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Brian Larson

SES Toronto: Killer Facebook Targeting Tactics

By Brian Larson     Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, SEO, Social Media

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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