Facebook Ads provides us with a multitude of tools to engage with our target audiences. To make sure you are reaching out to potential buyers and meeting their interests, you need to leverage Facebook Audience Insights. This brief overview will help you hone your targeting and drill down to the gold mines of ROAS. On the one hand, having the right insights, you don’t waste your promo funds on non-paying populations. On the other hand, you can fine-tune your content and tone of voice to better fit the followers.

The perks of social data

So, why exactly would you invest time into Facebook Audience Insights? The short answer is: to get new insights that you wouldn’t be able to glean otherwise. What does Facebook let you look into? In Facebook Ads Manager, you can refine audiences using various data points such as demographics, location, , activity, device, and interests. The more layers you employ, the smaller your audience. That’s how you steer away from unqualified engagements and minimize the CPA.

Audience Insights help you laser-target your promotions, plus you can boost segments that have already proved to convert well. A positive side effect is that you can grow successful audiences and scale up your campaigns by leveraging similar and related interests.

Now, let’s see which filtration opportunities Facebook has under the belt.

Ways to explore audiences in Audience Insights

In your Facebook Ads Manager, click on the top menu and go to Audience Insights.

Facebook Ads Manager menu

Step 1. First off, you get to select your audience. In this layer, choose between

  • Everyone on Facebook – this is the best fit to stream data based on broad interests
  • People Connected to Your Page – apparently, this option provides a vision of your current audience.

This choice is not carved in stone so you can modify the initial setup anytime.

Step 2. This is when you select segment parameters.

Select location in Audience Insights

The default location is the US. Feel free to pick any country from the list. In case you want to exclude the United States, just hover over the sign and select X. Should you need insights into global demographics, leave the country field blank.

Once you’ve decided on the location, move on to age, gender, interests, page followers, and advanced details like language, education, or even politics (available for the US).

Select interests in Audience Insights

Interests are your key to invaluable industry information. The smart engine behind Facebook attributes interests to users based on their real activity and behaviors, i.e. the pages the like and ads they click over the long term. In fact, savvy Facebookers can manage interests associated with their profiles to avoid irrelevant promotion.

To make things simple, we’ll pick software as an interest and see which data we’ll be able to yield. Keep in mind this is an example of a very generic parameter so you may want to refine it in real life. Looking at the right-hand pane, you encounter four tabs: Demographics, Page Likes, Location, and Activity.

Demographics tab in Audience Insights

The Demographics tab encompasses data on age, gender, relationships, education, and job titles. In our case, over half of Facebook users who showed interest in software  are currently married and have a college degree. Also, it looks like computer programs is not the field where governmental workers invest their leisure time. Unlike salespeople!

Job titles in Audience Insights

Now, let’s skip Page Likes and move on to Location and Activity so we can elaborate on top performing categories and pages later. Within the Location tab, you get an overview of top cities, countries, and languages for your target audience. Since we limited the geo to the US only, Country turns irrelevant. No surprises in the language zone either: 91% US English and 6% Spanish.

Languages tab in Audience Insights

As for Activity, it’s indicative of Facebook users’ activity and behaviors. These are displayed in two sections: Frequency and Device Users. Freq data covers the latest 30 days and reveals average showings for Pages Liked, as well as comments, shares, ad clicks, etc. Our sample audience seems somewhat disengaged based on the low number of interactions. Yet given this seed size, we can’t draw any 100 percent conclusions.

Device type may be crucial for your targeting, even more so with web-based products or services. The Ads Manager helps you split the audience by mobile, desktop, and the platform. The Device section includes two options: ‘All Devices Used’ and ‘Primary Device’. Pick ‘Primary Device’ to determine your population’s propensities. Or use this information when crafting new content to share with your Facebook audiences. In our case, cross-platform compatibility is of paramount importance.

Device users tab in Audience Insights

How to look for insights

It’s now time to roll back to Page Likes and see what your audience really cares about. Just to the right of Demographics, one can find the Page Likes tab. There you’ll see the top categories your prospects engage with. Moreover, the tab shows the pages that raised users’ interest so you can customize your campaigns accordingly.

The rule of thumb here is to start gleaning interests from your page followers. Pick ‘People connected to your page’ and learn more about their preferences. What other interests may they have? Bear in mind that, due to privacy reasons, Facebook won’t show page likes for audiences under 1,000 users. When filtering by gender, country, or any other parameter, make sure you keep within 1K or more.

Now, let’s review the concepts of Relevance and Affinity offered by Facebook to describe users’ interests. The Facebook definition for the former is “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.” The latter stands for “How likely your audience is to like a given page compared to everyone on Facebook.”

In practice, the relevance list unveils interests in the descending order of people who like your page and are known to stick with these interests. Affinity shows to what extent people connected to your page are more engaged with this interest in comparison to an average Facebook user.

It’s worth mentioning that not every interest from the list is available for targeting. To check whether it’s eligible, put it into the Interests field. If it’s not found, you won’t be able to target this interest. That’s how Audience Insights helps you perform preliminary ‘organic’ testing before your start channeling the funds.

Page likes in Audience Insights

Note: if you apply too many layers and have fewer than 1,000 people in the seed audience, Facebook may fail to show any data. On the other hand, broadening the audience (like we did as an example) may lead to irrelevant suggestions. All in all, keep your seed balanced for best results.

How to save audiences

Apparently, you’ll want to save your findings for future reference and optimized targeting. Click on ‘Save’, choose a name for your audience, and you are all set. ‘Open’ your saved audiences afterwards and make edits if necessary. Use ‘Save As’ to create yet another version as you would do in a text editor. Feel free to A/B test your refined audience against the initial setup to see which one yields greater returns. Play with the audiences until you launch an ad campaign. Once you go live, no changes in the audience configuration are possible.

Save audience in Audience Insights

How to automate targeting

Revealbot can help you save time and effort when operating Facebook campaigns. With this software, you are able to set up automated rules, analyze results and get alerts on meaningful events. Revealbot lets you leverage and refine audiences created in Facebook Audience Insights.

Choose Bulk Creation to have your ads up and running in a short time. On the Targeting step of the workflow, you can proceed with an audience build in Revealbot or pick your saved Ad Manager audience.

Revealbot Bulk Creation menu

Saved audiences in Revealbot

Revealbot helps split audiences for analysis and get deeper insights into their interests, demographics, locations, and more. You can also distinguish between ‘custom’ and ‘lookalike’. While a custom audience builds on existing prospects, a lookalike audience enables you to tap into new ‘cold’ prospects that are very likely to engage with your brand.

Revealbot split audiences

How to include Audience Insights into your routine

You may wonder why bother checking into your audiences on a regular basis? It seems a pretty fixed value. Normally, your company won’t diversify its offering every day. If you’re selling software on Monday, it’s very unlikely you’ll open up a fragrance product line on Tuesday. Right? Wrong!

While products don’t change overnight, you need to keep an eye out for new refined segments and tailor your customer personas to the real picture. Audiences do evolve, so does product perception. In this regard, Facebook Audience Insights is not merely an ad targeting aid but a powerful analytics tool to verify your hypotheses.

Unless you update your vision and refocus the promo efforts, you may get stuck with current ROIs and miss out on the growth opportunities. Plan before you create and manage promotions, and make planning part of your standard workflow. The rule of thumb here is to look into Audience Insights every week or two, play with filters, assess new dynamics and lookalike audiences, and make data-driven decisions.