As of December 2017, Facebook Newsroom statistics report that there are 1.4 billion daily active users and 2.13 billion monthly active users of Facebook. These are perhaps the highest significant numbers for any social media network currently in use all over the Internet, and the numbers only keep on growing.
Facebook Ad Targeting Tricks
This Herculean potpourri of potential audiences is precisely what makes it so enticing for marketers and businesses to take their online operations on the platform. It comes as no surprise that about 93% of marketers, with 70% of these representing businesses outside of the US, use Facebook Advertising regularly to target as much of their target market as possible. Facebook itself is continually trying to improve for business use, with innovations such as Business Tools for Messenger.
These numbers, however, don’t represent how many marketers or businesses are using Facebook Advertising vigorously.
You may not know it, but you might not be using this robust tool to its full efficiency. There are still a few tricks that not all businesses and marketers use, but if they do, will boost their efforts tenfold. Here are the top 3 that you should employ today:
Integrating Facebook Pixel
Believe it or not, but you can target ads to people that had visited your website before, even if you had no record that they did — and all you need is the Facebook Pixel tool. This snippet of code will allow you to track visitors of your shop’s website if they have a corresponding Facebook account. Not only that, but it also allows you to target them based on their behavior, whether they are people who walked out of a nearly-completed transaction or are passive visitors in the last week or so.
Using Facebook Pixel is all a matter of extracting the code from the Facebook Pixel Tab in Ads Manager by clicking Create a Pixel, editing the necessary details, and accepting the terms. You’ll be given the base Facebook Pixel code that you’ll have to paste onto every page of your website’s source code, plus tweak it to suit the kind of activity (called Standard Events) you’re looking to track in every page.
After installing it on your website either through a plugin from your site platform or manual code editing, remember to test it out to make sure it’s working correctly. For Google Chrome users, the Pixel Helper extension from the Chrome Store will tell you whether there’s a Pixel found on a page, plus if it loaded successfully, and what kind of Event ID is functioning on it.
There’s more to installing and using Facebook Pixel than is described here, but the main point is that, when you’ve managed to integrate it successfully, you’ll have access to a larger and yet more specific part of your niche that you can target.
Using your Email Newsletter Subscribers
Like your page likers and followers, email newsletter subscribers are the people that are the most likely to listen to whatever you may have for them, mainly because they’ve chosen to sign up for your updates, albeit through their email. This conscious choice is one of your most potent weapons as not only are you targeting people that are already interested in your business, but you’ll also be able to foster customer loyalty by making sure that they are in constant contact with you.
Facebook’s Ad Manager has a feature wherein you can upload your email list, and then use half of that list to deliver your ads to the users whose email addresses are on your list. Not only that, but you can also use this list to exclude them from your ad’s target audience if ever you’re looking to expand your reach beyond the people who already know your business.
For example, you might want to exempt them from the list of people that will receive your email subscription ads, mainly because they’ve already subscribed, and you’d like for that amount you’re spending to fully target people who aren’t in your list.
Targeting New and Likely-Interested Audiences
If you’ve employed a more theoretical/academic (or even traditional) approach to plotting out your marketing strategy, chances are, you’ve created a detailed description of your ideal target market. You might’ve listed all the essential details — from the demographic profile to their behavior and interests, and have used it to guide your brand voice and posting style. If you haven’t employed this strategy, however, you’re still more than likely to have at least an idea of your ideal target market in mind. In any case, this is your first step in targeting new audiences through one of two methods: building a more precise audience profile and building a lookalike audience.
A more specific audience profile requires you to think far beyond the generic categories you would normally attribute to your ideal target audience’s demographics, Interests, and overall behavior. The key is to be as specific as possible by adding more and more categories that Facebook’s algorithm must consider. This ensures that the money you spend on targeting people is not wasted on displaying ads onto the News Feed of those who won’t be as interested in your products under a broader spectrum.
Say you’re an online clothing store owner creating a Facebook ad that will broadcast your newest collection of DC Comics-inspired designs to your intended audience. Instead of using basic categories/criteria such as “clothes”, “shirts”, and “DC comics” in the Interests you’re defining, make it more specific by adding more categories which you feel would be connected to the ones you are sure that your audience falls under. For example, you can add mainstream DC Comics characters such as the Justice League members, events that may focus on this bracket of interest (such as ComicCon), and even competitor Pages that they may have Liked.
This is a more tedious approach to this trick, but it works. Not only does it spend your advertising money wisely by targeting people that are more likely to be interested in your ads than those with just a passing thought, but also helps you build a more concrete idea of what sort of audience you’re going for within your niche.
A lookalike audience, meanwhile, are those whose Interests and behavior are highly similar to the audience you already have. They can either be client lookalikes (people with the same attributes as the client list in your custom audience), lead lookalikes (people similar to those who clicked your lead ads), and fan lookalikes (people who are like your fans). Through the scale that Facebook Ads Manager gives you, you can have a target audience that is 1-10% similar to your source audience.
Let’s put this again in the perspective of you selling clothes online. Suppose you’re trying to look for people who are like your existing Fans but do not necessarily have to be precisely in the same category. Maybe they like DC Comics, but they also love Marvel, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings. Perhaps they live in another country, and you only want to target people in that country who are like your Fans. Setting your Fans as the source audience will allow you to focus on similar audiences more efficiently, especially if you’ve established your audience well as people with common interests.
The large pool of users that Facebook has means that you’re eventually going to be hitting your target niche soon even if you’re just starting out, but if you’re not smart about it, you might not be targeting them as efficiently as possible. But these tricks will make sure that your efforts will not only be effective, but also more strongly refined — maybe even more so than your competitors!
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