How to Use Facebook Audience Insights to Learn More About Your Customers

Before you run any Facebook ad campaigns, it’s important to get to know your customer. Your ad targeting, your placement options, and your choice of offer can all be determined by the psychographics & demographics of your ideal customer.

Luckily, Facebook has a great tool that any advertiser can use to get to know the demographic and psychographic information of their prospects before they run a single ad (and help them refine their customer profiles after they’ve been running ads as well).

It’s called Facebook Audience Insights, and contrary to what you might have heard, it is still available in a  somewhat “rebranded” form.  It looks and functions quite differently from the previous version of the tool. 

First, a little history.  In early 2021, Facebook announced that their Audience Insights tool would be removed. At the time, there were many speculated that Facebook would replace Audience Insights with some type of future functionality within the Business Suite hub. 

The thing is, not all advertisers have access to Business Suite. The lack of information about Facebook’s new insights tool” as well as  consistent access to Business Suite generated the subsequent confusion about whether or not Audience Insights still existed.

So let’s dive into the updated Audience Insights tool. Along the way, I’ll give you some tips and outline some of the limitations of the tool’s current functionality. 

More importantly, I’ll tell you how to use Facebook Audience Insights to gain practical knowledge about your prospects, and how that knowledge corresponds to different options for your Facebook campaigns.

How to Get Into the “New” Audience Insights

The way to access it is through Business Manager which has a general tool called “Insights.” Audience Insights is now a sub-section of that tool.

So here’s how to get to the main Audience Insights tool regardless of whether you use Business Suite or not. You just have to use Business Manager.

First, log into the Facebook account you use to work with your business pages. Then, go to business.facebook.com. From there, to the stacked “hamburger” icon on the left side — from the top of the Business Manager navigation panel.

You may get a pop-up notice.  Clicking on the notice gives you a direct link to the “new Insights Tool.” You can use this link to access the Insights tool.  You can also get there via a link that’s shown on  the stacked selector drop-down:

If you don’t see “Insights” as one of the shortcuts, scroll down the selector screen to the “Analyze and report” sub-section. Once there, you should see “Insights” as a listed  option:

 “Audience Insights” is also one of the options. If you click on it, you will be taken to the “Audiences” section of the Insights tool. If you click on the Insights tool, you can click on “Audiences” to get to the same section.

Either option will eventually get you to where you can take a look at both current and potential audiences.

 

Can You Answer These Questions About Your Customers?

Household income?

Age?

Gender?

Location?

Device Usage?

What TV shows, celebrities, books, causes, websites, products, and brands they like?

What industry they work in?

Once you begin to use Audience Insights, you’ll have answers to all these questions and more…

5 Steps to Using the Audience Insights Feature

  1. Pick the Audience You Want Insights For

When you got to Facebook Audience Insights you’ll be asked to select an audience. At this point you’ll choose from three options: 

  • Everyone on Facebook: This option will let you analyze the entire Facebook Audience Insights at the top level, not just the default location. Choose this if you want to get the big picture of the broader interests of the entire Facebook Audience Insights or check on your competitors. 

  • People Connected to your Page: If you select this one it will let you look at the characteristics of the audience of a particular Facebook page among all the pages that you manage. 

  • Custom Audience: Selecting Custom Audiences on Facebook, will let you gather data. If you don’t have a Custom Audience, you can create one by either uploading your email list into Facebook, making an audience of visitors to your purchase confirmation page, or making an audience of purchase events.

 

  1.  Build Your Target Audience Demographics

Your next step is to set the Demographics for your Target Audience.  You can apply various settings under the Demographics tab.  These include the location, age, gender, interests, language, and other important attributes of your target audience.   These data points will help you identify your Facebook Target Audience. 

  1. Find Out What Your Audience Already Likes

After creating the demographic profile of Target Audience, you’ll want to zero in on their interests.  To do this, click on the Pages Likes tab and check the Top Categories section. This will let you look at the general interests of the target audience you’ve selected. The information and insights from this section will give you solid ideas about how to improve both your Content Strategy and paid Marketing Strategy. 

You’ll also want to look at the Relevance and Affinity tabl. Facebook’s definition of “Relevance” as:

“The Pages that are the most likely to be relevant to your audiences based on Affinity, Page size, and the number of people in your audience who already like that Page.”

Their definition of “Affinity” is “How likely your audience is to like a given page compared to everyone on Facebook.” Use the Page Likes opinion to refine your audience by changing your demographics and view changes in your demographics chart. 

  1. Identify Location and Language Details

Next, find out where your audience lives and what their native language is. Go to the Locations tab and review each of the subtabs. That’s where you’ll find information about your Target Audience’s top cities, top languages, and top countries.

If you’ve got an eCommerce business, this is essential information for speaking to your Target Audience in the language they understand since your visitors may be coming to you from a wide range of various cities and countries. 

  1.  Gather Information on Activities and Device Details

Demographics, languages, and location are just the beginning of what Audience Insights can tell you.  You can also find out how your potential customers act on Facebook.  

For this, you’ll want to click on the Activity tab and look at the Frequency of Activities panel. It’ll show how people are interacting with Facebook Pages. It also will tell you which devices – phone, laptop, tablet, or desktop computers – they use to access the Facebook platform.

How to Use This Information

The main way to use Audience Insights is either you or your agency doing demographic, interest, and behavior research for you if you either haven’t run traffic before or if you need new targeting ideas to scale.

I like to group interests that I find in audience insights thematically when I test them. (Audience size permitting).

So, for example  we might group TV shows together in one interest bundle, websites in another, and “figures” in another.

Then once we test those three audiences, we’ll likely have 1-2 winners.

This is where “right-angle” targeting comes in.

Right-angle targeting is a term Perry Marshall uses in his “Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords”.

Right-angle targeting is simply an interest that your target audience is likely to have an affinity for, but isn’t related to your product directly.

After you’ve tested your initial set of interests you can simply plug them back into the “interests” box on the left-hand side of audience insights…

And voila! Now you have your right-angle interests.

Once you find a theme or group that works, keep expanding on that as much as makes sense.

Things to Note About Audience Insights

  • If you don’t have enough buyers in your custom audience to see page-like data, try a custom audience of leads.

  • If you don’t have enough leads, try page likes.

  • if you don’t have enough page likes, try competitors' interests.

  • Income targeting only reliably applies to US locations.

  • Psychographic data changes based on the age range applied, if you know a specific audience converts for a specific demographic. Use those settings in audience insights to get the most relevant data.

One last thought.  Audience Insights are not a static thing. You need to keep tabs on changes and trends in how your Target Audience is interacting and engaging with Facebook posts and stories. By regularly refining and tailoring buyer personas, you’ll be able to hone in on to the Real Audience. The one who wants your product and who wll buy.

As audiences and their behaviors keep changing so should your marketing strategies. Consequently, your business should keep using  Facebook Audience Insights for Ad targeting and as an analytics tool to improve the accuracy of your Target Audience profile.


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