Facebook is Removing Powerful Ad Targeting Options – Here’s What to Do!
Posted at Mar 29, 2018 3:12:00 PM by Nathan Mendenhall | Share
The digital world is rumbling as a result of the recent Facebook data scandal. A quick synopsis is that Facebook essentially allowed a third party to collect and use data in a way that could have influenced U.S. voters. This is why we can’t have nice things!
As the smoke clears from this fiasco, Facebook is left with a tough choice in what to do to prove to people that the company is serious about data security and privacy. After all, if users don’t TRUST Facebook, then they won’t USE Facebook. And if users leave Facebook, there won't be anyone left to advertise to on Facebook.
As a good faith gesture, Facebook announced it will be stripping out advertising targeting options built on the data provided by third-party companies like Axiom or Experian. These options are called Partner Categories and are very powerful when trying to target users based on the behaviors they take outside of Facebook. Using this third-party data is common in the advertising world; however, Facebook was linked to an entity using these powers in a nefarious way, so Facebook got into trouble.
With these Partner Categories, advertisers were able to target people who were frequent buyers, in the market for a new vehicle, in certain job roles, or likely to relocate. This behavioral data is SUPER valuable when trying to meet users with the right marketing message at the right time during the consideration process. This is not good news for brands relying on this information. However, all is not lost! There are still impactful ways to reach your target market with Facebook advertising.
Facebook collects data based on what users interact with on the platform, and places those users in buckets based on interests. This is probably the most basic way to target users with Facebook ads; however, the categories are built based on ACTUAL user behavior - so it’s a good starting point!
Everyone knows that users can be targeted in a specific geolocation with Facebook ads. However, most people don’t know that you can also target people who live in a specific area, people who are traveling in a specific location, or people who were recently in a specific location. This is useful for zeroing in on where your target market is frequenting or spending a good amount of time. It's not a perfect solution, but definitely an option.
Website Custom Audiences
Go ahead and install the Facebook Pixel on your website so that you can begin retargeting people. Take the next step and create a Lookalike Audience from that group so you can prospect for business with Facebook users that behave like your website visitors. A Lookalike Audience is a cost-effective and targeted way to prospect for more business!
Email Custom Audiences
You can upload your email list into Facebook to match users on the platform and serve them ads. This is a great way to leverage your own data and expand your cone of influence by building a Lookalike Audience off of this list.
Engagement Custom Audience
What better way to nudge users closer to conversion than by targeting those who have already engaged with your content? You can create a custom audience off of users who have watched your videos, interacted with your page, interacted with your Instagram profile, or even interacted with your events. By putting these users into an audience, you have a highly targeted group of individuals who have already expressed interest in your brand.
Even with all the drama and turmoil from losing Partner Categories, there are still some high-quality ways that brands can target users with social media marketing on Facebook. Don’t buy into the hype that you should delete your page or give up altogether. Using the tactics outlined above, you will definitely make an impact with your target customers on Facebook!