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When Facebook was first introduced in 2004, it was little more than a communication tool used by university students to communicate with their peers. Fast forward to 2012 and it’s now a social media platform that has more or less changed the way we interact with one another. Companies use it to connect with their fans and customers, a new-age form of soft marketing. To make marketing more effective, Facebook has introduced a new advertising feature.
Custom Audiences is Facebook’s new marketing feature, available through a plug-in called Power Editor for Google Chrome. If your company utilizes the Facebook Advertising API (Application Programming Interface) to manage Facebook related advertising, this feature is also available to you.
What exactly is Custom Audiences?
If you conduct any form of email advertising, you likely have a list of email addresses that you send content like newsletters to on a regular basis. If you have this list saved as a single column CSV – Comma-Separated Value: A document that stores tabular data (e.g., Excel files) with no formatting, separated by commas – you can import it into Power Editor. Power Editor will match the email addresses with Facebook users and allow you to create ads to target just those users.
If you have a phone list, you can upload that to use as well. This is a good feature as it allows you to reach out, through Facebook, with ads to clients or customers who aren’t currently your fans or don’t like your page. In other words, your marketing reach through Facebook has just expanded.
Because you do upload your customer’s information to your Facebook account, the information is stored on Facebook’s servers. This move has come under scrutiny from many security experts, to which Facebook has responded that all data uploaded is hashed for security. On top of this, advertisers must have consent from data owners to use their information and agree to remove it when asked.
For now, this feature is only available through third-party vendors or to users of the Power Editor script. Power Editor is an extension for Chrome which helps users to create, edit and manage Facebook ad campaigns.
How to create a Custom Audience
If you have Power Editor installed, navigate to it and you’ll notice a new tab labeled Custom Audiences. Click it and a pop-up window will open. In the window you’ll be able to pick a name for your audience and upload the file with the contact information and type of information. Select the relevant information and click Create.
After the upload is complete, you should see the new list on the main window. Select the list and press Create Ad Using Audience. You will create your ad as you normally would, and it will be sent to the list you selected.
If you are looking to expand your marketing platform or reach out to your customers in a new way, this is a good feature to do so. While it is free for now, it’s yet to be seen if it will become a paid feature in the near future. To learn more about how to use Facebook for your marketing, please contact us.
Published on 9th October 2012 by Jeanne DeWitt.