Facebook is constantly innovating their advertising offering by leaning on both internal resources and external marketing partners to build innovative solutions. The mission of their products for the most part has remained and will remain the same: the right message to the right person at the right time. In comparison to Google and Twitter, Facebook has advantages through logged-in identity through Open Graph login and the fact that people generally don’t log out of FB. This helps connect data across user behaviors on and off Facebook.

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Facebook’s-post IPO success is in large part due to the success of the mobile News Feed and “people-based marketing” that allows advertisers to match first party data + Facebook profile data + offline data from third-party partners like Datalogix to deliver extremely personalized messages to a precise audience.

Facebook’s top audience targeting products currently…

-Custom Audiences: First-party data with Facebook for very granular targeting (email lists, phone numbers, web traffic)
-Mobile “Audience Network”: Target people outside of Facebook through mobile applications
-Audience Insights: Once an audience is created, you can understand who your customers are (likes, interests, age, gender, purchase behavior) to influence your messaging

Facebook vs. Twitter

I like to think Twitter is always one year behind Facebook in terms of product offering and innovation. Twitter now has website tags, their own conversion pixel, and “tailored” audience targeting, but the user base is a fraction of Facebook’s meaning it can be difficult to scale campaigns. However, there are instances when Twitter makes more sense over Facebook given that a majority of content curation is driven by celebrity influencers.

Facebook vs. Google

No one can compete with AdWords in terms of driving bottom-of-the-funnel intent conversion. From a social perspective, Google + is still trying to find its niche and the ad offering is very limited to just promoted posts. Additionally, the user interfaces within Google’s ad products are much friendlier than Facebook’s Power Editor Tool which has come a long ways the past couple of years.

What kind of data is missing from the tools that social advertising platforms already provide for marketers?

A common issue for companies is the upload process of first party data, especially when working with large sets of unstructured information in various silos. Larger brands who may have thousands of new customers a day with a wide variety of products are at a standstill. Building tools to streamline this process will greatly improve marketers’ speed with insights to create more personal messages per audience.

Good news is you can lean on external partners to do the heavy lifting. With Facebook’s new marketing partner program, we’re tasked with doing more than just building a better execution tool. There are eight new classifications will be evaluated on this year with announcements coming in the spring.

Two areas of expertise, “Audience Onboarding” and “Audience Data Providers,” illustrate Facebook’s focus on people-based marketing through real-life identity hashing. Leveraging the information people provide to Facebook along with your company’s customer data is a very cost-efficient means of targeting the right people with the right message.

Using data and segmentation to shape an ad campaign

A good example of using data and segmentation could be leveraging desktop web traffic with a re-targeted mobile app install ad to drive in-store trips. Or taking an existing CRM database and segmenting people based on the service they’re interested in. You can pair these custom audiences with unique creative for each to determine which performs the best. It’s an ongoing process though… Test, learn, refresh, scale and repeat.

Hopefully you no longer find data to be a daunting force that stands in the way of your success, rather, it should be a tool to empower your decisions and reach your audience.

 

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Brett Loney co-founded Opnia with Brook Oldre, Brandon Johnson and Paul Taunton to provide paid social advertising and mobile app development services. In the spring of 2015, we’re launching a software platform called Advos. The engagement platform operates on Bluetooth, NFC and Wi-Fi protocols to programmatically build audience segments based on in-store shopping activity. In its simplest form, think of it as retargeting, but based on real-world behavior. Over the past four years, Brett has managed $50 Million in Facebook and Twitter ad spend for a variety of fortune 500 brands.