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Targeted Facebook Ads Become Easier, Making Measurement More Valuable

On Thursday, Facebook announced that easier, more effective functionality for the network’s “Core Audience” ad targeting will begin rolling out in the coming weeks.

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This ability to target users with more granularity allows Facebook advertisers to reach users in a variety of new ways, making it more important – and easier – to make data-driven decisions about your advertising strategy.

Lets take a look at the updates Facebook made, and how both competitive data, your own Insights data, and audience analysis can help inform the ways you use the new targeting.

What Did Facebook Change?

According to Facebook, the Core Audiences targeting options will allow advertisers to target users more effectively based on four main categories:

  • Location – Get as granular as a city, excluding specific zip codes.
  • Demographic – Focus your efforts on anything from job titles to  “change of life” events like recent engagements or marriages.
  • Interests – Increased precision in the methodology allows you to target users based on their interest.
  • Behaviors – Target users based on the products they purchase and the device they use.

The enhancements can get as granular as a city, excluding a specific zip code, or “people who are interested in baseball related topics”).

4 Ways Measurement Can Help You Plan Ads

1. Find Your Current Fans

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Using Simply Measured’s Facebook Page Insights Report, you can dive into the data around your current audience, discovering where your current audience lives. If you’re organically attracting fans from Los Angeles, it might be worth targeting ad content to users from LA. Clearly you’re doing something with your product that resonates with that audience.

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Not only will the Facebook Page Insights Report break down your fans by location, it’ll break down your engaged audience. This gives you a better understanding of which segment to target. If New York is one of your most populous cities by number of fans, but Chicago is a more engaged  audience, you may want to focus more energy on the Windy City. 

2. Understand Your Demo

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There are characteristics that are typical of specific ages and genders. As a marketer, understanding these characteristics and the personas you’re targeting can help you be more successful at your job, and reach the correct audience. Facebook provides this data (included in the Simply Measured Insights Report), and when paired cleanly in a report with your other social data, you can form some assumptions that will help you plan your ad campaigns.

If you’re looking to use your ads to attract recent college graduates who’ve gotten engaged recently (which you can do with the new targeting options), and your page fans are all in either the 13-17 range or or 65+, it’s time to rethink the content you use for your strategy, because your organic game plan isn’t hitting your goal.

3. Find what is working across your industry

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When targeting users based on their interests, it can be easy to focus solely on their profiles and what they’re saying on your posts (Simply Measured offers keyword analysis on all page comments, helping make this process easier), but this only paints half the picture.

I’m a Facebook user, but I don’t necessarily comment on every post, or include my favorite type of cookie in my bio. But I do sometimes, and it may not be for your brand. Make sure you’re getting the complete picture by delving into your Facebook competitive analysis. Understanding the content that’s resonating with customers in your space will allow you to plan your own ads with more confidence. Look at which posts are driving the most engagement for your competition.

4. Compare apples to apples, and question yourself constantly

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Once you start running your ad campaigns, make sure you’re comparing performance of paid and organic separately. Measuring the all-up engagement or reach of your Facebook content won’t prove very valuable if you can’t say “XX paid posts drove XX impressions”. Understanding the value of your efforts in context is crucial to understanding, and optimizing what you do with your Facebook ads.

To measure your own Facebook content, bringing Insights data into clean and beautiful reports that are easy to understand and share, sign up for a FREE trial of Simply Measured today. You’ll get access to over 40 reports across every major social network, including nine Facebook reports that each serve a different specific purpose.

Start your FREE trial today!

Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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