When you use Facebook Ads you will have audiences to show your ads to. When creating a Facebook Ad you’ll select your targeting. For example a geographical area, gender, age, interests and other parameters. When you do that Facebook automatically creates an audience from your selections.
You can also create audiences directly by going into your Ads Manager – Tools – Audiences and clicking the Create Audience button. There you’ll have a choice of 3 types of audiences that you can create. A saved audience, a custom audience, or a lookalike audience.
A saved audience includes those who you select based on geographical area and demographics, just like the audience that’s created automatically when you create an Ad.
A custom audience includes 3 sub types of audiences.
Customer List – You can upload a list of emails, phone numbers, or Facebook IDs that will be matched up to those people on Facebook. So if you have an email list you can upload that.
Website traffic – This audience is people who have visit your website or specific pages of your website. You track them by installing a Facebook pixel on your website.
App Activity – This audience consists of people who have taken a specific action in your app or game.
A lookalike audience use used to reach new people who are similar to an audience you care about. When selecting this option Facebook says to “Select a source and a country below, then choose an optimization. Choose a Custom Audience, a conversion tracking pixel, or a Page.”.
Why use Facebook Audiences?
The short answer to this question might be to avoid wasting money showing your ads to people who are not interested in what you’re selling or doing. This should be the goal for most people. To narrow down where their advertising dollars go so they can get a positive return on their investment in the advertising.
I especially like the Website traffic option because it’s fast and easy to implement while also having great potential to be effective. With this option you can advertise to people who have already seen your website. That’s a huge advantage as they are familiar with you and likely interested in you.
The customer list option is similar in regards to being effective, but if you don’t already have a list of emails or phone numbers of your prospective customers you can’t use it. There’s also the issue of those email addresses or phone numbers not all matching up to what people have entered into their Facebook profiles.
Should you be using Facebook Ads?
If you want to reach people, YES.
Should you be paying special attention to Facebook Audiences?