5 ways Facebook can help you target your audience

By Zach Schladetzky / Guest Column

Soon enough, the Facebook will rule us all. We will virtually “hang out” with our “friends” in a “liv­ing room” and then “walk” next door to “shop” in a “store.” That augmented reality future is closer than you think, but as a marketer living in the now, you should know how to take advantage of one of the most targeted advertising platforms ever creat­ed. Here are five reasons you should develop a paid Facebook advertising strategy for your business.

Custom audiences

Building custom audiences enable you to con­nect with existing customers and prospects. They also allow you to reach your most valuable cus­tomer segments through targeted ads.

You can tap a variety of data sources to generate a custom audience, including CRM data or email lists, Facebook Pixels (a tracking code placed on your website that allows you to remarket based on website visitors or actions) or Facebook SDK (the same as a pixel, but for mobile apps). Custom au­diences let you use what you already know about customers or leads and tailor your messaging to drive actions through personalized experiences.

Did a lead visit your website or a specific product page? Got a list of customers who ha­ven’t purchased in a while? Want to hit your direct-mail campaign recipients from multiple, cost-efficient angles? Create a custom audience.

Remarketing is the new black, and custom au­diences allow you advertise to people who have demonstrated interest in your product/service or have an intent to purchase.

Lookalike audiences

What if I told you there’s a way to clone your best, most valuable customers? Say hello to lookalike audiences.

Once you’ve built custom audiences to reach those who matter most, it’s time to expand and capture new customers with lookalikes. You can generate a lookalike audience to reach new peo­ple who share characteristics with those similar to your (best) customers. Facebook can then identify common qualities of people in your custom audience lists and find folks on the plat­form who are similar to them.

Audience insights

After you’ve uploaded your email lists or CRM data into Facebook, it’s time to really get to know them through the Audience Insights tool.

This tool provides detailed information about demographics, purchase behavior, interests and much, much more. On a more detailed level, you can see what music they’re interested in, their education levels, their household income and whether your customers use Facebook on a desktop, mobile or both. You can also com­pare whatever specific audience you choose with the general Facebook audience to see how your group differs from an average user.

Who knew your best customers were women age 25-44 who purchase 44 percent more pet products than the average Facebook user? Face­book, that’s who.

Facebook analytics

For most marketers, the Facebook Analytics dashboard is an untapped resource. Not a lot has been published about the Pixel-based tell-all, but it offers raw, untamed power for those willing to learn.

Facebook Analytics allows you to segment your website users based on events you’ve set up – add to cart, create an account, thank you page, etc. – to drill down and learn everything you can about your best, worst or average customer. After creating custom audiences based on Pixel events firing, you can also create lookalike audiences off of those segments to find new customers.


When nearly everyone has a smartphone in their hand, why are you spending money advertising to the general population when your customer is only 5-10 percent of that audience? Is a tele­vision ad the best way to reach your customers? What’s your ROI on direct mail?

The point is, your brand should invest in dig­ital advertising channels like social, search, vid­eo, display, content and marketing automation, in addition to traditional channels. Advertise to your best customers, refine your message, learn who they are and take advantage of the power within Facebook.

Zach Schladetzky is a social media specialist with TaxAct in Cedar Rapids. Connect with him @ZachSchladetzky.