Beginner Guide

How to use Facebook Audience Insights for more effective targeting

Just because emerging platforms are coming on the scene doesn’t mean you should cut Facebook out of your social media strategy. With 2.96 billion active users, Facebook is still the third most visited website in the world and claims its long reign as the most used social media platform.

By digging into Facebook audience insights and analytics tools, you are empowered to effectively reach your ideal audience and filter through the billions of active users on the app. With these powerful insights, you can validate assumptions about your audience, start creating more targeted a/b tests, refine your current audience profiles, and aggregate audience data across profiles .

Keep reading for an overview of how to use Facebook’s Audience Insights tools and the steps you can take to maximize your paid and organic strategy.

  • Why it’s important to understand your Facebook audience
  • Where to find Facebook Audience Insights
  • Different Facebook Audience Types
  • How to use Facebook Audience Insights
  • How Sprout Social Helps You Define Your Facebook Audience

Why is it important to understand your Facebook audience?

Defining your target audience and learning how they use Facebook will enable you to:

  • Spend your advertising budget more effectively.
  • Determine whether the platform should be a high priority for your brand.
  • Develop messaging that really resonates with your audience.
  • Optimize your posting strategy.

To understand your audience’s relationship with Facebook, start by researching the latest platform demographic data. Learn who uses Facebook, how often they use it, what they use it for and if those users fit within your target audience.

For example, according to Statista, 23.7% of Facebook users are between the ages of 25 and 34, and the majority of them are under 44. The app excludes men, with 57% of users identifying as such. Statista also discovered that 97.4% of Facebook users access the platform from a mobile device.

Data visualization of Facebook demographic data.  The graphic reads that 23.7% of users are between 25-34 years old, 57% of users identify as male and 97.4% of users access Facebook from a mobile device.

Tapping into the Facebook Audience Insights tool takes it a step further by showing you your current audience and focusing on your target consumers. With this data, your decisions will be more informed and customer-focused, translating into more impactful campaigns, advertising efforts and manufacturer partnerships.

To get started on engaging your audience, complete this free worksheet that will prepare you to build authentic relationships with your community.

Where to find Facebook Audience Insights

On Facebook, there are two ways to find Audience Insights from your Business Profile. First, you can view organic audience data including:

  • People who liked your Page, broken down by gender and location
  • total number of followers
  • Reach & Engagement Metrics

You can access this data from professional dashboard of your meta business suite.

Screenshot of the professional dashboard within Meta Business Suite.  The displayed data segments the audience by age, gender and location.

Second, when you run an ad campaign, you can access all the data about your organic views and additional in-depth audience information, such as:

  • age
  • Content preferences (best performing posts and videos)
  • device access

Find these metrics in your Meta Ads Manager Ads reporting and audiences tab.

You can also explore how your Facebook ad campaign performed with your different audience types, which we’ll cover in the next section.

What are the Different Types of Facebook Audience?

When you run a Facebook advertising campaign, you have four audience targeting options to ensure you reach your ideal audience.

A screenshot of the different audience types available when running a targeted campaign.  The page is inspiring you to create the one that best aligns with your business needs.  The audience types are Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences, and Saved Audiences.

1. New Audience

New Audience is the default setting option, and refers to new customers who haven’t interacted with your brand before. You can refine this audience by selecting categories such as location, demographics, interests and behavior.

2. Custom Audience

Custom Audiences enable you to connect with people who have already shown interest in your business. Maybe they’ve engaged with your content, visited your site, used your app, recently completed a purchase, or are on your subscriber list.

3. Lookalike Audience

A Lookalike Audience is made up of people who share an interest with your Custom Audience but haven’t yet interacted with your business. Typically, Lookalike Audiences are generated using your Custom Audience as a source.

These audiences save you time, because instead of starting from scratch to build a new audience, you can replicate and replicate the success of your most successful content and campaigns.

4. Saved viewers

Whenever you create a new Custom Audience, you can save that audience for future use. Note: You’ll need to re-select your ideal location each time you use an audience.

How to use Facebook Audience Insights

To get started with the Facebook Audience Insights tool, follow these steps.

A graphic that reads: How to Create a Custom Facebook Audience.  1. Upload a Custom Audience Source.  2. Customize your audience with filters.  3. Zone-in on an interest-based audience.  4. Review your audience metrics.  5. Save and repeat your best performing audiences.

1. Upload a Custom Audience Source

start by selecting Create Custom Audience From the Audience tab of your Ads Manager. From there, choose a Custom Audience source that includes sources you own, such as data from your website, app activity, a CRM customer list, and more.

You can also use meta sources, such as video engagement, your Instagram account followers, lead forms, event participants, and shopping users.

A screenshot of a screen in Meta Business Suite that prompts you to select a Custom Audience source from a list including Website, Customer List, Lead Form, Events, and more.

2. Customize your audience with filters

After selecting your source, indicate additional rule inclusions or exclusions to further refine your audience. The Facebook Audience Meter will tell you whether your audience is too specific or too broad. Repeat this until you get the reach right (the ideal audience size is between 2-10 million people). Further customize your audience based on age, location, language and gender.

A screen with information about your Custom Audience, including the source (this example is Events).  On this screen, you can input the number of days you want to retain the audience, other inclusions and exclusions, the audience name, and the audience description.

3. Zone-in on an interest-based audience

If you have a relatively large audience (at least more than 2 million), use additional interest-based targeting to pinpoint specific audiences. Examples of shared audience interests include:

  • trade and Industry
  • Entertainment
  • family and relationships
  • fitness and wellness
  • Food & Beverage
  • hobbies and activities

Then, add the name and description of your audience list and how long you’ll be keeping it. Now you’re ready to tap create new list,

4. Review your audience metrics

After you’ve launched your ad campaign, review how your audience list is performing. Are you reaching your campaign goals? If not, make the necessary adjustments to your list. Experiment with narrowing or broadening your audience and redefining your inclusion and exclusion.

5. Save and repeat your best performing audiences

If your audience performs well, save it for future use. Create Lookalike Audiences to reach and engage new consumers with similar demographics and behavior patterns.

by tapping Create Lookalike Audiences button from the Audience tab, you will be asked to select an existing audience or data source, select the audience location and size, and determine how similar your audience should be to the original (looking 1% similar means that the audience similar to the original is possible). Once you’ve created this audience, you can rerun your ad campaign or continue with list building.

A screen prompts you to create your Lookalike Audience by selecting the source, location and size of your audience, and how consistent it is with your Custom Audience.

How Sprout Social Helps You Define Your Facebook Audience

With a platform like Sprout Social, you’ll master your Facebook strategy by clearly defining your target audience and maximizing the impact of your audience insights.

Our tools will better equip you to take advantage of Facebook’s native tools, enhance your data-driven decisions, and create content that is tailored to your ideal customers. By doing so, you will increase your audience size and engagement, which are vital to increasing demand for your products. Here are some platform highlights to give you a deeper understanding of your target audience.

social listening

With Sprout’s social listening solution, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technology do most of the heavy lifting for you – sifting through millions of data points to deliver trends, insights and key audience learnings in seconds.

As the profile overview displays, the tool enables you to compare followers, volume, potential impressions, likes and engagements from different Facebook profiles to help you level-set your strategy and prove your impact.

A screenshot of Sprout's Profile Overview tool that compares the performance of multiple Facebook accounts run by the same brand or agency.  The overview compares followers, volume, impressions, likes, and engagement.

Using the Performance Summary tool, you can discover topics that are most relevant to your audience. Find out what keywords are driving conversations and use them to refine your interest-based filters when creating a Facebook Custom Audience.

A screenshot of Sprout's Performance Summary tool that displays key metrics (such as volume, engagement, and impressions) related to a topic.

Network-specific and aggregated metrics

Sprout’s analytics tools speed up data collection and distribution so your brand can focus on important KPIs, inform strategy and prove ROI. The tools enable you to have a complete overview of all connected social profiles from one place.

Use reports like Facebook Pages Reports to dig into audience growth trends, impressions, engagement and post link clicks. Compare these findings with other network results to determine overall audience trends.

A screenshot of Sprout's Facebook Pages report that displays impressions, engagement, post link clicks, and audience growth for a specific Facebook Page.

payment reporting

To test the efficacy of your Facebook ad audience, use Sprout’s Paid Performance Report. The Facebook and Instagram reports highlight campaign-level data for ad campaigns on the meta platform. Trends are visualized against your key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you identify the top performing channels and campaigns.

A screenshot of Sprout's Paid Facebook and Instagram performance tool that displays key metrics like Total Spend, Impressions, CPM, Clicks, CPC, and Paid Impressions by day.

Maximize Facebook Audience Insights to Advance Your Strategy

Getting the most out of your Facebook strategy starts with having the knowledge you need to target your ideal audience. By using the native Facebook Audience Insights tool and powerful social media management platforms like Sprout Social, you’ll be able to refine and grow your audience, which will grow your bottom line.

Ready to gain deeper insight into your Facebook target audience? Start your free 30-day Sprout Social trial today.

The post How to Use Facebook Audience Insights for More Effective Targeting appeared first on Sprout Social.

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