Thursday, December 27, 2012

On Facebook - Brands Target More Than A Name

Brands Know Customers Better On Facebook
Facebook’s recently released Custom Audience advertising tool builds a welcomed bridge between "social media" and "marketing" by giving brands the opportunity to leverage customer relationships built outside of Facebook in its targeting process. Facebook advertisers have long had the ability to target a specific audience segment through fairly basic filters but until now these filters just created a smaller targeted audience that was narrowed down from Facebook’s entire user base. Custom Audience ads allow advertisers to include another filter: those who have previously purchased from them or otherwise interacted with the brand in a way that added their information to its databases. Advertisers benefit by integrating messaging with two crucial tenets of social media and online marketing: relationships and valuable content. For users, the ads can offer value through special offers from companies they already use and trust. And since the ads are customized to match their demographics and are based on past purchases or habits, they are more likely to align with the customer's interests and needs. While this level of fine-tuned targeting has been used extensively in email marketing, advertisers now have a way to bring custom messages to a specific audience segment outside of their inboxes. Advertisers simply upload a .txt or .csv database that contains the email addresses, phone numbers, or Facebook user IDs of the group they want to target, such as people who have signed up for a newsletter, customers who have purchased a specific product, or past customers who made a purchase during a certain time period. The list is then encrypted in Facebook’s Power Editor before being sent to Facebook, where the data is matched against information available in user profiles. Once a list of matches has been created, advertisers can further refine their target audience with the standard filters offered to all Facebook advertisers. This allows companies to create highly specific target audiences based on demographic information in addition to whether (or how) customers have interacted with your brand. And these ads also allow advertisers to apply filters that they may not have had access to within their customer databases, such as consumer interests and product preferences. So the email marketing lists created based upon product purchased, purchase date or a customer’s geographic location, can now specifically reach, for instance, single men over the age of 30 who love sports and have purchased a specific product within the past 6 months. What’s more, Custom Audience ads also give advertisers the ability to exclude audience members based on their uploaded lists and previous interactions, helping their ads reach only prospects or potential new customers.

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