What makes Facebook so great is that people are comfortable sharing things about themselves in a public forum … although they may be sharing a little too much about themselves sometimes. As friends of over-sharers, it’s normal to get annoyed. But as marketers, we see TMI as a great way to understand our customers better. It’s just a matter of harnessing all those baby photos and political posts into something useful.

Even though Facebook has been a part of our lives for the better part of a decade, we’re still trying to master its “Ad” engine. Even for those who have been advertising on Facebook since it became a thing, there are still secrets that could take your campaigns to the next level. Here are some of our favorite Facebook advertising features:

1. Custom Audiences

Facebook Custom Audiences is a great way to increase visibility and reach. Basically, it allows marketers to target everyone who has recently visited their website or purchased a specific product or service, which is perfect for retargeting. For example, you could target people who recently purchased a new iPhone and upsell them iPhone cases, screen covers, chargers, apps, etc.

When creating your custom audiences, you can choose from “anyone who visits your website,” “people who visit specific web pages,” “people visiting specific web pages but not others,” and “people who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time,” or you can create a custom combination. If you use offline conversion tracking for Facebook, you can even create a custom audience based on a phone call and what happened during the call.

Audience Insights on Facebook also takes profiling your audiences to the next level. You can learn more about your customers’ characteristics depending on what platform they visited before buying from you.

2. Scheduled Campaigns

If you have your Facebook ads running 24/7 and feel like your social budget is going down the drain, there’s a better way—schedule your campaigns during the most profitable times. But how do you do this?

First, determine what days and times your Facebook ads get the best response – online and offline. Then go into “Ad Scheduling” in the Facebook menu to choose the blocks of time when you want to run your ad. Remember, ads will show in your audience’s time zone, not yours, so you don’t need to change your schedule based on geography.

By scheduling your Facebook ads, you’re sure to serve ads when your target audience will actually see them, which will save you money. And if you run ads with call options, you can schedule your ads to run only when your call center/sales reps are available to take calls.

3. Offline Conversions

Facebook is no longer just for online conversions. Marketers can now optimize their Facebook ad campaigns for the entire omnichannel customer journey. And when you consider that 63% of people complete a purchase offline after searching online, it’s critical that marketers track both online and offline activities. Now marketers can use Facebook’s Ad Manager to easily track online and offline events, like phone calls and in-store purchases.

For more comprehensive offline conversion data, you can integrate a call intelligence solution with your Facebook dashboard. It is a great way to close the online/offline gap when tracking the customer journey. By integrating a call intelligence solution with Facebook, marketers can access:

  • Granular attribution down to the ad level
  • Greater insights into target audiences
  • Call data inside Facebook reporting

This makes it possible for marketers to see the entire customer journey regardless of where it begins or ends. It also brings us one step closer to understanding the omnichannel journey.

4. Estimated Audience Size

When it comes to reaching different audiences, we usually pay more attention to audience behaviors/interests than audience size, but we need to be paying attention to both in order to hit the sweet spot. If your audience size is too small, you won’t get the reach you want. But if your audience size it too big, your ads will be buried under competitor ads with bigger budgets.

What’s nice about Facebook is that it gives you an estimated size/reach while you build your campaign. So you can watch your estimated reach increase or decrease in real-time depending on what parameters you select. It’s a great way to gauge whether your campaign is meeting the correct criteria.

5. Ad Variations

Using Facebook’s Power Editor, you can generate multiple ad variations with just a few clicks. It’s kind of amazing. By clicking “generate variations” in the Power Editor menu, Facebook will then mix and match elements of your ads to create diverse ad variations based on the Advertisement types and Placement. Now you don’t have to have your creative team create countless different ads to test against each other; Facebook will take care of it for you.

6. Audience Insights

Audience Insights++ is a sneaky little feature that provides additional customer information about your USA-based customers. You can easily view crucial customer information like:

  • Household size
  • Income bracket
  • Spending habits over the Internet
  • And types of vehicles driven

Once you have this information, there are so many ways you can customize your ads to resonate with specific audiences. The only bummer is that this information is only available for your U.S. customers.

If Facebook is part of your social strategy (it probably should be), start implementing some of these features into your campaigns. I’m sure you’ll see positive results. And if you already knew about these features, I’m sure Facebook has more tricks up their sleeve, so go find them, and take your Facebook game to the next level.