How to Use Facebook Custom Audiences to Target Your Market

Facebook Custom Audiences

Businesses have certainly taken to Facebook. According to Dan Levy, Director of Small Business at Facebook, there are over 15 million business pages on Facebook as of early March 2013 — that’s an increase of 2 million more just since December 2012.

Business have also taken to the advertising options on Facebook, too.  Over 500,000 pages have used Facebook’s Promoted Posts in the company’s fourth quarter with 30 percent of those being new advertisers and 70 percent being repeat customers.

Recently the company has also introduced a new way for advertisers to target their market beyond their immediate Facebook followers.

Facebook Custom Audiences allows businesses to reach customers who aren’t yet connected with them through social media.

Advertisers begin by visiting the Facebook Ad Manager page and downloading the Power Editor to get started.

Use of the Chrome browser is necessary to make the editor work.

Facebook Custom Audiences Explained

How to Set Up Facebook Custom Audiences

Once in the Ad Manager, an advertiser selects “custom audiences.”

When a box like the one above appears, the advertiser can then upload email, phone, or user ID lists to create a custom audience of existing customers.

Advertisers do not need to be connected to Facebook users or have users “like” a specific Facebook page to target them in an advertising campaign.

Brick and Mortar Retailers

Brick and mortar retailers can use Custom Audiences to market to repeat customers. Though the business may have a Facebook fan page, “likes” on that page don’t necessarily reflect those who visit the business regularly.

But if retailers have a method of collecting phone numbers or email addresses from regular customers who buy at their physical locations, they now have a method of targeting these real customers directly on the world’s largest social network.

Online Businesses

Online businesses can use a similar approach. “Likes” collected on Facebook may not be the same as the people visiting company’s website regularly. But by collecting emails from these visitors, the business can then use Custom Audiences to target them directly on Facebook, even if they’ve never “liked” the company’s Facebook page.

Import LinkedIn Connections and Other Lists

Jake Hower of the Multimedia Marketing Show explains how to import LinkedIn connections and other lists into Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature.

Ad Enhancements Coming

Last week, Facebook announced a new enhancement to its Custom Audiences program.

The social site has partnered with digital marketing companies Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom, and BlueKai to further fine tune the service.

Facebook will now be allowing businesses working with any of these marketing companies to use data they collect to further customize marketing campaigns using the Custom Audiences feature. See the recent Facebook Studio post for more details.

TechCrunch recently reported that even businesses not working with one of Facebook’s new partner firms will be able to use new customer data uploaded to the site.

Facebook says it will set up predefined categories like customers interested in buying a car, luxury fashion buyers, and more for any small business marketers to use.

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Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Executive Editor for Small Business Trends and a professional journalist with more than 20 years experience in traditional and digital media for trade publications and news sites. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has served as a beat reporter, columnist, editorial writer, bureau chief and managing editor for the Berks Mont Newspapers.

7 Reactions
  1. I love Facebook ads and I’m excited to see what they come up with as the platform matures.

  2. This is a neat new feature that Facebook has added. I’m not a big fan of paid FB ads, as I don’t fully understand them. However, I can definitely see how this is beneficial and will help other biz reach their goals. Thanks for sharing this with us.


  3. I have been a little slow on the uptake of using FB for my business. Sad but true! I need to get that sorted pronto!

    If you are looking for some additional great advice on internet marketing in general, Jake Hower’s podcast is a great resource. He is ahead of the curve.

  4. I find it odd that a technology centric company such as FaceBook would require you to use the “Chrome” browser so that their app can properly function. I would think their IT department would be able to code the application to work in any browser considering that cross browser compatability has improved as much as it has lately. Has FaceBook taken stock in Google Chrome? Something smells fishy here.