Facebook Custom Audiences: The Secret Sauce for Reaching Customers

For the majority of people in the U.S., Facebook is a social network for connecting with friends, following businesses they “Like” and in general an entertainment destination where they spend time.  Businesses, however, can have a different take on Facebook.  My perspective, as one who works with Facebook to help businesses market, is that Facebook is the leading source of detailed potential customer demographic information; making it the number one tool for reaching your ideal customer!

Facebook Custom Audiences:

How is this possible?  Let’s dig into the details!  Each user on Facebook volunteers significant amounts of information that can then be used as Facebook Ad targeting by businesses.  For instance, many Facebook users have filled out their profile and “About” section.  Add to this that Facebook knows who your friends are, what Pages you have Liked, what Interests you have listed, and what you comment on, share, and click on, and the result is a very detailed profile on each user!  This “profile” data is how Facebook makes money.  They allow businesses to use features in their Ad tools that, when used fully, enables a business to  reach a very precise audience.

Put another way, Facebook Ads allow businesses to find and reach their ideal target audience through the use of a wide array of demographic and related criteria including by location, gender, age range, Interests, Pages Liked, Job Titles, and more.  Basically, a business has the ability to reach and deliver an ad about their company or service to a very specific Facebook user.  That’s incredibly powerful! However, that’s not all.  There’s another tool that businesses should consider that might be the most powerful of all within the Ads Manager.  It’s  called Custom Audiences.

Custom audiences allows advertisers to target their ads to a set of people with whom they already have some type of relationship.  For instance, a business can load a data file of their current customers names and email addresses, and Facebook will try to match the email addresses to information they have.  Facebook doesn’t tell you exactly who matches but tells you the total number of matches they were able to identify.  So, if you load 1000 customers, Facebook may tell you they can create a custom audience of 650 people.  This means they matched 650 of the email addresses you uploaded to users in Facebook.

Since businesses know that the greatest and least expensive source of additional business is with existing customers, then it makes sense for a business to use this Custom Audience tool to reach their existing customer base with advertising on Facebook.  They can use this feature to outline a new product or a related product add-on, and of course since the end audience is familiar with the company already, it’s an easier and smoother sell .

As well, a second type of Custom Audience that businesses should be aware of and use is the Website Custom Audience option.  To create this, Facebook gives the advertiser a snippet of code to add to their website pages.  Then, when a visitor to the website is on a page with the snippet, the advertiser is able to deliver that an ad to the website visitors when the visitor is back on Facebook!  You’ve likely seen this before when you visited a website and then the next time you are on Facebook you see an ad by that company on Facebook.  It’s not by chance, it’s a website custom audience ad targeting you!

Finally, one last incredible tool that Facebook offers to businesses in the Ads Manager to help them reach their ideal customer audience is something called a “Lookalike Audience.”  It is really what it says it is, a audience that is like another audience.  Here’s how it comes into play: Let’s say your business created a Custom Audience from existing customers.  Facebook can then make a “lookalike” audience that matches the same demographic profile of your customers, and it allows you to target them with ads.  So, say your customer base was largely females, ages 32-44, who lived in a certain specific region of the U.S. and had interests in gardening and fitness.  This audience held employment titles like Vice President, Marketing Manager, and Director of Communications.  Facebook would then use all their demographic information on users and give you a new audience that matched that same customer profile of your existing customers! That’s the power of a Lookalike Audience, it’s using all the data collection to help businesses find new customers matching the profile of their existing customers.

So how about that for a few mind-expanding features on Facebook’s potential to help a business grow leads and sales?  All these tools are available in the Ads Manager.  Perhaps it’s time for your business to explore the detailed power of the Facebook Ad tools to help you reach those who are most likely to become your next customer!