How to Use Facebook Website Custom Audiences

Facebook Strategy

Facebook has come in for a lot of criticism in recent months and years for its advertising platform and not without reason. Many people have gone public with the idea that Facebook Page engagement is down and altogether pretty useless as far as reach goes, even when paying for targeted ads.

There seems to be little getting away from the click farm issue, which if you watch the video on the link above seems to be very valid. Even if you don’t pay for fake likes, it seems that a lot of the time, you’re still attracting clicks from countries you haven’t targeted as farms use likes as a means to mask what they are doing.

However, using custom audiences, it’s likely that you can further target fans based on website data and mobile app visits, which should in theory remove the click farming issue.

Before we get started, a word on buying likes from third part sites. I have come across many companies which it’s as obvious as the nose on my face that they’ve bought likes in order to look more popular. These pages are easy to spot as they have very little in the way of engagement and a quick look at users will show a lot of followers from developing countries. These followers don’t engage.

As tempting as it might be to buy 10,000 followers for $200, it’s just not worth it, as it’s a waste of your money and if anything will drive down reach and engagement overall.

What Are Custom Audiences?

The new feature was rolled out in January following successful testing which began in October of last year. Custom Audiences allows businesses and marketers to retarget followers who have previously visited the company website or mobile app. It also allows you to combine data such as email, purchasing information and CRM information with Facebook’s targeting in order to create more relevant ads.

Setting up Custom Audiences basically means that you have to make an amendment to the tracking script that you place on your site, so that you can segment your site visitors into target audiences on the social media site and send targeted messages.

This means you can use website data to:

  • Reach out to site visitors that engaged with certain content or sections and offer similar content that they will enjoy
  • Reach out to those that abandoned a shopping cart without completing the purchase, perhaps with a special discount or offer
  • Send thank you messages to those that purchased something or used a sign-up form
  • Send information on similar products to people that have already purchased to encourage loyalty
  • Send messages to prompt users that haven’t visited the site in a while to get them back to the website

Getting Started with Website Custom Audiences

Firstly you will need to open up Ads Manager or Power Editor and select ‘Audiences’ on the left hand menu, then ‘create audiences’ and then ‘custom audiences from your website’. You will need to accept the terms and conditions before progressing further. As you will see, here you also have the option to create an audience based on data from your Mail Chimp account, mobile app or data file.

This will generate a new Facebook remarketing pixel, which you will need to add in between the <head> and </head> section of your website. If you’re not sure how to do this, then ask your webmaster or developer.

Next, give your campaign a name and description to remind you later what you’ve set it up for. You can choose to track all site visitors, or specific pages – click OK. You can also choose how far back you would like to track visitors, going back 30 to 180 days and then sit back and wait for the data to be gathered.

Facebook WCA

Once you’ve set this up and given it a little time to collect the data, you can then create an ad choosing the custom audience that you’ve already created, tailoring your message contained in the ad to suit.

tips for WCA

Type the name of the custom audience in the box when creating your ad, you can create up to 200 of them, so you can choose to target those that have visited your product pages with special offers and so on.

You can use data from landing pages that you’ve created too, it’s all just a case of specifying the URL when you create the audience.

Further Tips for Custom Audiences

You only need to add the tracking pixel to the site once and it works in real time once it’s gathered the data, meaning that you can see how many visits that custom audience is getting for each page you’ve set up.

Whilst Facebook has come in for a lot of flak when it comes to its advertising platform, there’s a lot of positive things being said about this feature. It can help to drive traffic to your site, but more importantly, it can help to drive conversions and sales.

It can also help you to strengthen relationships with your existing customers and website visitors. Social media has really helped to make consumers appreciate personalised ads/messages, as proved to some extent by the personalisation of email, which is also very popular. Consumers no longer want to feel that they’re just a number as far as the companies they deal with goes. They want to feel appreciated and if that means that they receive an ad in their feed which suggests a purchase that compliments one they have made before, there’s a much better chance that they will respond.

I’ve not really appreciated Facebook’s general advertising as I’ve felt for some time that unless you have a larger than average budget, the reach doesn’t justify the spend. This has been especially the case due to like farms that attempt to cover their tracks by liking every advertising page they come across. I do think this has improved since the news first hit though, certainly on my pages I’ve noted more reach and engagement when I spend and more quality likes too.

So give Custom Audiences a go and remember, you can use your Mail Chimp account and database lists too.

17 SEO Myths
Kerry Butters

A prolific technology writer, Kerry was an authority in her field and produced content for a variety of high profile sites in her niche. Also a published author, she adored the written word and all things tech and internet related. Sadly she passed away in February 2016 after a valiant battle with cancer.

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