Audience Segmentation in Facebook Advertising

At a time where the largest social network Facebook has on average 936 million daily active users, it’s no surprise advertisers are becoming increasingly aware that social advertising has emerged as the ultimate resource to share content, gain exposure and trigger a desired action.

Though there is no denying that 936 million is a big audience, the danger for many marketers is that they see the big number and wonder why the campaign doesn’t work so well. A little like casting a pebble into the ocean, there is only so far that the ripples will reach.

An important goal for any marketer is to increase marketing efficiency by directing efforts towards the desired audience in a way that will set in motion or trigger a desired action. So let’s look at audience segmentation.

Audience segmentation

Facebook has custom targeting features that allows businesses to prioritise who they want their brand content to reach. Using Facebook to segment the audience allows better allocation of resources. There will never be a perfect segment, however you can categorise what you feel most important and create different strategies to exploit each segment’s needs.

Interested in knowing why you are shown a particular ad? Click your “why am I seeing this” button available in the drop down at the corner of any sponsored ad and you will see a snippet targeting explanation as to why you are seeing this particular ad.

Successful segmentation strategies demand the right consumer insights and intelligent knowledge of the social landscape. Before starting a Facebook campaign you must have clear defined goals and know what your target audience is defined by:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Education
  • Life Events
  • Likes – brand connections
  • Purchasing behaviour

Purchasing Behaviour

Facebook in the past has long been criticised in lacking commercial intent, this changed when they forged partnerships with several data brokers in 2013. These companies have access to endless data transactions each year. The main reason for this option was due to ATYM Market Research that revealed that 58 percent of US Facebook users did not mention a brand on Facebook, so marketers need to consider their activity on other mediums such as offline channels to determine their spending habits.

Purchase behaviour refers to the actions users take away from Facebook, this category can be accessed by searching ‘Behaviours.’ ATYM Market Research revealed that 58 percent of US Facebook users did not mention a brand on Facebook, so marketers need to consider their activity on other mediums such as offline channels to determine their spending habits.

Facebook Purchasing Behaviour Digital Clarity

Lookalike Audience

Once you have your target audience defined you can expand to Lookalike Audience. Lookalike Audience is available when you choose Custom Audience and is a great way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to your current customers. Once you have chosen the audience you wish to replicate Facebook will find you the top 1 percent of users with similar targets. This can only include people from one country at a time.

 Facebook Lookalike Audience Digital Clarity

These are only two examples of how to use Facebook to segment your target audience. The best Facebook targeting strategy is one that has been tried and tested through using several of the targeting tools provided by Facebook. I will be talking about these in my next blog as I am running and testing a live campaign.

Danielle Church
Danielle Church is a BA (hons) Marketing and Advertising graduate from The University of Hertfordshire. She has experience managing several high profile retail accounts and has a passion for spotting industry emerging trends to help clients consistently stay ahead of the curve in the digital marketplace.