How to Reach Your Target Market on Facebook

These tips, from direct response experts, will help you find the prospects you've been seeking so you can begin selling.

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By Kim Walsh Phillips

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In their book No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing, business coach and consultant Dan S. Kennedy and marketing strategist Kim Walsh-Phillips show you how to use direct response marketing principles on a variety of social media platforms to drive real results and profit. In this edited excerpt, the authors explain how using Facebook's Partner Categories can help you really target the market you're seeking.

How do you reach any specific market you're looking to conquer? In 99 percent of cases, I've found Facebook to be the best place for mass marketing sales with the highest ROI. From small business to large business, from business to consumer, and including professional services, Facebook continues to out-perform other media when targeting people for generating leads and subsequent sales.


Because Facebook combines behaviors with data mining to give you access to exactly who you're going after without having to buy a list. Facebook partnered with data giants Epsilon, Acxiom, and Datalogix to allow brands to match the data gathered through things like shopper loyalty programs, sweepstakes, credit card data, and government records. You can access this information using Facebook's Partner Categories.

Partner Categories is a targeting option that's available to advertisers in the United States that you can use with your ad to identify and reach the right people with the right message on Facebook -- based on their activity outside of Facebook. For example, you can use these targeting options to show your ads to people who've taken actions that indicate they may be shopping for a new car.

By using a Facebook ad rather than buying a list, you can now target the exact prospect you're going after, such as people who are interested in vacationing in Utah who are also likely to move in the next year and have two young children.

The information is gathered from a host of both online and offline consumer activity. Facebook acquires information on consumer behavior, demographic, and interest data from its users' behaviors. Additionally, Facebook collects data from external sources such as the US Census, warranty cards, registration information, the Department of Motor Vehicles, public record information, survey data, sweepstakes, and other offline sources.

As a consumer, it may feel kind of creepy to know that Facebook collects so much personal data about you. As an advertiser, it's fantastic because Facebook uses the data it collects to provide you with deep demographic targeting.

Related: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without Coding

Currently, Facebook's demographic targeting offers thousands of behavior and demographic categories. Here are 10 examples that provide a glimpse into the power of Partner Categories:

  1. Household size of 6 (8,842,800 users)
  2. Upscale department store credit card user (34,618,400 users)
  3. Home office supply purchases (2,638,300 users)
  4. Aftermarket vehicle purchase over 48 months ago (11,952,800 users)
  5. Baby food and products buyers (10,497,100 users)
  6. Casino vacations (4,242,000 users)
  7. Dog owner (12,643,500 users)
  8. Fitness buyers—runners (5,950,600 users)
  9. Teacher/educator (223,000 users)
  10. Donate to veteran causes (7,016,400)

Segment Interests to Optimize Effectively

As business owners, we optimize ads daily, and one of the key ways we do this is by narrowing the targeted audience of each ad. If you want to sell tennis rackets, for instance, you could target fans of the U.S. Open, Nike Tennis, and Andre Agassi plus those who like tennis. But if you combine all of these, you'll never know which is getting you the best return. We generally always start with a look-alike of our client's best customers plus one partner category. When we find one that performs well, we begin to add another category to see if it improves results.

Play around with each of the main options (demographic, interests, and behavior), run some A/B tests, and determine which avenue works best for your business. This is the kind of marketing most of your competitors aren't doing, but it can give you an incredible ROI.

Now go find your equivalent of the "Ohio family with six kids who likes HGTV" that converts really well for one of our financial planners.

You've been challenged! Be different than most and accept the challenge. When you've determined who you're going after and narrowed your target market, established your unique selling proposition and brand message, and have a working sales funnel, it's time to put some money in the game and launch.

When you're ready to launch your ad campaign, be sure to avoid these mistakes.

Do not boost your post. Doing so is like turning your money into a paper airplane and sending it into the sky with the hopes it will bring you money back. Facebook puts the "Boost Post" button below every post you have to entice you to click it and spend money with them. You can't blame them. Just like Vegas, they want to give you opportunities to spend your money. But there are much more effective ways to advertise on Facebook.

Do not target too broadly. Make sure your copy and images speak to a specific audience. We've seen businesses set up their audience to be very narrow but then use the same image for every audience. Being broad is a quick way to waste your money.

Do not make the ad about you or your product/program/service/ event. Ads that speak directly to your target market and share why someone should click on the ad (or play the video or Like your page) will perform a lot better.

Do not copy other ads you see on Facebook. Most of the people doing social media marketing are doing it terribly, terribly wrong and they're not seeing measurable success. Instead of copying what others are doing, get creative and design an ad that will attract your targeted prospects.

Kim Walsh Phillips

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

Founder of Powerful Professionals

Kim Walsh Phillips went from 32 clients to over 11,000 in less than a year and founded Powerful Professionals, a business coaching company that has been scaling consulting and coaching businesses. Phillips is the best-selling author of The No BS Guide To Direct Response Social Media Marketing.

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