Facebook ups their targeting game

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We have made it very clear that we are big buyers of the Facebook Ads platform and all that comes with it here in this blog before. The Social Network provides unparalleled targeting opportunities and if you play the game right and are committed to staying the course, it can/will provide brands with an excellent ROI. We remain, ALL IN!

They just stepped their game up to a whole new level by adding to their already awesome custom audience groupings, that allow you to target people based on an action they took. Previously you were able to put Ads in front of people who engaged with Lead Ads, Facebook Canvas creatives and even videos.  We have seen excellent results, especially when retargeting those who have watched video content.  This is an excellent way to move users down the conversion funnel.

They have now added to this group and included the targeting of users who have engaged with your page, known on the platform as “Facebook Page Engagement Custom Audiences.” This will allow marketers to go into the Ads Manager, create a new custom audience and create a new target group based on their engagements with your fan page during a certain timeframe.

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You can create audiences based on the following types of engagement:

  • Everyone who engaged with your Page
  • Anyone who visited your Page
  • People who engaged with any post or ad
  • People who clicked any call-to-action button
  • People who sent a message to your Page
  • People who saved your Page or any post

Now you can glean more value out of the people who actually engage with the content you put out and better leverage your community management efforts. Brands can zero in on the users who are actually taking time to engage with their fan page, and hit the right fans (or random users) rather than going with a shotgun approach to all fans or friends of fans, many of whom will never engage with our transact with them.

This is a very exciting opportunity for serious social media marketers, and one we will be attacking right away for our clients. For some more detail on this new rollout and a breakdown on how to easily create these types of audiences, click here.

 

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Want to Win? Prepare to Pay-to-Play

facebook-pay-to-playYou may be wondering why your recent Facebook posts are not earning as much engagement as they had in the past. Well, we have the answer for you. In 2014, Facebook has made it clear that in order to reach your consumers, fans and/or anyone else who has “liked” your page, you’ll have to pay some money to the mothership.

“Organic reach” of content from brands and small businesses has fallen to less than 2% of all fans. There has been a steady drop in how far posts from brand pages circulate without a paid strategy for months now, but for some it went sort of under the radar and unnoticed. Brands have seen their posts reach less and less fans each month and in some cases they are approaching a staggering 0%. Facebook says the diminished exposure is simply a reality of ever increasing content competition.

“In December, when Facebook acknowledged that brands would connect with less of an audience on unpaid posts, many reconsidered their strategies on the platform”, analyst Robert Peck of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey said.

So, what are brands to do?

1. Create new and intriguing content and then “push”: Ask insightful questions, share authentic pictures and videos, provide valuable insights and educations, and tell compelling stories. Then use Facebook’s Page Post Engagement to accelerate your reach. Not a lot of $ needed here, just a push in the right direction.

2. Experiment with Facebook ads: You can still generate better results with Facebook ads than with most other advertising and marketing platforms. Facebook has data on 1.2 billion people, and you can target them by interest, job title, age, Zip code, and marital status, to name just a few criteria. You know what’s cooler than reaching a billion people on Facebook? Reaching the right 1,000–or 100 or 10–to best expand your business.

3. Create and use custom audiences: Target specific audiences and message and advertise accordingly.  Like to post/talk about music? Message and advertise towards music enthusiasts who are in your target demographic. Upload your email list into Facebook and then target users or even look-a like audiences who are similar to your email list. You can also re-market to people via Facebook based on their visits and behavior on your website. Strong stuff!

Some people are angry at Facebook for taking this position, but we applaud them.  They need to monetize their data and if you approach it the right way it can be a great thing for your clients or your own brand.  So we say (pay and) play ball!

 

 

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Reach The Right People On Facebook!

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Facebook recently released a new grip of core targeting options that allow advertisers to further refine their audiences in paid social campaigns and gain better insights into performance. Following the update, advertisers can expect upgraded controls over location, demographic, interest, and behavior.

The social network has been rolling out the new features over the past month through the platform’s API. Many preferred marketing developers (PMDs-like Sircle Media) have confirmed that they will reach full integration with the new features by April.

Updated targeting profile: Location

What has changed: Facebook will now offer “flexible” location targeting, allowing marketers to build campaigns for any combination of geographies, country, and city, country and state, state and city, and state and zip code.

In addition, it will also now be easier to exclude locations right down to the zip code level.

Updated targeting profile: Demographic

What has changed: This new type of targeting will have added selection values for relationships including civil unions and domestic partnerships, as well as greater flexibility around targeting events such as marriage. For example, a retailer might want to share wedding registry promotions with someone who has been engaged within the past three months. This would enable that option. Additional targeting options now include information such as job title and workplace, and offer more information around education. These changes allow advertisers to better align messaging and promotions around key life events or affiliations.

Updated targeting profile: Behavior

What has changed: Behaviors are a new addition to the targeting options. Behavior targeting allows marketers to target campaigns based on engagement behavior and the types of devices people use when engaging. Marketers can choose combinations of behaviors and then narrow down for their target audience. For example, you can reach people who listen to music while on their iPhone and are more likely to make purchases online. This part of the Core Audience targeting options will also display third-party partner categories. The behaviors will be guided by proprietary Facebook data.

Updated targeting profile: Interests

What has changed: Hashtags came to Facebook with a lot of fanfare, but have become less and less relevant over time. Instead of incorporating hashtags to try and locate users by interest, the platform is focusing on the overall interest expressed by the network. “We developed a new methodology that increases the precision of interest-based targeting by allowing advertisers to simply choose one segment,” Facebook explains. “If you want to reach baseball fans, just choose ‘baseball’ as your targeting segment and Facebook will pull in all the people that have liked or expressed interest in baseball-related topics.” Hashtags will be grandfathered into these new targeting options if a brand’s current campaign contains very specific interest keywords.

With all these targeting updates, finding the right audience for a brand just became a lot easier and less costly.

For more information on the new Core Audience targeting options, read here.

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Sircle Media Featured on Social Media Today…Again!

SMT_300x300We were published in Social Media Today again this morning and this time we were talking about the new updates to Facebook retargeting and custom audiences.  This is a hot topic in Facebook (and web) marketing these days and it was nice to see us picked up again as an influencer in the space!

Facebook is working hard to balance driving revenue and increasing value to advertisers while maintaing a good user experience for its members.  Not an easy task, but nonetheless a priority.

To read the piece, CLICK HERE!

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Facebook Custom Audiences

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Facebook has just launched a new retargeting tool called “website and mobile app custom audiences.” It allows a business to show Ads to people who have either visited their website or their mobile apps. All businesses have to do is affix a tracking system to their website and apps. and they are ready to roll. The great thing about this new update is it gives the business access to their mobile inventory rather than only having Ads run on the right side of the audiences desktop news feed.

On top of that, it now allows a business to specifically target people based on their gender, geography, age, and marital status. This wasn’t possible for Facebook Exchange, or FBX. The new custom audiences will also be able to remind users that they considered buying a certain item and then link them back to the site where they can shop some more and complete a purchase.

Although this new custom audience tool is great, it’s important for a business to not get rid of FBX just yet. FBX is still the only tool that has “predictive buying,” which means that if a customer was looking at pink dresses, then they might be shown an ad for red shoes. To get the full benefit of targeting an audience, it would be wise to use both the custom audiences and the FBX together. An example of how they could be used together is: “A travel client will use FBX to retarget people who’ve gone searching for hotels and then show them that exact hotel [they saw]. They’ll use custom audiences to reach people who are searching for hotels, but have not downloaded their mobile app on iOS 7 on iPad.”

There also will be an option for users to opt-out from targeting based on its own tracking of website and apps visits. To find out more about Facebook’s new retargeting tool here.

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Facebook Advertising Success-Via Email?

We have been having a lot of success lately using various Facebook Advertising features for our clients.  The “sexy” part of Social Media to most businesses and brands, is the actual marketing on social networks to drive eyeballs, likes and behavior in general.  This is how you get new fans to engage with you and it takes you one true step closer to doing business of some kind with them.

Screen Shot 2013-07-06 at 8.19.38 AMOne particular function that we like is “Custom Audiences” which is a feature in the Power Editor that allows you to upload your own email list (or a segment of it) and reach your subscribers via Facebook Ads.  It is important to note that your subscribers’ email addresses are hashed (encrypted) so you dont have to worry about them suddenly getting emails from Facebook.

You can also create “Lookalike Audiences” where Facebook finds users for you with similar demographics to your email list (but not necessarily based on the social graph), so these are people you may not otherwise have been able to reach. One clever tactic is to upload your ‘unsubscribe’ list, which might bring back fans/customers who possibly like your product, but were tired of your emails.

Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences are effective tools to increase your fan base, engagement, click thru rates and ultimately get more paying customers/clients. Power Editor is an advanced feature available in your main Ads Dashboard.

Facebook has a free PDF guide to Creating and Managing Custom Audiences!! Cool. You can download it here:http://fbrep.com/SMB/Custom_Audiences.pdf

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