With Facebook announcing changes at the beginning of the year (just organic news feed changes, not Facebook Advertising), many Facebook page holders went into panic. How will these impact reach? How will engagement be effected? Will anyone see my content ever again?

But just like any good marketing plan, you need to be flexible to changing outside circumstances. So if you haven’t before, you may want to consider investing some budget in Facebook Advertising.

Have you advertised on Facebook before? What was your experienced? Did you get the results you were after?

Chances are, one of the biggest challenges you faced was knowing who to actually target and how to find them. With 15 million monthly active users on Facebook in Australia (source) there’s a huge pool of potential customers. But if you have a limited budget, you need to be laser focused on how you spend your advertising dollars.

Before you start any more ad campaigns, below are the types of audiences you can use. The type you’ll need will be based on your own circumstances, but the more you test and measure, the better your targeting will be.

TIP: Make sure you get a Facebook pixel from your account and place it on your website. This article from Social Media Examiner walks you through how to do this.

Let’s look at the types of audience targeting options available to you:

Core Audiences

This type of targeting allows you select your audience through personal and behavioural characteristics. You can target:

  • Demographics such as age, gender, work, relationship status.
  • Location, especially if you have a shop front, or you only want to target people in a specific geographical area. It can be as high level as country or state, or as localised as city or suburb. If you want to target more than one area, you may want to set up different ad sets for each location.
  • Interests which include the types of pages liked, the kind of content posted and engaged with, hobbies, places you’ve checked into, and how people generally like to be entertained.
  • Behaviour like the type of device people use Facebook on and things they’ve purchased before.

It’s important to note that Facebook has announced changes to access to 3rd party data providers, which may impact on some core targeting. (source)

Custom Audiences

You can target people on Facebook who have engaged with you and your business. There are two sources for where this data come from:

  1. Your email list
  2. Your website

This type of targeting is my favourite, as you are using your own data to create Facebook Advertising campaigns.

Creating a Custom Audience from your email list is easy. You simply upload your list in a .txt format and Facebook will do the rest. What you may want to think about is segmenting your list into categories like:

  • Repeat customers
  • Leads that haven’t purchased
  • Hard / soft bounces

This helps you refine your targeting even further, and will help with Lookalike Audiences.

For website traffic, you can use your Facebook pixel to create an audience of people who do things like:

  • Visit a specific page on your website
  • Go to your lead capture page but don’t sign up
  • Abandon a cart
  • Stay on your website for a specified period of time

Again, the more defined your audience is, the better you can target your message.

Lookalike Audiences

Facebook can help you find other users who look like you custom audiences. All you need to do is create your Custom Audience, then ask Facebook to create a Lookalike Audience for you.

Importantly, the quality of the Lookalike Audience is going to depend on the quality of your original data and how you have set up your Custom Audience(s). There more specific or segmented you can be, the better the outcome.

Over to you

How will you change how you target people on Facebook?