custom audiences targeting

Yup, it’s got a chance to be this good.

Today, Facebook announced Custom Audiences for website visitors and mobile apps.

You already know we have Custom Audiences based on email (absolutely huge), fbuserid (which I think will go away eventually for spam abuse), phone number (nobody is using it), and application (few using it).

And you know the ROI has been incredible on Custom Audiences, as well as FBX, since you’re targeting people who are already leads, have bought before, or are somehow connected to you.

Social marketers are just now realizing that this is retargeting without a cookie.

Retargeting (or remarketing, as Google euphemistically calls it), is those pesky ads that follow you around after you looked at a product somewhere. It’s based on a cookie.

Cookies die. Browsers are smart. But your Facebook userid doesn’t die. And neither does your primary email address.

Retargeting has insane ROI because it’s those very people who have left your website, but didn’t buy. Now all Facebook advertisers should think of all Facebook ads as being able to retarget without a cookie.

In my view, retargeting is chasing people around based on who they are — not what they searched for (search keywords) or what website they are currently on (placements and general display buying).

If you can follow people around in the place where people spend most of their time (more pageviews than any display network on the planet), isn’t this the weapon that will boost Facebook’s revenues exponentially?

And isn’t targeting by a specific audience that you know and can segment, even if you don’t have an email or cookie, more powerful than guessing who they are based on a search term?

If you’ve been on the fence with Facebook ads, it’s time to jump on Custom Audiences in Power Editor. Your competitors are certainly going to be retargeting your customers via this method.

And they don’t need your customers’ emails, cookies, or app ids. They merely need to target your fans and your name, which is the equivalent of brand bidding on Google.

That means bidding on your name. Not quite like the sponsored search results, which died a few months ago. But better than brand bidding, since with Google you can tell who is buying your keywords. With Facebook having ads personalized to users, you may never know. But you’ll certainly appreciate the results.

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Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is the Chief Technology Officer of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company which partners with schools to train young adults. Dennis’s program centers around mentorship, helping students grow their expertise to manage social campaigns for enterprise clients like the Golden State Warriors, Nike, and Rosetta Stone. He’s an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook Marketing and has spoken in 17 countries, spanning 5 continents, including keynotes at L2E, Gultaggen, and Marketo Summit. Dennis has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, CBS Evening News and is co-author of Facebook Nation – a textbook taught in over 700 colleges and universities. He’s a regular contributor for Adweek’s SocialTimes column and has published in Social Media Examiner, Social Media Club, Tweak Your Biz, B2C, Social Fresh, and Heyo. He held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines and studied Finance and Economics at Southern Methodist University as well as London School of Economics. He ran collegiate cross-country at SMU and has competed in over 20 marathons including a 70 mile ultramarathon. Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you. You can contact him at, his blog, or on Facebook.