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Creating Facebook AudiencesEveryone’s on Facebook, right? Almost. Researchers at eMarketer.com estimate more than half of Americans will use Facebook in 2016. Increasingly, this digital town square is where businesses and customers form lasting social bonds. If you’re looking for RV fans who also like bungee jumping and Netflix, for example, you can find them there. However, in order to appeal to the right audiences on Facebook, you will need to know about the ad manager, a tool provided to anyone with a business page.

Start Warm to Get Hot

Creating Facebook AudiencesInstead of guessing who to target on Facebook, compile a list of emails for those who’ve already liked your page, have visited your business in person, attended events, entered contests or responded to surveys. If you already use email marketing, most of your work is already done. Make a .CSV file (try exporting one from Outlook or another email client) and move on to the Facebook Ad Manager. From there, you can upload the .CSV file and create a custom audience. When making an ad, you’ll see the custom audience listed as an option. You can even tweak it with the demographics tool, choosing only women, specific age ranges or those in a certain locale.

Reflect and Expand

lookalikeAfter making a custom audience based on your own data, find more people like them and expand your reach by creating a lookalike audience. It sounds a little sci-fi, but a lookalike audience is just a group whose interests, ages, lifestyles and incomes mirror those on your original list. Think of them as “friends of friends.” The key difference? The lookalike audience doesn’t know who you are — not yet, anyway. Use your ad to direct these newcomers to your website and funnel them in with a special offer, ebook or webinar. Another smart move is to track your new website traffic with the Facebook tracking pixel — it’s a block of code to paste into the header tag. Once the pixel is present on your web pages, your Facebook ad traffic will be visible in the Ad Manager and you can create even more precise audiences for future ads.

Don’t Supersize It

For best results, social media expert Ed Leake advises keeping your audience between 300,000 and one million people. Because lookalike audiences can be very large, use the scaling tool in the Ad Manager to capture only 1 percent of those available. Also, remember you can make more than one lookalike audience. Try one based on the pixel results from your website and another based on your email list. Tweak each according to the demographics you prefer. Note that inside each category, such as “RVs,” there are more specific subcategories to choose from.

With all your targets in position, sit back and greet your new customers!

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