Ten years ago, getting onto a bus or a train meant dead time. Staring out the window, having a conversation, listening to music on your headphones, doing a crossword puzzle or reading a book or newspaper would be how most whiled away their journey.
Today, many don’t even lift their heads up as they idly scroll through the videos, updates and posts from friends, news channels and people hoping to ‘go viral’.
What started out as a social networking site only ten short years ago has grown into arguably the most significant global phenomenon since the invention of the World Wide Web.
Around the turn of the decade, many were confused about Facebook as a business. It was a great tool for keeping in touch with friends but how does it make money and how can it be valued as a company?
This started to become clearer in 2013 when Facebook began partnering with data brokers.
The databases of these data brokers held an average of 1,500 data points for every active consumer throughout the world, which Facebook cross-references with the lifestyle information it holds about its active users.
The Facebook of today knows its audience as individuals and knows so much more about its users than just which apps they use and games they like to play.
This combination of transactional data and personal and lifestyle preferences is an advertiser’s dream and here are 5 incredibly powerful Facebook Ad methods you can use right now that you may not have known about.
1. Targeting People At Certain Events in Their Life
Wedding photographers, funeral services and furniture removal firms exist to assist people at major times in their lives and will be keen to connect with people that have just sold or bought a new home, announced an engagement or recently lost a loved one.
Whether an active Facebook user actually posts about their recent house purchase or not, Facebook will already know and has just about every possible option available to target these life events.
Using Facebook’s mountain of individual data, you can put highly specific messages in front of only those people you know will be not just interested but motivated to become a client.
By selecting the Life Events parameter, you have the choice of targeting those at certain points after the event occurred. So targeting people celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary or three months after having given birth is a matter of selecting the relevant life events and time period from Facebook’s options menu.
2. Use Purchasing Behaviour of Facebook Users
As a business, you will hold standard personal data about your customer on your own CRM database. You might even have a section in the freeform notes section about something they did or like. But you won’t know what they bought last week.
Information from store loyalty cards is cross-referenced with Facebook user profiles giving Facebook the ability to create thousands of segmented target audiences based on what they have been buying recently.
You can specify the type of buying behaviour categories you want to access; things like Health & Beauty, Clothing, Food & Drink, Buyer Profiles to name a few.
Then from within the Buyer Profiles you can get more specific. For example, you can further segment those that are interested in home improvement or cosmetics.
You will then be shown just how many Facebook users are the exact targets that meet the profile of your criteria. Congratulations, you now have an audience that likes to buy what you want to sell.
3. Increase Loyalty & Grow Leads Using Custom Audiences in Facebook
A more advanced feature of Facebook is the ability to create custom audiences that allow you to use the contacts you already have on your own CRM database and email lists to connect with via Facebook.
Being able to transport your relationship with your current leads and business contacts onto a social network site will increase your own brand recognition and build loyalty, which in turn increases orders so improving the value that customer gives your business.
This is also a great way to reduce your advertising spend and improve the efficiency of your campagins. By removing the customers from your list that you know your message would not be relevant to, you can avoid any wasted clicks on your adverts. So activity aimed at attracting new clients need not incur the cost of showing it to your existing clients.
To create these Custom Audiences, just upload your email subscriber list or phone list into Facebook in either a TXT or CVS format.
Even website visitors can be uploaded, down to which page they visited. So all those people who looked at page on dermal fillers last week can form the target audience for your next campaign.
You can cross-reference your own list and select or de-select people using other target parameters so that you create an ideal Facebook audience.
As an example, you can now just zoom in on existing clients that earn within a defined salary range, work in a particular industry and live in a specific part of the country to offer them a product that you believe would be of best value to them. So you might decide to only target your more affluent, existing clients with your high value products or send a reminder to those who visited a specific page on your site.
The likelihood of them proceeding with your offer is greatly enhanced because you are able to combine an incredible multitude of demographic points to create an offer that is literally designed for them.
4. Develop the Custom Audience Even More Using Lookalike Audience
When you have developed a Custom Audience strategy, the next logical step would be to use Lookalike Audiences.
This function allows you to reach new people who are similar to the target audience that you have just created. So if you have already created a specific audience for the UK, you might want to create an audience that is a close as possible to your original audience but in the USA.
You don’t even need an email subscriber list to do this. You just replicate your own fan base in Facebook to extend your reach beyond your own limits and still connect with the people that share the exact same profile as your targets.
But what if you don’t have much of a Facebook following? You can get around that with tracking pixels to create Website Customer Audiences that will identify targets who display the desired behaviour to mirror.
You can then take this replicated audience and drill it down to get it to the top 1 per cent of those with similar traits as your original audience - but in your new, targeted country.
Similarly, you can enlarge it to go for a broader sweep to focus on the top ten per cent in that country who bear the closest resemblance to your audience.
5. Layer Your Targeting Option To Get Even More Specific
You can layer targeting option upon targeting option to gradually drill down more and more to develop a highly specific audience.
Combine geolocation, behaviours and demographics and you can create an audience of just one person! The reality is that you would be more likely to use this function to combine data to match up small audiences with an offer or advert.
So you could tailor your message to a household composed of ‘Empty Nesters’, who are partners in a law firm, with a net worth of over £2 million, owning cars that are less than 2 years old who have recently booked a luxury holiday.
You can layer your targeting options so that your offer goes only to that audience that has clear needs, intentions and is likely to respond.
To Get The Best Results, Create a Comprehensive and Diverse Targeting Strategy!
These are just some of the strategies you could use. The best way to know which is best for you is to pick one, try it and see how they work for all the different segments of your target market.
It is also very useful to develop the profile of who you would want as an ideal client. Spending time defining the sort of client you want will give you a ‘persona’ with which to create your ideal audience. What are their interests and character traits, where do they live, what is their income?
Once you know the ideal person you want to target, it becomes a lot easier to get the most out of your Facebook ads and ensure that you are only in front of the people that you know will be interested in your message and more likely to become a client, saving you money and wasted effort.