Hyper Targeting through Facebook

Posted by Dan Keeney

I spent this afternoon learning about the concept of hyper targeting and getting acquainted with Facebook advertising. It is something I’ve been intending to experiment with for some time after hearing client Ed Schipul describe how it gives the user the ability to drill down into highly specific profiles.

For instance, the Facebook advertising tool tells you there are 6.8 million Texans age 18 and older on Facebook,  1,216,000 are in Houston and 1,080,820 are in Dallas. If you take just the English speakers, the number of Texans goes down to 6.5 million. And then you get to “likes and interests,” where it gets really interesting. I’ve done some work for clients in pet care, so I clicked on “dogs.” There are 27,200 Texans over 18 on Facebook who are interested in dogs, 4,600 of whom are in Dallas. Add “puppies” and the number in Dallas goes up to 6,640.

So instead of creating an ad that goes out to all sorts of people who don’t care about your product or service, you could specifically target people in your town who care deeply about what you have to offer them.

Here is a great presentation from Clara Shih, author, entrepreneur and director, Social Networking Alliances and Product Strategy at Salesforce.com, speaking to a class at Stanford University on this topic. I especially appreciated the portion of the presentation that begins at 15:38 in which she describes how someone who attended an earlier talk actually created a Facebook ad specifically targeting just her that only she would be able to see.

So this afternoon I created a Facebook ad for my Media Interview Skills Training service, targeting just people in Texas who have a college degree, are over 25 and are interested in public relations. So just four screens and I was down to a marginally specific population of 4,400 people. But I feel fairly confident that these are the people who would influence the selection of a media trainer. We’ll see how that goes.

Since GoDaddy.com hosts my Web site, I was able to use a $50 credit offered by them for the test, so it is free at least to start with.

But I also wanted to check the laser like capabilities of Facebook advertising. So I created an ad targeting just the 20 people on Facebook who indicated they work at Schipul – The Web Marketing Company, which is one of my clients. The content of the ad is simple — I appreciate the Schipul team and would love it if you became a fan of my company’s Facebook page.

The ability to target the employees of a specific company is remarkable. A few additional screens would make it possible for an IT service provider to specifically target the IT decision makers of each of the companies on their list of prospects. And since the ads are applicable to that specific person or group, they are not considered spam — especially if the content is meaty.

This is very cool stuff and I strongly recommend tinkering around with it. I will let you know what I learn through my trials and anticipate helping clients think through how this can help in their marketing efforts as well.

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This entry was posted on Friday, March 19th, 2010 at 4:13 pm and is filed under Public Relations Advice, Random. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Hyper Targeting through Facebook”

  1. Lizzie Says:

    Great post! I’ve always wondered how the Facebook advertising works, it seems you have to sign up before you can even get information!

    Thanks for sharing.

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