Step-by-step guide to using Facebook Insights to learn about your customers, fans and competitors.
Performing market research to learn about your target market was always the realm of big business.
Smaller companies didn’t have the resources to do in-depth research into their customers or their target markets. Those days are gone.
Whatever size business you run, you can mine your customers’ data and start making more informed decisions on your marketing efforts.
If you have a website, an app, an email or phone list, or a Facebook page (or all the above, ), you can start learning a lot more about who is interacting with you online.
While this isn’t the end-all of marketing data, it’s pretty amazing what you can learn when you delve in.
The two main tools we’ll cover are free and accessible to all. You’ll need at least one of the below to get started:
- A Website
- An App
- An Email List
- A Phone List
- Your Competitor's Facebook Page
That’s it. If you’re using an email or phone list, you need at least 1,000 matches on Facebook to get any data. Same with website visitors, app users or Facebook Likes to your business page.
If you want to learn about website visitors or app users, you need to pixel your visitors or install the Facebook SDK for apps. We won’t go into that now, but if you’re this far, you’ve probably already done this.
Related Article: 5 Steps for Success with Facebook Ads in 2016
Getting Started With Insights
We use the Facebook Business Manager, so your screen may not look like ours. Facebook also offers some insight at their help center. If you don’t use Business Manager, you can access Insights at facebook.com/ads/audience_insights.
In Business Manager, under the Ads Manager section, click on Tools > Audience Insights, which will open in a new page:
A pop-up will ask what kind of audience you want to analyze, you can X out of it. Now, let’s start learning more about your customers.
If you’re using Page Likes, scroll down and locate the "People Connected to" section as indicated below:
Click in the box and select your Page.
If you want to view a competitor, click in the "Interests" box and type in the name of their page. They need to have a large following in order for them to show up here.
The process for analyzing website visitors, email subscribers or phone lists is a little more involved. Read Facebook’s guide to get this setup, then wait 72 hours before you can get information on your audience.
Assuming you’ve done one of the above, we can now dive into your audience. All of the audience information given is compared to the total Facebook user base. The audience insights data is separated into six categories, as tabs across the top of the screen: Demographics, Page Likes, Location, Activity, Household and Purchase. Data is provided from self-reported Facebook user information, along with a variety of data clearinghouses.
While there is tons of data to go through, the most interesting section is Lifestyle. Here consumer data is grouped into personas, assembled by Acxiom. Currently, there are 39 distinct Lifestyle groups.
Hovering over each lifestyle category will bring up the specific demographic makeup of the category. If your customers have a strong affinity toward a specific lifestyle category, this data will help you hone your marketing messages.This is a great way to start building a psychographic profile of your customers.
Related Article: Build Better Ads: 7 Ways to Improve Your Facebook Ad Campaign
How Can I Use This Information?
The end-all purpose for these insights is to help you, as an advertiser, get better results from your Facebook advertising. It should also help your overall marketing strategy, and even your business strategy. If you are analyzing your email list or phone list, you are gaining invaluable information your customers.
You can learn who your audience is, from a personality perspective, where they live, what they do with their free time and excess money, how much they make, and more. You can also see if there is a disconnect between your Likes and your actual customers, or your marketing messages and your target market.
It's a wealth of information, presented in an easy-to-digest format, allowing you to make quick, informed decisions. However, remember, these are your customers, the life of your business, so tread carefully on how you use their information.