Facebook Tools to Target Ads

picture of a dartboard with darts in the center representing "on target"Facebook Advertising: Tools to Target Ads

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent a big “thank you” last week to Facebook advertisers and announced they had reached two million active advertisers.  In spite of the nice “thanks,” that’s probably good and bad news for advertisers. The bad news, we can expect to see CPM rates continue to rise.  The good news, according to AdWeek’s 2014 report, although Facebook advertising costs continue to rise, advertising performance continues to rise.  This is primarily due to Facebook tools to target advertising to specified audience. To better hone your advertising dollar, let’s take a look at Facebook’s three best targeting tools.

Facebook tools to target ads have contributed to greater performance.

#1  Just like any other traditional advertising medium, you can target Facebook advertising using a variety of demographic and behavior data derived from a Facebook user’s profile.  You have the option of advertising or boosting a post and segmenting your audience by age, gender, geographic location, education, connections, interests and behaviors.  If you are new to Facebook advertising, this is undoubtedly a good first step to get your feet wet before diving deeper. Try segmenting your audience based on your brand’s buyer personas then analyze and track your results.

#2 Almost a year ago, Facebook devised a more sophisticated targeting tool  called Website Custom Audiences.  This ingenious tool allows you to create Facebook ads for targets that have visited your website and reaches beyond your current fan base and email subscribers. For example, if you are advertising a discount coupon for Thingamabobs on your website, everyone that clicks on the designated domain, URL, path, or pixel (you control which) within a specified time frame would be captured in your named Custom Audience.  In the future, you can then target your Facebook ads about Thingamabobs directly to this audience.  As with any data, you need to update and refresh it routinely.  People that do not re-visit your website or app within 180 days will automatically be removed from that Custom Audience profile.

#3 Once you have a few well-defined Custom Audiences, the next targeting tool to employee is Lookalike Audiences.  Just like it sounds, a Lookalike Audience will let you reach new people who show similar characteristics to an established Custom Audience or data set.  To create your Lookalike Audience, Facebook uses the common qualities used in your original source data and finds other similar profiles to create the new audience list. Your Lookalike Audience will be available for use within 6-24 hours.

Despite the industry naysayers Facebook continues to thrive and show steady growth in the face of increased competition.  General demographic targeting, Website Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences demonstrate robust targeting tools that continue to perform and keep Facebook advertisers coming back to target more.

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