5 Things to Know About Facebook's New Audience Insights Tool

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By: Noah Jarosh In recent weeks, Facebook has been rolling out a new feature to advertisers: Audience Insights. Much like page insights, Audience Insights allow page managers to see information about their specific audience on Facebook. Here are five things you should know about this great new tool before jumping in!

1. Use Audience Insights to further understand your audience.

The new Audience Insights is now the best way to understand the audience you want to target. Extremely specific information is now available to you while still protecting the anonymity of Facebook's users.

With this new tool, Facebook allows you to get a glimpse at the demographic info and lifestyle trends of virtually any audience you may need, as well as comparing your audience to that of the general Facebook population as a whole.

Facebook now allows you to see lifestyle choices, purchase behaviors, other page likes, age and gender, job titles, locations, incomes, and so on and so forth. All in all, there are 20 categories that Facebook provides to those with access to the data and it's probably safe to assume more will be available as the site continues to improve its advertising platform. Here are a couple of examples:

lifestyles

activities

household

Even better than being able to see data for your page's fans, Facebook allows you to see information for any custom audience you may have as well. Thus, if you have uploaded a list of purchasers for a product you can now see demographic info for that list. This allows you to better understand who is buying your product -- sometimes that audience can be drastically different from the fans who have 'Liked' your page!

2. Research potential targeting for ad campaigns.

Before Audience Insights, there was little you could do to know for sure whether your target for advertising was accurate for those on your page. About the only thing you could see was the size of a potential audience. The rest was more or less guesswork.

Now, you can play around in Audience Insights and see more specifically who you are targeting. Facebook allows you to input similar targeting as you would for an ad and to see what that audience looks like. For instance, here is the purchase behavior of 18-45-year-olds who are living away from their hometown and who are interested in American folk musician Joe Pug.

pugaud

Pretty much any normal targeting you would use, you can find here. You can also include targeting along with custom audiences. Treat the new Audience Insights the same way you treat creating an ad, and you may be surprised what you'll find about the people you're attempting to reach!

3. Be careful when choosing the size of an audience.

Facebook can sometimes seem scary with how much information it holds. Despite that, it may not always have enough data to provide meaningful results. With custom audiences, target at least 1,000 people in order to provide yourself with any insight whatsoever. Facebook looks to maintain the privacy of its users, so you won’t be able to get into the nitty-gritty of a tiny target.

In addition, note the percentage of audience.

percent

Some of these audiences may have a very high likelihood percentage, up around 80-90% while some may be down below 25%. When judging who you should target, be careful with these numbers. A lower percentage can still offer meaningful numbers, but it won’t be nearly as accurate as those with higher percentages. You can still use them to analyze trends.

4. Know the difference between Audience and Page Insights

Page Insights have been around for a while on Facebook now and, at first glance, it may seem that Audience Insights is a similar, though expanded tool. While this is somewhat true, there is a key difference between the two forms of insights.

Page Insights pulls data from users’ engagements with the page. That is to say, it will tell you about the number of likes, comments, shares, etc. one receives on a page. Audience insights, however, offers a look at the overarching trends of a page’s fanbase.

5. It’s only available to marketers in the United States for the time being

Unfortunately for our international friends, Facebook has yet to begin launching Audience Insights outside of the U.S. In fact, it will likely be at least a few months before Facebook begins offering the service globally. Of course, the network is still working on getting everyone within the states aboard as the roll-out continues.

In the meantime, anyone without Audience Insights can begin getting hyped for an awesome new tool that will only help advertisers reach a better, more targeted audience. In the brief time it has been available, this has certainly been my reaction thus far:

How are you planning on using the new Audience Insights tool to better reach your audience? Share your thoughts in the comments!