Using social media as a channel for reaching your target audience can be the best approach but only if you know who your intended audience is exactly. There are more than a billion active users on Facebook. Instagram has 400 million users. There are hundreds of millions more in other social networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. And with mobile devices allowing people to stay connected while on the go, more and more are encouraged to use social media.

Social media should make marketing so much easier, right? Well, not exactly.

Placing Ads That Target Facebook Users

Facebook is the most widely used social network. It’s the Google of social media and none of the other big social sites can come close, in terms of the number of active users they have. This is why for most brands, Facebook ads are the #1 priority in social media marketing.

Up to 600 million people are on Facebook every day. But to get positive results, you need to see to it that your ads are optimized so that people who can see them are actually interested in what you have to offer.

A person about to throw a dart at a dart board

Demographic Targeting

You can reach the right audience through demographic targeting. Demographics like age, gender, location and even relationship status should be considered carefully when placing ads. So you should have at least some idea of who your potential customers are.

The wide variety of demographics options in social media sites like Facebook gives you great flexibility and a much better chance of targeting the right group of people. Unlike TV ads wherein you really have no control over who can see your ads, with social media you can actually influence who gets to see and click on your ads.

Pages and Groups

You also need to know which pages and groups your potential customers are subscribing to. By opting to place ads in those groups, you may have a much better chance of getting your ads seen, clicked and shared by the members.

To be able to achieve this, you’ll need to do some research to determine your target audience’s common interest. It requires some work on your part, obviously, but your efforts may be well worth it once you’ve seen some improvements in your CTR.

Steps to Target Your Ads on Social Media

Here are several steps to help you find the right audience for your social media ads:

1. Get to know your customers.

We’re talking about your current customers here. Find out what their interests are, why they’re using your product/service, how you can better showcase your brand, and perhaps even ask their opinion on what aspects they think your company lacks. Conducting a survey will help you get to know your customers more and will give you insights on their interests and activities on social media.

2. Get to know your competitors.

In marketing, it’s always a series of trial and errors. But you can shorten your learning curve by simply analyzing what your competitors are doing. What campaigns are working for them? Which demographics are they targeting? Find out what they’re doing right and learn from it.

3. Get the most from targeted ads.

With social media targeted ads, you can reach a much bigger audience than using traditional forms of advertising. But you need to play it smart so that every dollar you spend goes a long way. With steps 1 and 2 above, you should have a much clearer idea of the demographics of your potential customers, so make use of the information you’ve gathered to target your ads accordingly.

A person aiming a bow and arrow at a target

Retargeting Ads

In an ideal world, each person who visits our site will buy our product or service. But we don’t live in a perfect world and the sad reality is that most people who visit our website do not end up with a purchase.. at least, not right away.

Someone may get as far as the checkout counter and then change their mind. A person may even click an online form to enter his personal details but clicks out after a few seconds.

People may visit your website and leave, but a few weeks later, they might come back to download your ebook. If you’re lucky, they may even come back again to buy your product. Marketers and business owners need to be prepared to guide the buyer through the process with retargeting ads.

Retargeting ads, unlike the usual banner ads, are served to those who have already visited your social media page or website. There are two types: list-based and pixel-based. List based retargeting ads enables you to laser-target your ads because you can customize your criteria based on your target’s behavior.

Pixel-based retargeting ads, on the other hand, will re-display your ad to anyone who has visited your site. This is the most commonly used retargeting ads and it utilizes a JavaScript (pixel) and place it on your visitor’s browser so that it is “cookied.” The cookie will then notify retargeting channels to serve ads based on the pages visited by your potential customer.

The goal for retargeting should be to re-engage your audience and enable them to become more aware of your business. By doing so, you may be able to get them to take action (buy your product or subscribe to your newsletter) depending on how well your conversion method works.

Final Thoughts

Social media has become one of the best ways to promote and market a business. It enables startup and small businesses to compete with bigger and more established companies online even if they have a limited budget. When used properly, targeting and retargeting ads can truly make a difference in your bottom line. But the key is to know exactly who your target audience is and what appeals to them.

If you have tried using social media advertising, please share your own experiences and suggestions below.