Facebook Audience Overlap & Insights

Some time back Facebook created an insanely useful feature to show the overlap between your targeting audiences. It’s useful on so many levels that we can’t just even. In this post, we’ll talk through some of the ways that we use it to drive results for campaigns.

Audience Types

Audience overlap works for any audience type aside from saved audiences/followers (which is a bit of a bummer).

What are the audiences that you should perform a check on? To recap, we value several key audience types on Facebook for various reasons:

Email – good for pro-actively reaching people that don’t see your emails or for running email marketing/Facebook campaigns in conjunction with each other.

Site traffic – target people that visit your site in a relevant and timely fashion.

Engagement – target people that give you word of mouth advertising.

Video – reach large audiences at a low cost point and target people that watch a certain percentage of video.

The audiences above form what we refer to as your ‘CORE audience’ on the Facebook platform.


Overlap? So What? 

When we perform health checks on clients, one of the first things we do is to look at their existing audiences AND the overlap between these audiences.

The aim is to assess whether there are gaps between where they think they are and where they want to be in terms of the Facebook sphere.

For example, does the client want to reach more people in their area between the ages of 18-24? What is the current overlap of people in the area in that age range with their current core audience?

A key outcome to measure the success of a campaign then becomes, ‘how much do they want to increase those percentages by’.

Overlap Between Audiences 

Overlap between audiences is generally low.

When we discovered that this was almost universal across our client base we were left scratching our heads. Why? Why are people that watch 25% of a video also not the same as people that click through to a site?

What we learned is that 1) running campaigns with different objectives really works the way it’s supposed to ie a clicks to site campaign versus a post engagement campaign will give you more clicks to site than people commenting/sharing 2) even on the Facebook platform people engage via different touch points.

The second point, to me, was an incredibly important confirmation piece. By actually seeing the difference in overlap for the same client across different audiences it confirmed our view that the different audience types on Facebook should be thought of as different ways to segment your digital audiences.

They ARE different databases AND each one should be used differently for client campaigns depending on your objective.

Woo – that’s a lot of ‘different’ for one section.

Expanding Audiences

Now that we knew the audiences were different, what else could we do?

Lookalikes – of course!

Each audience type would also yield different lookalikes – so now we had four new audiences to try and reach new people.

Next – the pages people liked within each audience type (you can view this easily enough on Audience Insights). This is a veritable treasure trove of new audience data that you can use for top of the funnel campaigns.

Remember your main job as a marketer is the get messaging in front of the right traffic stream. Having four very valuable traffic streams (your core Facebook audiences) and then leveraging these to obtain rich new data is a gold mine.

Don’t forget though, you need to entice these audiences over to your core audience. This is your goal. Bring them into your eco-system so that you can re-target with specific messaging. Don’t try to sell straight away!

Your turn – do you have any other interesting insights into audience types and how you use them?  

– Rukmal
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Rukmal lives and breathes digital marketing.

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