Facebook Graph Search has moved from being cool to being really useful in understanding your audience and targeting marketing campaigns. Consider this use case. You are hired by a start-up company to launch a new energy drink in India. The client sees a niche opportunity as a lower cost alternative to Red Bull, which controls $2.9 billion of the Indian market. You do some surveys and figure out a few things about your target demographic. They are male, students, age 13-25, in urban markets and they aspire to drive Volkswagens. You know you will be spending some money on social media, event sponsorships, and street teams doing product demonstration taste tests. But who will you target, how will you reach them, and where do you place your budget?
#1. Start with a Facebook Graph search using information that you already know about your potential customers, that they like Volkswagen and Red Bull.
#2 Facebook will give you the results of your search and a list of additional qualifiers.
# 3 It’s a big pool of people, so you would drill down and filter for Males.
#4 It’s still a large group, so you refine further and filter for “Single Men.”
#5 The first target market is Mumbai, so you filter by Location= “Mumbai.”
#6 Students are the biggest consumer of energy drinks, so you filter by Employer = Students. You get 4 guys. You want to be able to target your ads to a broader audience that is similar to them, so expand your group by adding “Brands They Like.”
#7 Be careful at this stage. If your sample group is very small and this was a real campaign, you would save this group as a test group for one ad group. You would then back out one level before proceeding to get a wider and more representative group, and then A/B test the two ad groups against each other. You might also want to send a message to these guys and introduce yourself. Be transparent and let them know what you are doing, and chat with them about their likes, dislikes, and background. This is a great way to listen to the voice of your customer.
#8 There are more than 1000 Pages the single males like, so you refine to filter the Pages by Musicians. Your team has an idea to promote a concert series in Mumbai, sponsor the events, and run PPC ads around these brands on Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platforms. This search gives you a good place to start with sponsorship inquiries. Whether you end up sponsoring the event or not, you decide to set up guerilla marketing “tasting booths” outside of the venues where the musicians are playing in Mumbai. It’s cheap, easily deployed, and allows you to test your product formulation and street promotion set-ups as well as get a feel for your customers’ tastes.
#9 You want to test the brand’s logo and tagline before launch with a low cost campaign to ensure they resonate with the target audience. You decide to do a promotional music video for a popular local Mumbai band using YouTube’s “TrueView” format so that the client only pays when the user watches it. You refine your search to include “Videos liked by musicians liked by single male students in Mumbai who like Red Bull and Volkswagen.”
#10 These ads run before videos on that YouTube, and you are only charged when the viewer chooses to watch the rest of the video. You then run different versions using different combinations of the logo, tag line, and website landing pages to measure engagement.
These potential customers are invited to sign up for a contest for “Free Energy Drinks For A Lifetime,” and their emails are added to your database, which forms the basis of your first “Custom Audiences” targeting criteria in Facebook. This information forms the basis for your automated marketing and lead nurturing campaigns. For less than the cost of one traditional focus group, you have done a deep dive into your target market’s tastes, tested your logos and website, received real-world feedback on your creative content, and started a relationship with your audience.
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