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The Social-Media Revolution

(August 2013) posted on Tue Oct 01, 2013

Use Facebook and other platforms to target customers at a granular level.


By Mark Coudray

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Suppose you live in Phoenix, AZ. Your market is high school and college, sports-related events—specifically, inter-school rivalries. To get the population (number) of prospects to reach here, you simply need to use the Facebook Ad Manager to make your selections. You’ll need to know the names of all the high schools and colleges in Phoenix, as well as all of the competing schools that are part of the rivalries. You will also need to know the city names of the surrounding cities—Scottsdale, Mesa, etc.

You simply enter these names into the target search box, separated by commas. For more advanced searches you can use Boolean logic (and, or, not) to help you to narrow down even more. You’ll notice that as you type in the tag criteria, the size of your potential market changes right before your eyes. The more you put in, the more targeted the potential, but also the smaller the population. I would much rather have a very highly targeted, relevant, potential list than a general list that will not convert effectively.

In our example, you’ll get a list of everyone who’s identified themselves as living in one of the Phoenix-area cities, high schools, or colleges, and who has something to do with sports-rivalry-related events. By using the and Boolean, you can get very, very specific between schools. Depending on your niche or area of specialization, you can actually target to a unit of one.

Interestingly, potential job seekers are using this technique to dial in Facebook ads targeted to the CEO or president of a specific company. Think about it. Couldn’t you do the same thing for companies with which you want to do business? You could target key personnel within the company well in advance of your initial contact with them. You’re after the “I’ve seen you around!” effect. This is a level of familiarity deliberately calculated in advance.

All of these dialed-in search criteria get you a highly targeted group for ad and content delivery. Here is how it would work. In our example, you make rivalry T-shirts. You have a fan page to that effect. If you know a rivalry match is coming up in football, you would narrow your search down to football from all sports. Your ad would only show for the two schools in the rivalry. Your ad would be a provocative, controversial campaign with a Like This button. You could alternate two versions between the two schools. Like This for School A and Like This for School B. Each Like adds a Like to your rivalry fan page. Pretty soon, you have thousands of Likes for your page and what you do.

In marketing, we call this kind of targeting granular—as in a grain of sand. The more granular you can get and the more precise your messaging, the higher the conversion. You’re after creating a huge list of Likes, shares, and followers. It’s getting easier and easier to find exactly who your ideal customer or client is, and social media is the absolute best way of doing it. The potential is unlimited.


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