Facebook is giving businesses new options when it comes to targeting the social network’s one billion users worldwide. The new core audience targeting includes deeper options inside the four basic Facebook targeting choices: location, demographics, interests and behaviors.
Facebook’s appeal to marketers is its ability to reach not only extremely large groups of people quickly, but also its ability to drill down into those groups and specifically target different audiences with tailored messages. Facebook can do this because of the massive amount of data it collects and holds on every user including everything from age and location, to which TV shows people watch, to the timing of life events like weddings or graduations. This type of audience targeting is why brands should have a social section of their advertising budget, it allows for a level of specification that transitional outlets like TV and radio can’t offer.
Location: Facebook has had location-based targeting available to brands for a long time, but now brands have more options that make it easier to create comprehensive campaigns. The new, flexible options allow marketers to build campaigns around combinations of locations. For example, if a business wants to send an ad to everyone in the state of Arkansas and San Antonio, Texas they can now do that. It is also now easier to exclude specific areas as well. Marketers can now send paid ads to everyone who lists Phoenix as their home, but can exclude people to live in the 85032 zip code, or everyone in France except for Paris.
Demographics: New options now available for businesses include targeted ads based on education level, job title and life events. For instance, B2B-based businesses can direct Facebook ads toward people who list themselves as CEOs, managers or marketing executives. At the same time, a business that wants to focus ads on college graduates, or even graduates or a specific college can now do that as well.
The life event options add a new element to Facebook advertisers. Until now, businesses that wanted to specifically target groups like a newly married couples had to use a series of assumptions that included indicators such as new likes. Now, businesses can specifically target someone who got engaged in the last three months or married in the past year. Businesses that could take advantage of this option include caterers that focus on weddings, furniture stores that cater to young couples and even mortgage companies that help people buy their first homes.
Interests: One of the most popular ways for advertisers to target Facebook users is based on their interests. Before now, if a business wanted to target everyone who enjoys fashion, they would have to research and select multiple interests like fashion shows, shopping and dozens of specific brands. Now, advertisers can simply choose a category, such as fashion, and Facebook will populate the fields automatically, reducing guesswork and time while still reaching the desired target audience.
Behaviors: Another new option for Facebook advertisers is targeting based on the devices they use and the products they purchase away from the social networking site. For instance, businesses can now target people who use a Motorola phone and bought shoes. This could be especially valuable for companies that spend money on retargeting. This feature can be accessed through Facebook’s Partner Categories, which is now being offered in the U.S.
Increasing Organic Reach with Page Tags
Another new announcement from Facebook will help businesses looking to increase their organic reach through the use of collaborations and celebrity endorsements.
Starting now, when one page tags another page in a post, it will be shown to people who like or follow both pages. Below is an example from Facebook. Before the change, the post would have only be shown to followers of the Bleacher Report. Now it will go to followers of Dwight Howard and James Harden in addition to Bleacher Report fans. If someone happens to follow all three, Facebook will see that as an indication that the post is extremely relevant to that user, making it more likely to be added to their news feed.
For marketers, this means new opportunities to create larger audiences for non-promoted posts. While a business may have thousands of followers, a celebrity could have tens of millions. A brand pairing up with someone like Dwight Howard has the ability to reach a much larger audience than that brand posting alone. The new feature only works between Pages, meaning the average Facebook user could not expand his or her audience by tagging a Page when posting.
Paid social advertising has the ability to influence very specific groups of consumers with audience specific content unlike traditional advertising. Facebook’s new targeting options allow companies to go after smaller groups in an easier and more efficient manner. The more specific an advertisement can be, in both targeting and content, the more effective it can be at delivering results such as clicks, likes and sales.