As one of the largest advertising networks in the world, Facebook is constantly working to develop new ways to make their services more valuable to marketers. In May, Facebook released the latest of these new features, Audience Insights, as part of an ongoing effort to streamline their advertising services. Similar to how the Page Insights tool help you evaluate how fans interact with your page, Audience Insights is designed to help evaluate trends across the entire Facebook platform. And if knowledge is power, Audience Insights is very nearly a nuclear power plant of marketing data.
Audience Insights Explained
Suppose you were trying to raise awareness about a new line of aquarium products that you were selling both online and in-store. If you were going to use Facebook to help market these products, you’d want to collect information about how many Facebook users live near your stores, what portion of them have demonstrated an interest in aquariums, and based on prior purchases, if those users preferred to shop online or through a brick and mortar retailer.
Prior to the release of Audience Insights, you could glean some of this information with the use of third party social media management tools, but only after months of collecting and analyzing data from prior campaigns. But Audience Insights, all of that information is immediately available, and presented in an easily digestible and highly actionable format. This includes detailed information on gender, education, household size, employment status, interests, and the spoken languages of your target audience. It even includes data about how your audience is accessing Facebook, such as through a PC or mobile device, and even which devices are the most common.
More importantly, Audience Insights provides marketers with consumer purchase data. The availability of this highly coveted data has long been anticipated by marketers, because it provides insight into where the most profitable leads can be found on Facebook. For example, if you’re selling women’s fashion accessories, Audience Insights can help you uncover where you can find the heaviest fashion spenders on Facebook. Furthermore, this information can be subdivided from the entire pool of Facebook users into users who have existing connections to your page, or even customized audience groups that you can create, like a group composed of your existing customer base.
The Bottom Line for Marketers
Where the Page Insights tool helps you evaluate how people interact with your page, Audience Insights provides a more complete picture of the user base across the entire Facebook platform. This data will mean marketers will no longer have to depend on third party programs to carry out the research necessary for successful campaigns on Facebook. It also eliminates much of the guesswork that was necessary in absence of official Facebook data. Out of the entire arsenal of advertising tools that Facebook offers, the availability of customer purchase data is arguably the most valuable addition to date. Virtually anyone should be able to incorporate this data into their campaigns immediately, and the result should be a substantial increase in ROI for anyone who uses Facebook to market their business.