targeting via email list
This is done through the creation of a customer list.
How it’s done:
Go to Ads Manager select Tools > Audiences > Create Audience > Custom Audience > Customer List
“Facebook will put targeted ads in front of half of the people from the list that you uploaded it i.e. if you put a list of 1,500 emails (or phone numbers), Facebook will put your target about 750. This custom audience will be used for all the ads that you create.”
This means targeting to those people who visit your website.
How it’s done:
Go to Ads Manager select Tools > Audiences > Create Audience > Custom Audience > Website Traffic
“This feature allows you to customise the audience for targeting like those who have visited your site or a certain page or even target those who haven’t visited your site in a while.
You can become even more specific by defining how recently a person has visited your site (within 1-180 days). This custom audience will be used for all the ads that you create.”
3. Targeting followers
This means targeting to those people who like your page and follow your posts.
How it’s done:
Under connections, select Add a Connection Type > Facebook Pages > People who like your Page.
“You can even put your ads in front of friends of people who like your page. Or you can specify to exclude people who like your page. Next find the page you want, which in this case is your own page, and you can narrow your target audience by utilising the different options that are available.”
4. Targeting to look-alike audience
This means targeting to people that match your audience profile but not directly your audience i.e. look-alike to your audience.
How it’s done:
In Ads Manager select Tools > Audience > Create Audience > Lookalike Audience
“Select the audience you want to mimic by selecting the custom audience characteristics like in points (2) and (3). Choose to put your ads in front of lookalikes of your existing customer base.
Then select the percent of the total population of lookalikes in the region you are showing your ads in (this is the country you are marketing in). The percent range is from 1-10%; the lower the percentage, the more closely your lookalikes will resemble your audience.
Please note that in order to market to lookalikes of your followers, you simply need to put in the name of your page as the audience.”
5. Interest targeting
This means narrowing down the pool of lookalike audiences by including specific interests.
How it’s done:
i) When creating your ad, select the lookalike audience profile from the Custom Audiences option.
ii) You’ll see a very high number of your target audiences, so interest targeting is employed to shrink that number down.
iii) Under the option ‘Detailed Targeting’, put in an interest that is the most relevant to your audience and select from the list.
iv) You can narrow this even further by selecting multiple interests.
6. Detailed Targeting
This magnifies interest targeting of point (5).
How it’s done:
i) When creating an ad, select from the available demographic options to refine and narrow your audience.
ii) Detailed marketing gives you the option to exclude people by entering qualities that would eliminate them from being a quality lead.
iii) E.g.: If your restaurant is advertising to vegetarians, you can exclude people who are interested in chicken tandoori.
7. Life targeting
This means targeting people based on peculiar or particular events coming up in their lives.
How it’s done:
i) In the Detailed Targeting section select behaviours this time rather than interests as in point (4) and (5).