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Facebook is not only the leading social media platform, it’s also a popular marketing platform for businesses of any size. With tons of insights on its users and their behavior, Facebook is constantly rolling out more effective tools—such as targeting tools—to help businesses reach their customers.
Here’s a comparison of some of their latest targeting tools.
WHAT: Custom Audiences
DESCRIPTION: A Custom Audience is the type of audience that you create from a list that’s imported to Facebook from your customer contact list, website traffic or mobile app.
HOW IT WORKS: Your customer list is imported to Facebook from your browser. There, it's matched with Facebook’s list of users, in which these matches are then added to your Custom Audience.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: It’s used to target ads to your current customers or people you know who are already interested in your business and so they are more likely to buy.
WHAT: Lookalike Audiences
DESCRIPTION: With a Lookalike Audience, you can reach people who are similar to your existing customers.
HOW IT WORKS: You build a new audience based on fans from your page or your existing audiences (e.g., those from your Custom Audience). When you create an ad with a Lookalike Audience, the ad will target new audiences who share similarities (such as interests and demographic) with your current audience.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Reaching a new audience of people who are similar to your current customers.
WHAT: The Facebook Pixel (Formerly Custom Audience Pixel)
DESCRIPTION: With Facebook Pixel’s Custom Audience, you can target your Facebook ads to audiences of people who have visited your website and market to people who have expressed interest in your products.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Targeting people who have engaged with your business outside of Facebook.
Where do I start? Which tool should I use?
Before you begin creating targeted ads with Facebook, the first thing you need to consider are your objectives. Knowing what your objectives are, who are you trying to reach, and what makes the most sense for you, will help you plan out your marketing strategy and in deciding which Facebook targeting tool to use. All of these tools are great and serve slightly different purposes depending on your goal. For instance, if you’re trying to reach new customers, then creating a Facebook Lookalike would be ideal; or if you’re trying to reengage with customers, then consider using a Custom Audience.