Facebook Audiences, Part 2 of 3 (Custom Audiences)

***This week’s Xcite Blog is a miniseries discussing Audience Targeting in Facebook. Be sure to refer back to the Part 1 of the series that was released on Monday, as well as Part 3 on Friday!***

Have you ever wondered what makes Facebook Audiences different? Never before have people shared more about themselves than the way they do on Facebook. There are currently 2.8 billion monthly active users on the platform, and of that staggering number, 1.84 billion of those users say they check in at least once a day! Not to mention, two-thirds of them also visit a local business page on a weekly basis. That’s a lot of folks telling you what they like, what they’re interested in, and telling you who they are & what matters to them. Facebook offers two approaches on how you can implement this wealth of information – broad targeting and specific targeting. Broad targeting is casting a wider net and allowing Facebook’s algorithm to find people that are more likely to engage with your brand. Specific targeting gives you more control. You tell Facebook exactly who you want to target and how. So when you ask why Facebook Audiences are so different; it’s because you can leverage information in a way you haven’t been able to in the past. 

Let’s move on to what it looks like when you are more specific with your audience targeting efforts. 

Facebook - Custom Audiences

Custom Audiences

“Your website isn’t the center of your universe. Your Facebook page isn’t the center of your universe. Your mobile app isn’t the center of your universe. The customer is the center of your universe.” – Bruce Erns

Every company has a core of loyal customers who stay engaged longer after an initial interaction. It’s in your best interest not to overlook these customers or the positive impact they can have on your business. How do you continue to meet them where there may be more need for your product?

Custom Audiences in Facebook, that’s how! And of course, there’s a way to market to the customers with whom you’ve built a rapport. Audience structures within Facebook are far more insightful than they often get credit for – they understand how important it is to keep those who have an awareness and trust in your brand in your marketing corner. So Facebook has developed a way to continue to reach that audience far beyond their first conversion point. 

A Custom Audience is centered around reaching your most valuable audience. And what makes them your most valuable audience is that they are the people who have already engaged with your product, expressed and shared interest in your product, and quite possibly gone as far as purchasing your product. Using the data you own, you can connect with, or reconnect with, a group of people who already know who you are. 

There are 4 primary avenues you can utilize to create and apply a custom audience. 

  1. Customer Files
    • These include customer information, either from a CRM or POS system you currently have in place
      • Example: A customer email list
        • The data is hashed and cannot be used for any other purpose than to build a custom audience list in FB so customer privacy is always protected
  2. Website Activity
    • Reach prior customers or potential new customers based on site activity
      • There are options for different attribution windows; 30 days, 60 days, etc. This will depend a lot on how long your sales funnel can take – typically the larger the attribution window, the larger the custom audience will be
  3. Facebook Page Engagement
    • Reach people who have interacted with your Facebook page, watched your videos, filled out a lead form, or engaged in any other activity related to your page
  4. Mobile App Activity
    • This custom audience is comprised of people who have engaged with any apps you may have

Custom Audiences – Real Life Implementation:

  • Reach those potential customers who already have an awareness of your brand
  • Message to that audience based on the familiarity they have with your brand
  • Run social campaigns that require a more direct response from them

***Note: you can also combine a Core Audience with a Custom Audience AND you can layer in more than one custom audience – there is a myriad of ways you can refine your audience using any one or more of these devices that are at your disposal.

Here’s what we’ve learned so far about audience targeting with Facebook:

  1. You can uncover who your ideal target audience is through a Core Audience. 
  2. You can also reach an audience who already has a familiarity with your brand through Custom Audiences.
  3. You can use both of these audience types in a variety of ways to accomplish multiple business objectives. 

Are you starting to see a fuller picture of how social marketing can reach a significant amount of relevant people for a relatively smaller budget than other digital marketing channels – or even better – assist other digital marketing channels in marketing to these potential customers? 

So many doors can be opened through social audiences, especially when you have a better understanding of what they are and how to use them. 


***With the impact of iOS changes, please be aware that branding audiences in the Core Audience structure and Custom Audiences will most likely be smaller than what we’re currently used to seeing.