How to use Facebook to discover your target market
Until recently, marketing was more art than science. It took expensive focus groups and surveys to discover a target market's characteristics, tastes and preferences. Market research was expensive and many businesses instead relied on informal channels and intimate knowledge of the customer.
However, digital platforms such as Facebook have unlocked market research tools for all business owners, directors and managers – large or small.
Facebook provides rich data to business and advertisers who want to connect with an audience and discover new customers. Businesses now have a fast and easy way to offer a promotion, sell more products and connect with a new market.
If you're looking to get started with Facebook marketing, begin with a tool called Audience Insights. This is a campaign planning tool in Facebook Business Manager to create and analyse audience snapshots. These can be saved for use in future advertising campaigns or inform content marketing and social media strategy.
Want to know more about marketing your business on Facebook? Speak with a digital marketing specialist today.
What to do if you already have a Page audience on Facebook
You may have a social media strategy in place and gathered an audience of followers over the years. In this case, it's a good idea to review your current following and discover whether they match your ideal target customer.
This can help you identify whether your social media strategy is aligned with your business goals, and uncover new ideas on how to reach out to new or returning customers.
Step 1: Access audience analytics and select your audience
The first step is to access Facebook's Audience Insights. In Facebook Business Manager, use the menu bar to navigate to Audience Insights under the 'Plan' category of tools.
Once you've navigated to Audience Insights, you'll be prompted to select an audience to start with. Select 'People connected to your Page'.
Facebook will then prompt you to specify your business Page. Note that if no data displays in the dashboard visualisation, you may need to change the location field, which often defaults to the United States. Remove this location or specify 'Australia' if you want to filter out international followers.
Step 2: Analyse categories and Page Likes
With your Page now set, you can see a break down of your audience and what interests them. On the default screen, you'll see demographic data such as age and gender, as well as job titles, relationship status and education level.
However, the most useful insights are extracted from the 'Page Likes' section. This area shows what your audience's interests and tastes are on Facebook. It also shows you other Pages your audience follow on Facebook and how relevant they are to your business.
Once you have navigated to Page Likes, you see a list of the top interest categories for your audience. Conveniently, Facebook also provides example Pages related to these interest categories.
Lower down the page, you'll see a list of Facebook Pages that are likely to be relevant to your audience. This data is generated from what your audience likes across Facebook. This data includes audience size, 'Relevance' and 'Affinity'.
Step 3. Save relevant pages and mine data
Once you've found interests and Pages relevant to your audience, it's time to capture this information for later use. Use a spreadsheet to list competing Pages and store information about each for analysis and future reference.
To do this, navigate to the Page Likes section and sort Page Likes by Affinity or Relevance. Then copy this information over to a spreadsheet and rank each Page, with additional information such as Page URL, number of fans, category and comments or a link to a blog.
What to do if you don’t have an audience on Facebook
Your business may not be at the stage where analysing your Facebook audience will be a revealing exercise. Your audience may be too small or mismatched to who your target customers really are.
In this case, Facebook’s Audience Insights is a tool that can help you redefine and then target your audience.
The best use is to analyse the Pages of your competition and similar brands. You can then extract the data and use it to build the next set of social media campaigns for your business.
Step 1: Selecting audience interests
'Interests' are the best place to start. Facebook collects data on the browsing activity of their users, including what Pages they like and the posts they engage with. This user data means Facebook can categorise users according to their interests and allow advertisers to filter groups of users by interest.
The first step is to select relevant interests in the 'Create Audience' sidebar. If you haven't done so already, you can refine your audience by location and demographic data such as age and gender.
Step 2: Selecting audience behaviours
You don't have to stop at just interests. As Facebook users browse the platform, they also interact with posts, topics and people. These interactions reveal behaviour patterns which can be useful for a business.
For example, some users may be likely to invest in property, thanks to their recent behaviour in liking, sharing or posting content about property investment.
This behaviour can be targeted in Audience Insights, refining your audience down even further.
Step 3: Seeing results and saving a Custom Audience
Just as if you were working with an established Page audience (see the previous section, above), you can save data in a spreadsheet for later use. Sort Pages by Relevance or Affinity and record any other useful information that may help.
From here, you can start analysing what your target audience engages with on Facebook. This information can be useful in brainstorming ideas for content and creative. Or you can save your audience as a Custom Audience and used in Facebook PPC marketing.
What to do with your insights
Now that you have extracted and analysed Facebook audience data, you can use these insights to improve Facebook advertising campaigns by saving a Custom Audience or you can use it to build your content and social media strategy.
Facebook PPC targeting
Using the Facebook Insights tool, you have now analysed audience data, refining groups of users by location and demographics, interests, Pages and behaviour.
After selecting a range of parameters relevant to your business, the audience can be saved as a Custom Audience for use in advertising on Facebook.
Whether it’s boosting a blog article from your Page or creating a conversion PPC campaign, these Custom Audiences can be used to drive better results in your social media marketing strategy. Facebook advertising can be a very effective way for small or medium businesses to create highly-targeted ads to ideal customers.
Creative and content
The data gathered from Audience Insights is more than just a tool for creating campaigns and spending advertising budget inside the Facebook platform.
The data can also inform the rest of your marketing activity, including messaging, creative and topics for content marketing strategy. You now know what your target audience enjoys on Facebook, allowing you to create content that's tailored to them. You also have access to a range of other Pages as inspiration for your own content marketing.
For example, are there topic areas which could be combined? Or ones that could be made more interesting? For example, if your audience loves tips on topics like luxury, travel and food, you could write a blog post that combines the two topics, 'The Top 8 Cities in the World for Foodies'.
Note that Facebook is a platform where users are looking for entertainment and distraction. It's okay for your business to take a lighter tone and incorporate your business message into topics that are 'Facebook friendly'.
Get started with Facebook PPC marketing
Talk to a digital specialist to see if Facebook PPC, or any other digital marketing channel, is the right growth strategy for your business growth.
Looking for Facebook PPC marketing? Speak with a specialist today.