It's not a stretch to say that Facebook knows everything about its users. You personally can relate to this when you've noticed ads in your Facebook newsfeed that have been eerily well-suited to your taste and interests. This is no coincidence. Facebook advertising compiles user data to offer marketers with a wealth of targeting options--98 personal data points to be exact.
Why does Facebook offer such a wide breadth of targeting options?
The goal for Facebook advertising is to make the ads that people see interesting, useful, and relevant. While marketers can create Facebook advertising campaigns using basic demographic parameters such as location, gender, and age, they can also get much more granular with targeting by using personal data points such as "users who are likely to engage in politics," "users who plan to buy a car," and "users who own a small business."
How Facebook ad targeting is alarming to some users
The amount of information that Facebook knows about its users is alarming to some people. Recognizing this concern, Facebook recently revamped its ad preference settings to make it easier for users to understand how their data is being used by marketers. In addition, a new ad education portal explains how Facebook ad targeting works. This is Facebook's effort to be transparent with users and demonstrate that the company is still committed to user privacy.
When looking through the ad education portal, some of the information you'll see is no surprise, such as how Facebook tracks the pages that users like, the types of ads that users click on, and the location settings of users. However, something that is lesser known is that Facebook's web-tracking efforts extend beyond what users are looking at on Facebook. For instance, when you're logged into Facebook, the social media giant can also track virtually every other website that you visit.
Facebook even gives marketers the ability to use data from firms like Experian, Acxiom, and Epsilon to further target ads. When combining this information with the data that users provide to Facebook, marketers are able to create highly targeted Facebook advertising campaigns that produce results.
Is paid Facebook advertising now necessary to reach your audience?
While you can still be successful creating high-quality organic content on Facebook, we also recommend using Facebook paid advertising to reach your audience on this social media site. With so much content to compete with on Facebook, only a small fraction of users are able to see your organic posts. Facebook continues to revamp its algorithm to show users only the most relevant content in their newsfeeds. Creating highly targeted advertising campaigns is an effective way to get your content seen by the right people and inspire them to take action.
With Facebook being the most popular social networking site, your business can't afford to not include this social media giant in your social media marketing strategy. Taking advantage of the wide breadth of targeting features offered through paid advertising will allow you to take your Facebook marketing campaigns to the next level.