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Using Facebook to Find and Create Precise Target Audiences

(June 2014) posted on Tue Sep 16, 2014

How to find the people most likely to buy your products and services.

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By Mark A. Coudray

I wrote a column for the September 2013 issue of Screen Printing about the social media revolution we are experiencing. For a business owner, the real value of social media is its opportunity to have direct engagement with your customers. You can access the massive consumer and behavioral data and the associated analytics behind virtually every single click that has taken place on a given social-media platform. Used properly, social media allows you to really understand your target market, competitors, customers, and potential prospects.

Since that article ran, a great deal has happened and some fabulous tools have become available for our use. In this column, I want to discuss how to build Precise Target Audiences and Custom Audiences in Facebook, which are used in conjunction with paid Facebook advertisements. I’ll touch briefly on the ads, but my focus will be on how you can identify your exact customer profile and connect with a very high conversion with such users.

Over the last couple of years, Facebook’s search function has evolved from a keyword-based to a relationship-based structure. Instead of relying on keywords as the older search model did, the new one (Graph Search) relies largely on the relationships between the personal data of members and all of the things they have interacted with in Facebook. What makes Graph Search so powerful is the ability to draw conclusions from activity within the target search.

The software looks for relationships that have not been defined, allowing us to derive knowledge and insights that we had no idea existed. For example, if we ask it to find pages that were also liked by those who like a target page we specify, we will receive a list of pages based on complementary and collateral interests, giving us a much greater depth of information about the people we want to target.

The potential for small businesses is enormous. Graph Search allows you to not only find the likes and dislikes of your potential customer base, but also what groups and interests they’re connected to and what their friends and family like. The levels of targeting and customization Graph Search allows you to access present an amazing opportunity to not only connect with more prospects, but the right ones.


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