Brian Larson

SES Toronto: Killer Facebook Targeting Tactics

Killer Facebook Targeting Tactics at SES TorontoWARNING: This post is based on a Marty Weintraub presentation.  If you have seen Marty present, then you understand the warning and are probably smiling.  For those of you who have not, just remember you were warned, although this text doesn’t do justice to Marty IRL.

All kidding aside, Weintraub, CEO of aimClear, is a talented presenter that has a passion for his subject matter, Facebook.  In “Killer Facebook Targeting Tactics” at SES Toronto, Weintraub focused primarily on behavioral targeting. You know, identifying the behavior of your ideal audience and target/market accordingly. Sounds simple until you consider the millions of ways a marketer can slice and dice audience segments in Facebook.

Facebook marketing is a big topic and this presentation was specifically focused on Facebook ad targeting.

One rally cry heard throughout the session was “PPC is to SEO, as Facbook Ads are to social SEO.” Weintraub explains that much like how PPC can spike traffic and help point out opportunities (i.e. keywords that produce at a high rate) and weaknesses (i.e. pages that convert at a relatively low rate), Facebook Ads can do the same for social SEO.

The heart of the session was highlighting unique ways to use Facebook to reach target audiences. But before we get into some of Weintraub’s more creative examples of behavioral targeting, let me point you to some interesting user stats shared during the session regarding the wide dispersion of English speaking Facebook users.  Did you know that there are 13.4 million English speaking Facebook users in the Phillipines alone! The English speaking social media audience is larger than most think.

With the scope of the English speaking Facebook audience in mind, let’s look at some unique examples of how a brand can engage in Facebook Ads.

Literal/Safe Targeting

A hockey equipment company looking to increase online sales could easily turn to Facebook and target men and women who ‘like’ hockey. Or, a music and event promotion company selling Justin Bieber tickets would be wise run ads aimed at girls aged 12-15.

This may not be an groundbreaking approach, but the truth is that this is the safest and most reliable way of targeting an audience.

Lateral/Creative Targeting

Thinking beyond the obvious association, lateral targeting uses some logical assumptions.  For example, from our previous example, Facebook users who ‘like’ hockey are likely to be receptive to ads winter jackets. Hockey is primarily played areas of the world with colder climates. People in colder climates need to stay warm. Winter jackets to the rescue!

Using this approach requires creativity and a willingness to take a chance.

Negative Sentiment/General Disdain Targeting

Fans of the Facebook page I Hate My Neighbor – click the link if you don’t think it’s a real page – are certainly good prospects for a privacy fence company, if not a moat installation company. We know this because of the things that they indicated they don’t like. But let’s take it a step further. Facebook users who ‘like’ the I Hate My Neighbor page are also likely the audience that would be happy to pick up the latest Lewis Black comedy album.

Undoubtedly the least conventional and most dangerous approach to reaching audiences through Facebook Ads.  Proceed with extreme caution if you choose this road and be very transparent with the brand you represent regarding your approach.

These are just a few of the examples shared in the “Killer Facebook Targeting Tactics” session. The underlying message through it all was that Facebook is big and there are opportunities throughout this massive network.  Facebook has 700+ million users. I’m convinced that Weintraub will have figured out some way to market each and every user by the time my plane lands in Minneapolis.

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  1. Marty is one of the most dynamic and entertaining speakers– always a joy to watch on Facebook marketing. Bring a tape recorder so you can play him back at half speed and actually understand him!

  2. @BLarson: Thanks for the thoughtful writeup. It was a pleasure to meet you in Toronto.

    •  My pleasure. It was a fun session! Hope to see you at the next SES.

      • @facebook-1330192094:disqus
        Brian Larson: Absolutely! I’ll have the pleasure of presenting a similar session at #SES SFO, and we’re giving our full day aimClear® Facebook Marketing Intensive Workshop after #SES as part of connected marketing week. @Dennis YU, thanks for the kind words. I hope this writing finds you well, and know that you’re rocking the house! Hey, when is WebTrends going to share some data regarding in-FB landing pages Vs. out-of-FB pages in straight up A/B apples to apples testing? Word on the street is that you’ve got some groovy data!

        • Marty– just seeing this now! We have some of that data now. Remind me when we’re together in Vegas next week to share it! CTR to landing pages in Facebook vs outside of Facebook is 3-5x higher, even more so when you’re doing Sponsored Results.

  3. I like the second approach.  I think to REALLY do it effectively, you should do some research on the original intended target market.
    Read blogs, ask associated friends, etc.
    Playing the guessing game could cost money.  When you could do a little research and really nail it.

  4. Digital Dog says:

    Interesting post. I don’t think Facebook is gonna like it.

  5. This is true that while promoting your music or anything on facebook one should target those people who are interested in music.These points are very informative for safe music promotion through facebook.

  6. You know its easier to add friends than to make a person like your page. You could use a simple 6 step method to make bulk friend request together. Check out [link removed] for that. Its so out of suspicion that there is no worry of account suspension. Very useful for blog promotion 🙂

    Keep blogging good stuffs like this friend.

    • Mohan, what you are suggesting is against the Facebook terms of use with potential outcomes of having more “friends” as well as having a page banned. Inflating friend counts isn’t marketing and doesn’t create value for anyone, except sellers of such software.

      • Mark Aaron Murnahan says:

        It is nearly incomprehensible to see what some people will pass for marketing.

    • Meghan S says:

      This type of unsolicited mass promotion reeks of spam, and as consumers become more suspicious of such advertising, I imagine this suggested method of solicitation will only drive potential customers away… 

      If you want to successfully retain customers, its worth the effort to figure out a way to get them to “like” your product, or in your case, page.