Though many people lament the fact that Facebook collects a lot of information about its users, it is that information which makes Facebook advertising so attractive. After all, you can target users who like specific pages, who went to a particular college, who are in a “complicated” relationship, who live in a given ZIP code, and much more. You can even target users who have indicated an interest in whatever it is you happen to sell. For example, if you sell dog sweaters, you could probably find a group of Facebook users who have expressed an interest in dog sweaters, or at least dog clothes.
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Facebook recently simplified its “interests” targeting, making it even easier for you to find the precise interests you want to target. Broad categories and precise interests have been combined. For example, if you click on Family and Relationships, the category will now expand to include more precise subcategories such as: Dating, Family, Fatherhood, Friendship, Marriage, Motherhood, Parenting, and Weddings. While that’s easy enough, what if you want to target “brides” instead of just weddings? This is easy. Whenever you are in the Interests category, you can explore, ask for suggestions, or enter a search term. In this case, let’s enter “bride” into the search box. Several options appear including “bride,” which has a potential audience of over 13 million Facebook users and “bridesmaid” which has about 5 million.
While Facebook seems to know a lot about its users, other companies know even more. If you want to get even more precise, use Facebook’s Power Editor. This tool allows advertisers to tap into data from external partners. Currently, Facebook partners with Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon. These third party partners collect consumer data. Facebook uses some advanced logic behind the scenes to match actual Facebook users with various consumer behaviors. This means that if you want to target consumers on Facebook that have recently purchased cosmetics or upscale travel services, you could easily do so. The possibilities are mind-boggling.
Despite having three external data providers, you can only use one external data source in your advanced targeting. Because of this restriction, you might want to explore the offerings of all three companies before you start adding audience criteria to your ad. Note that you can still include Facebook-specific criteria.
Many of the consumer categories are similar across all three partners. To give you an idea as to what to expect, the categories for the first partner include: Charitable Causes, Demographics, Hobbies and Activities, Home, Personal Finance, Politics (US), Purchase Behavior, and Work. Want to target farmers? Look in the Work category, choose Job Role, and choose “Farmer.” Want to target people based on their net worth? Go to Personal Finance, click Net Worth, and choose the income range you would like to target.
Though Facebook has a ton of data about its users, a whole lot more is on file with third- party consumer marketing organizations. You can tap into some of that data by using the Power Editor in Facebook.