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Identifying Your Audience Using Facebook

If there is anything in my life that can be organized into a spreadsheet, I've done it. I regularly access a Google Doc containing 4+ years of everything I've spent money on. I can tell you exactly what my average electric bill was in 2016. I’ve watched my spending patterns over the years, and know which months this year I will need to purchase pet food, or if my account has yet to be charged for a trash bill, or what my insurance was charging me prior to that minor fender bender last May.

In almost every industry, demand for consumer data is increasing. I've found that accessing data isn't often the challenge; it's being able to organize the numbers and identify trends or outliers. Experience has taught me that conscious decision making early, consistent touch points, and familiarity with historical data is what will provide the most thorough insights.

Why is this relevant to audience identification?

Knowing who is engaging with your brand is one of the single most important data pieces you can acquire. It will influence where you place your marketing, what media outlets you use, the visuals used in the pieces, and how you talk with your customers. As you learn more about your audience and integrate those findings into your efforts, the response to your marketing will improve and your ROI will increase.

This data can be easier to obtain than you may think. As technology slowly integrates into every corner of our lives, more than likely there is a database aggregating and organizing minute details into a trendable database. While I'm not here to debate the privacy of our homes, I do want to share how easy Facebook has made tapping into their user database, and how to identify into those insights.

Number nerds, unite!

Chances are if you are your brand has a Facebook page and a website. You know you can click the 'Insights' tab and get a minimal chart with performance over the last 30 days. Great, awesome. But let's make the platform work a bit harder.

If you haven't yet set up a Business Manager account, now is the time. If you manage multiple pages, it will consolidate all accounts into one view. More importantly for this topic, it will give you a set of tools to dig deeper into segmentations and comparing them to overall Facebook users. So, if you are an admin of a Facebook Page and don't have a Business account set up, head over to and follow the steps.

Once you are set up, click the top toolbar drop down and select 'Audience Insights' (it might say 'Ads Manager' or ‘Business Settings'). Click the 'People connected to your Page'. In the left-hand column, click the ‘People Connected to…' field, and type your page name.

The charts on the right-hand side will now provide your audience metrics of your following*, compared to the benchmarks set from all Facebook users. There are six tabs offering you unique insights based on your followers, or your audience’s trends crossed with US consumer data. Some of my favorites places to look are the Page Likes tab and Purchase Behavior.

You can now start identifying unique aspects of your brand’s following (these will be the things that vary sharply with Facebook benchmarks), and use those insights to support and drive your other marketing efforts. As your Facebook audience grows, periodically review your Audience Insights to ensure your audience hasn’t evolved, and that your brand’s tone and platforms are still on par.


*Depending on your follower size, some charts may not render, along with a note: 'we couldn’t match enough user data to your selected audience to create this chart'. This just means your audience isn’t large enough to generate trends and output a chart. Try searching by interests or topics you are confident fit your audience.

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