Unleashing the power of data
There is no social media website out there bigger than Facebook. There never was one, and with the fracturing of the social media, there might never be one as big as Facebook. We know that Facebook is a great tool to do social media marketing through content, but it is also great as an advertisement platform. The reason it is so great, especially for small businesses, is that it contains much more targeting than anything else.
Facebook: The Data Advantage
There is a simple reason Facebook is able to offer more targeting than anyone else, and the reason is that no one knows as much about us as Facebook. Think about it, Facebook knows how old you, where you live, your relationship status, how many people there are in your family, recent events about you, and a lot more. Most people willingly keep providing data to Facebook in the guise of events and status updates.
No other social media has such an ingrained way of data collection. If you were to announce, for example, on Twitter that you were getting married, it would be done just as a tweet. On Facebook however, you would enter the event, Facebook would display a cute wedding related graphic, making you happy. The difference in both is that the fact that you were married was entered by you on Facebook, while on Twitter you just sent out a tweet like any other.
If you are worried about being targeted like this, you don’t need to be. The good thing is that no one can search for you based on these demographics. You cannot see the people who lie within the parameters you have defined while targeting your ads, you can only see how many people will be targeted by your advertisements.
The Small Business Advantage
This seems like something which would be of help to all businesses, but the truth is that it is more helpful for small businesses than any other business type. Big businesses have always had targeting methods. They have been doing targeted marketing for decades now, they may not know as much as Facebook but they always had ways to fund researches and studies. Small businesses never had the access to data which big business had.
Facebook has changed that. Now it doesn’t matter whether you have a $100 marketing budget or a $1 million marketing budget, because you get access to the same customers.
Ways to Target Your Ads
When you have a small budget you want to make sure that your advertisement is only shown to people who may be potential customers. Facebook gives fantastic options on ways you can target customers.
The four basic options you have for targeting are
You can choose to show your advertisements to customers from one location only. This way you can make sure that your ad is only shown to people who you can actually serve. You can target cities, areas, countries, and other specific locations.
There are a lot of powerful options when you target by demographics. You can use age groups to target your advertisements, you can target gender, and you can even choose interests. This means that your ad is shown directly to your potential customer base. If you sell men’s shaving equipment, you can target men aged 15-50, and other fantastic combinations.
This is the strongest targeting advantage that Facebook provides you. You will be surprised at the options available for targeted advertisement. You can market to single people or people who are married. You can target people based on their political views, what type of a job they have, and so much more.
You can target people who recently got engaged if your business is related to weddings; you can target people who recently became parents for baby items, the possibilities are endless.
The behavior option allows you to target people based on their shopping behavior, and based on things they have expressed interest in buying, such as a home or a car.
Seeing your Audience
One great thing about the Facebook marketing tool is that they show you how many people your advertisement can potentially reach. For example, if you were to choose single men in USA, the result would be in millions. If you were to choose parents of two kids who are politically left leaning in your city, you will end up with a much narrower audience that will be more relevant.
Do note that narrowing down your content too much can be a mistake as well. Whatever metrics you are using and demographics you segment people on, ensure that you aren’t missing anyone. Before you do proper target marketing you need to be able to understand your audience. The best part of doing such marketing is that potential customers who come to you will feel like they are joining a community. If you target the ads based on the demographics of your current customers you will be creating a community open to that particular type of people. This can be a very good thing for businesses. So for instance, if you sell hunting equipment, you can grow a community of hunters on your Facebook page by choosing the right options.
For example, you can select the 18-60 age demographic, pick only cities where hunting culture is alive, pick hunting as an interest in the options, and publish your advertisement. Now whoever clicks through your ad and ends up at your page will like the posts and the comments, because the other people in your page will also be like them.
Converting the customers
Here is something you need to understand; Facebook advertising will let you reach the potential customers, but the work of bringing the customers to you is still your own duty. This means that you will have to ensure that the people who click on your ad stick around. This may mean running an interesting campaign on your Facebook page, or offering some type of sale or discount. Many companies opt for fun competitions which increase customer engagement.
The right strategy depends completely on what type of business you run. Just remember that you have to bring value to the customer. If you are a restaurant make sure that the menu and prices are posted right on the page. If you run some other type of business make sure people viewing your page know how to contact you.
Use Your Page Insights to Target Customers
If you are having trouble figuring out the right people to target then your page’s insights will be of a lot of help. If you have just started the business and do not have many liked on your Facebook page then you will not be able to use this feature. However if you have been running the page for some time now and have a few hundred or thousand followers then you will be able to accomplish a lot.
In the insights page of Facebook there is an option for ‘people’. This option will give you information about the people who have liked your page. You can see how your customers are divided, based on location, age, and gender. If your content seems to do much better with younger people then you can target them with your ads. If your page is a hit with women, you know who your target audience is.
The Advert Reports section of Facebook allows you to track your currently running campaigns. Once you have published an advertisement you can come here and see how it is performing. You can see how much of your budget has been consumed and how many clicks you have been getting. If some of your ads seem to have too low of a success rate you can simply pause your campaign, create a new one that is better targeted, and run the new one instead.