Facebook audiences and how to use them

Rob Laver | 23rd October 2018 | Paid Media

30% of the global population now use Facebook, with 2.2 billion people worldwide now using the social media platform.

With the scale of the audience available, it has become imperative for businesses to utilise Facebook as a marketing platform.

Through Facebook Ads, you are able to create and run PPC marketing campaigns designed to attract new customers to your site, product or service.

One of the primary ways to serve your ads to potential customers is through Facebook audience targeting, which you can utilise to help achieve your business goals.

What is Facebook audience targeting?

The main difference between Facebook advertising and other ad platforms is the lack of intent from the user on Facebook. It is unlikely that a Facebook user is going to browse the platform purely seeking a product or service.

As such, you must build audiences to target based on location, demographic, interests and/or behaviour. Employing these targeting methods will ensure your ad campaign appears in front of potentially interested users.

Location targeting

Much like other platforms, you can target Facebook users based on location, including:

  • Country
  • Region
  • County
  • Postcode
  • By address radius

To further hone your chosen location you can choose to include:

  • Everyone in the specified location – the last updated location of a Facebook user
  • People who live in the specified location – set by the Facebook user and confirmed by their IP address
  • People who have recently been to the specified location – tracked by mobile device usage in the geographic area you intend to target
  • People travelling to the specified location – users who had this geographic area as a recent location that’s at least 100 miles away from their home location

Demographic-based targeting

The 3 basic targeting options are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language

Facebook also provides detailed demographic targeting, from job titles to political views and many more.

Interest-based targeting

Interest-based targeting is perhaps the most popular targeting tactic used on Facebook – and close to the keyword targeting used in Google Ads and Bing Ads.

This interest-based targeting is sourced from:

  • Facebook users’ likes and interests
  • Apps they use
  • Pages they’ve liked

You are able to break down the product or service being advertised into the industries or interests that are closely related.

Adding as many related interests related to your product or service as possible will broaden your reach and ensure your adverts show to as many relevant people as possible.

Behaviour-based targeting

Behaviour targeting allows you to reach users based on:

  • Their purchase history
  • Events they like
  • Personal anniversaries

Facebook gathers this data by analysing various user factors and also through external data sets.

Facebook custom audience targeting

This is by far your most valuable targeting method on Facebook. Using this audience advertisers can re-target adverts to users who have:

  • Visited the business’ website
  • Engaged with content
  • Used an app

A primary way to re-target on Facebook is to use the Facebook Pixel – a piece of code that is added to all pages of your website.

Subsequently when a user then lands and browses the site, the Facebook Pixel captures this data, which can then be used to re-target them on Facebook.

It is possible to be more granular than just all pages on your site, depending on the advert you’re displaying on Facebook.

You can target users who visited specific web pages or even users who haven’t been on your website for a period of time. There are many variations to test and utilise.

Facebook lookalike audience targeting

Lookalike audiences are fed from your custom audiences. An audience list will be very similar to your custom audience, which is beneficial as this lookalike audience is also highly likely to convert.

Despite Facebook lacking user intent, there are many ways for advertisers to created highly engaging and very well targeted adverts which capture users’ attention.

It’s best to test different targeting methods and utilise as many of them as possible in your paid social campaigns to maximise your ROI.

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