Social media plays a huge role in connecting and reaching out to your audience. Even though Facebook has driven some users away with their recent shift to a paid-only format for marketing and advertising, it can still be a very useful marketing tool.

One of the most valuable features of Facebook advertising is its ability to drill down to specifically targeted audiences.  While Twitter, Google and other social media sites use audience targeting too, Facebook targeting is slightly different and that’s because of the profiles users create when signing up. Some of the information Facebook collects that can be used for any targeted marketing campaign includes:

  • Location
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Education
  • Job
  • Life events
  • Likes – brand connections, book/music/sport/film interests, etc.
  • Apps
  • Groups
  • Mobile device use
  • Purchase behavior
  • Travel

Facebook is unique because it doesn’t target users based on relevant website content or keywords, but user generated profile information in the above categories. Because Facebook ads are targeted to the users’ demographic and interests, not what they’re searching for, this type of information becomes extremely important when targeting your ads. Because of the ability to combine and cross-reference this data, Facebook offers much more than other social media platforms when it comes to its marketing value, especially for businesses in specific industries to reach out to audiences, with relatively small amounts of time and effort.

Here are some examples of different ways you can use Facebook to target a particular segment of the population. Of course, this is not a comprehensive list; just a few examples:

  • Sell ladies jewelry online? Target online females whose interests include “shopping and jewelry.” Set an appropriate age range and target only those who prefer to shop online using the Digital Activities behavior targeting.
  • Run a wedding planner service? Target singles and have separate ads for different gender interests to make them as specific and relevant to the user as possible; honeymoons, bridal dresses; wedding dresses, etc.
  • Offer legal services in your local area? Specifically target the geographical region where you practice law, whether it’s a state, city or zip code region.
  • Are you a travel agency? Announce cruise specials to an audience known to have vacationed on cruises in the past or luxury vacations to people with a high income.

These unique features and tools are very useful for targeted marketing, promoting brand awareness, and connecting with customers. It’s surprising how many business are still not taking advantage of the power of Facebook advertising. But that’s good news for you. If your competition isn’t advertising or doing it properly and you can, you gain the benefits and opportunities to win business you might have lost out on otherwise.