As the great data scientist Spiderman once postulated, “With great data, comes great responsibility.” It was in the deleted scenes, don’t worry about it… and boy did Spiderman know what he was talking about. There is no shortage of analytics data available on Facebook, however, using it to effectively assess and scale your business takes great responsibility.
The Facebook ad platform gives you as many eyes on your product or service as you can afford, and real-time tracking of what those eyes are doing and when. For perspective, that’s data for 4.75 billion pieces of content shared each day, by over 2 billion users. While that sounds like a dream come true for any company looking to grow their business, it could also become a financial nightmare if left unmanaged and unregulated.
In a digital space that crowded, the people you advertise TO becomes one of the single most important pieces of data to keep your eye on, so that you don’t throw your money away targeting the wrong users.
Here are a few golden rules to follow when deciding how many and which of those 2 billion users are the most effective audience for your business:
This audience is the most popular way to remarket to people who have already visited your website or engaged with you brand on social media. They know you, they like you, you want them to come back. This audience is the bread-and-butter for any retargeting strategy to drive users that know you back to your site. Who knows, maybe they come back a couple times, maybe they finally click “pay now” on that cart that’s been sitting there for three days digitally overflowing. Anything is possible!
You have a wealth of user email addresses and information already stored in your lead generation platforms and check-out process, that’s an audience. Those are the people who should be interacting with your brand as much as possible. They’re your friends!
Facebook knows that there is too much data to manage, too many posts to see, too many cute dogs to follow so it utilizes a powerful machine-learning algorithm to match content with relevant users. This is by far the easiest and most effective ways to reach new possible audiences. By creating a profile of the perfect audience, Facebook leverages their unfathomable data collection to create a look-alike audience based on those exact specifications, and for the most part, they do a great job!
Believe it or not, Facebook knows where we are, what we are doing, what type of friends we have, our likes, our dislikes, and so much more - so you can take a guess whether Facebook knows what we “look like”.
Apart from Google, Facebook is probably the only company that houses this degree of low-sensor data about us. Based on this information, Facebook look-alike audiences are the gold standard for matching like-minded audiences into one group.
While custom and look-alike audiences are a great tool to target a group of users that you already have contact with, or have conversion data to benchmark from, that doesn’t give you much room to find some new folks to really scale your operation. The beauty of an interest-based audience is that while these people are not identified as a perfect match for your brand, they are identified as having some key interests that you can target based on your product or service. It’s pretty safe to say that someone who identifies as an athlete, might be interested in workout equipment, in the same way that an expecting couple might be looking for nursery furniture or daycare options. For a business in its infant stages of growth, an interest-based audience is key to getting new eyes on the prize.
On a platform where every 60 seconds 293,000 status updates are uploaded, 136,000 photos are posted, and 510,000 comments are made, cutting through this noise can be harder than understanding mumble rap, but Facebook gives you just the tools to do it… the cutting through the noise… not the mumble rap.
Harnessing and understanding the audience data available to you is integral to the success of your business and the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Spiderman was right, having the data doesn’t mean you can avoid the responsibility of understanding it… maybe that’s what Uncle Ben wanted him to know all along.