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Getting Started With Facebook Audience Insights Who are the people you're trying to target? This new service will help you find out, in great detail.

By Eric Siu

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Running a successful Facebook campaign requires targeting your ads to the right customer base. And because it's not always easy knowing which demographic is most likely to convert, it's important to collect data from your campaigns. That's why Facebook Audience Insights is a great tool for understanding your target audience.

Related: 7 Ways That Facebook Ads Can Rock Your Business

Facebook has always been committed to working closely with its advertising partners. The company recently rolled out a number of changes to help its advertisers make their campaigns more successful. One of the biggest changes was Facebook Audience Insights, a new service that helps advertisers obtain a detailed understanding of their target audience.

Advertisers can use the new feature to study prospective customers and new leads, to improve their campaign ROI.

What information is available in Audience Insights?

Facebook Insights provides a treasure trove of data on the users you reach through the Facebook advertising platform. The data is broken down into two categories:

  • User-provided data -- details that users provide in their Facebook profile
  • Information from third parties -- details provided by outside companies that work with Facebook

With Facebook Insights, you can acquire very granular data on your audience, including:

  • Facebook activity
  • Education
  • Career
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Buying behavior

This information is invaluable for optimizing your targeting options and improving your ads. Further, Facebook Audience Insights is very easy to use. Here are a few simple steps to get you started.

Related: 5 Tips on Creating a Killer Facebook Ad Campaign

Define your audience.

Facebook Insights allows you to narrowly define the target demographic you are trying to analyze, by giving you three options:

  • Collect data on everyone on Facebook
  • Collect data on your existing fans
  • Create a custom profile of users that you want to track

You really want to define your audience as specifically as possible to optimize your marketing strategy. One of the best things you can do is create a custom audience for new leads or visitors to your website so you can convert them into buyers.

You can actually specify demographic and behavioral characteristics for the users you would like to track. This might include insights on:

  • New visitors to your website
  • New Facebook fans
  • Recent subscribers to your email list

Your audience should be defined according to your conversion goal. Jon Loomer, a renowned Facebook advertising expert, has a great post on five main audiences you should analyze.

Review your data.

Once you set up the parameters you'd like to track, you can then start reviewing data. The data is broken down into six different categories, each of which has its own tab on Facebook Insights. These categories include demographics, page likes, location, Facebook usage, household information and purchasing activity.

You can filter your audience further still, while reviewing data. For example, you could analyze visitors "between the ages of 25 and 34" or users who like a specific Facebook page.

One of the amazing things about Facebook Insights is that you can also compare your audience to that of an average Facebook user. For example, you could see what percentage of your users are fans of Entrepreneur.

Save your audience data.

It's important to keep records of all your data so you can easily access it later. Fortunately, Facebook makes that easy: All you have to do is click the "Save" button on the top menu, and a pop-up appears that requests you to provide a name for the audience.

Applications of Facebook Audience Insights

At this point, it should be clear that Audience Insights is a powerful tool with many applications. However, you may still be wondering what you can do with your data. Here are a few applications to consider:

  • Fine-tune your marketing strategy -- With Insights, you can get a lot more information about your new visitors. For example, you may have campaigns targeting male users between the ages of 30 and 50 but find that the bulk of your new audience is between the ages of 30 and 35. This information allows you to adjust your marketing strategy to that specific age group.

  • Discover popular content -- You can easily discover which content is the most popular with your users. For instance, you may find that images generate much more engagement than text posts. This data allows you to perfect your content marketing strategy.

  • Attract more attention -- You can drop references from other pages that your users like to help your content get more attention.

As valuable as this information is, it's important to be aware of its limitations. You may find that the data is extremely helpful with your Facebook content marketing strategy but not as applicable on other social media or PPC platforms.

Related: 8 Ways Businesses Can Benefit From Facebook

However, the data you receive from Audience Insights might still be useful with other digital marketing campaigns. For example, if you notice that a large number of your visitors are fans of a given publisher, you may want to consider running media buying campaigns on related websites.

Have you tried using Facebook Audience Insights yet? What was your experience? Feel free to share your thoughts below:

Eric Siu

CEO, Single Grain. Founder, Growth Everywhere.

Eric Siu is the CEO of digital marketing agency Single Grain. Single Grain has worked with companies such as Amazon, Uber and Salesforce to help them acquire more customers. He also hosts two podcasts: Marketing School with Neil Patel and Growth Everywhere, an entrepreneurial podcast where he dissects growth levers that help businesses scale. 


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