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This article was published on September 8, 2011

How to better engage your audience with targeted advertising on Facebook

How to better engage your audience with targeted advertising on Facebook

We know that people will react to Facebook ads differently depending on the time of the day or the day of the week that they see them. Females aged 50+ are the group most likely to click on Facebook ads, as revealed in a recent study. But what about all those other groups you’re targeting?

When is the best time to reach males/females, and importantly – when is the best time to reach them to encourage not just clickthroughs but sales as well? The answers have been revealed in a report published by TBG Digital, which is the result of over two billion Facebook impressions to accurately track patterns among different groups of users.

Target men in the evening

What they found was that men were much more likely to make purchases on Facebook during the evening. In fact this sits at men being 42% more likely to complete a transaction during evening hours (note – not just click on an ad), compared to women aged 50+ who do the majority of their purchasing during morning hours.

By effectively targeting your ads according to time of day you can, according to TBG Digital, improve your cost per acquisition rate by 116%, which means your customers convert at a lower cost to you and you’re also reducing the risk of showing people ads unnecessarily and impacting negatively on their experience with your brand.

How targeted can we get?

The fact is that there are more and more studies revealed that tell us how to improve our Facebook advertising strategy, or new tools available within Facebook that allow us to make our ads increasingly targeted – such as topic targeting, or zip code targeting, which were both released by Facebook this year.

What is means is that online advertising results in less ‘rubbish’ (untargeted ads shown to incorrect user groups that fail to convert). Facebook advertising has turned this on its head completely by continuing to offer new ways of targeting people, along with new insights that can be gained by more closely monitoring your ads. With Facebook, it seems that there is no limit to how targeted you can make your ads, and it’s not hard to envision that in the future, we could very well be targeting people right down to the individual.

The extent to which this is possible, can be seen through Facebook’s new feature that allows you to rate different places that you’ve been to, which is appearing in the sidebar on people’s profiles. It asks you to rate one of two different place Pages that you’ve liked. Right now, there doesn’t seem to be much information into why Facebook is doing this, but the answer seems clear: advertising.

Mechanics like this allow Facebook to build up more and more information on their users from a location point of view, without actually requiring that people use a location service at all. By clicking on links, rating places, and participating in Facebook’s features, the platform is developing even more information about me based on patterns between the places I frequently (like location, business type, cuisine etc). Now Facebook won’t just be able to allow advertisers to target people based on Likes, but to differentiate between those places or interests that people really like, as opposed to the ones they just like a bit.

What this shows is that social advertising will become more and more prevalent, which means that advertisers need to educate themselves into this ‘dark art’. Sure, you can choose to just lash a Facebook ad up there and hope for the best. Or you can choose to do so much more through getting to know the patterns and behaviours of the people you’re targeting.

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