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Experience Counts

31 October 2018

Make data your friend: developing Facebook audiences


Gif connecting people


Digital marketing is kind of creepy. You’re basically gathering as much information about users (age, demographics, buyer behaviour etc.) so you can advertise relevant things to them. Now, I don’t encourage being a creep, but hey, relevant marketing is important. With powerful platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn (to mention a few) you’re able to gather a LOT of useful marketing data about your target markets.

In this blog post, I’m going to run through some pretty cool functionalities for Facebook Ads to help you get to know your audience a little bit more. Think of this as a crash course on getting to know your users… in a ‘not weird’ way.

So, starting with the basics there are three types of audiences on Facebook; core, custom and lookalike. At a high level; a custom audience can be imported from existing data (your CMS, website etc.) and a lookalike audience is cloned from existing custom data. On the other hand, core audiences allow you to select granular targeting for the audience you want to advertise to. But where can you get this data on Facebook you ask? Well, I’d be delighted to share it with you.

There are some pretty cool resources out there to give you fairly accurate data of your industry. Some I like to use are; ‘Future of Business Survey’ or ‘Facebook IQ’.

The Future of Business Survey from Facebook can help you to identify opportunities (or weaknesses) in specific industries. There are a total of 10 KPIs measured in this survey and when they are used in the right way you can unlock some pretty neat data. For example, you can look up challenges, business status and expectation, employee development and more.

Graph of 'Most Important Challenges' for various industries in Australia

Example data sample (above)


Facebook IQ is an extremely valuable resource for any marketer on social media. You have direct access to consumer and advertising insights specific to your industry. If you haven’t explored this, I’d highly recommend spending some time getting to know this tool.

Articles for the Entertainment & Media Industry on Facebook IQ

Example of Facebook IQ for Entertainment & Media industry (above)


Once you have aggregated all of your audience data into one source of truth, that’s when you can develop your social personas. Social personas are extremely valuable for your campaigns as they are an excellent reference when you’re setting up targeting and understanding how to construct your message and tone of voice.

I know what you’re thinking, “s&%$ there’s actually a lot involved in understanding your audiences” but I guarantee you, the benefits are worth it. With a defined representation of your audience, you can develop accurate targeting (meaning less advertising spend as your money isn’t being wasted on irrelevant markets), your message will be more relevant and your boss will love you… well, maybe, I can’t promise that last one.

Finally, I’m going to leave you with a couple of tips to keep in mind when you’re setting up your audiences and ad placements.

Pro tips:

  1. Is your audience a bit sensitive? You can avoid having ads show up next to, let’s say conflicting ads by excluding placement categories.
  2. If you’re afraid all your audiences will overlap when you have multiple campaigns running, check out the Facebook audience overlap functionality to see where the crossover is.
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