Facebook recently has started giving more reasons to marketers for making the social network an ideal advertising and research platform. With more than 1 billion users on Facebook worldwide, there is no doubt that we are sitting on a gold mine of data when it comes to activity and preferences of potential & current customers. According to the latest Social Media figures for 2014, 72% of the adults visit Facebook at least once a month, while there are  more than 50 million Facebook pages created till date. The new Audience Insights offering by Facebook empowers us to deliver more meaningful content to relevant audience across the world.

How to get started with Facebook Audience Insights?

Once you are logged in to your Facebook account, just navigate to https://www.facebook.com/ads/audience_insights/ where you would be able to choose from the below three options in order to get started:

If you would want to know the overall audience consumption and behavior on Facebook, you can choose the ‘Everyone on Facebook’ option. However,  if you are only concerned with your page’s audience, you can go with thesecond option. With Facebook Insights, page owners already have access to basic information like age, gender and location demographics. With ‘Audience Insights,’ you can explore even more options which were not possible earlier. Below are some of the features & drill-downs which you can use to your brand’s advantage:

Demographics: Age and gender (18 years and older only), lifestyle, education, relationship status, job role and household size

Page likes: The top pages people like in different categories like women’s apparel or sports

Location and language: Where people live and what languages  they speak

Facebook usage: How frequently your target audience is logging into Facebook and what device(s) they are using while logging.

Purchase activities: Past purchase behavior (i.e. heavy buyers of a particular product) and purchase methods (are they buying it in-store or online?). This data is available on Facebook with the help of their partners and for the United States only.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The graphs are self-explanatory and comparative to the overall data of Facebook. So if you are only considering USA as a region for targeting, the tool will show you your selected options (USA Country selection in this case) compared to the overall Facebook Audience ratio (worldwide data). Clicking on charts lets you drill-down to the specific levels of information that you want – a very useful feature which can let users concentrate on important findings and customer segments.

If you finalize on an audience for future campaigns on Facebook, you can save them under Audience Insights with the ‘Save’ & ‘Save As’ options at the top. This will help you target the right audience at the right time during the right campaign on Facebook.

For example, with the current fever around the FIFA World Cup, a clothing brand might want to see users residing in the USA who are interested in watching soccer games and might be potential audience for them during the tournament. They might use ‘Audience Insights’ to explore users on the following measures:

  1. Country (Residing in the USA only)
  2. Interests (Sports Enthusiasts, Fans of Soccer Clubs/Teams)
  3. Age Group (Users eligible for online shopping)

They can save this selection as a custom audience and later use them for their Facebook campaigns. With a variety of tests, they can also keep this list updated with options that have worked for them.

How can it be used for your benefit?

  • Many businesses use Facebook as their primary marketing tool and this new offering can help them tailor their communication strategy based on affinities and interests of their target audience.. What better way to understand your target audience than with Audience Insights?
  • Operational multi-platform planning can be the key to cultivate user behavior and utilize these insights to plan their campaigns on different digital platforms
  • Audience Insights can be a gold mine of data worthy of being included along with data collected using Market Research. Something which your company can certainly leverage when you have a tight budget and need research on a specific group of consumer segments
  • Cohort Analysis can be a great derivative of this data which can be used  to better understand the profile of your online customers along with their purchase behaviors and affinities to particular product categories

Facebook Audience Insights is a great addition to the multitude of free tools already available, which can provide answers for Brand Managers looking for winning ways to grow and retain their audience. The biggest beneficiaries of this tool would be SMB’s and startups helping them understand their audience and acquire similar users. All of this without breaching the privacy of Facebook users!

How do you plan to use Facebook Audience Insights for your brand?

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