The mantra of every savvy multi-channel campaign manager should be, “Be where the people are.” In today’s hyper-connected world, the majority of people can be found on one or more social networking sites. The one platform that reigns supreme is Facebook. According to a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of U.S. internet-connected adults use Facebook (while only 23 percent use Twitter). So, if you’re planning a multi-channel campaign, it would be wise to incorporate Facebook – where your current and future supporters are.
But, with 1.13 billion daily Facebook users, how do you make sure your Facebook ads reach the right people? Thankfully, Facebook offers audience development and targeting options to help you find and engage with supporters that will take action and give.
One great feature of Facebook is Custom Audiences, which allows you to import an existing contact list, i.e., e-newsletter subscribers, website visitors, current donors, etc. After you upload a list, Facebook uses information, such as email addresses and phone numbers, to find your contacts on its user list and creates a Custom Audience. So if you create a Custom Audience of your donors, you can target your Facebook ads to appear in their news feeds and drive them to give more. Or, you can also use exclusion targeting, which prevents them from seeing your ad. This helps if your current campaign goal is to find new donors.
You can also find new supporters by leveraging Custom Audiences to create Look-a-like Audiences. Facebook will find people that share similar traits — like location, age, and interests — with the supporters you uploaded that you can serve your ads to. You can also base your Look-a-like Audiences on other sources, such as fans of your Facebook Page.
In addition to creating your own Custom Audiences or Look-a-like Audiences, Facebook offers a host of other ways to target your ads to the right people. You can target people by demographic information such as geography, age, or gender. Geography is particularly beneficial if you’re looking for support of a local cause. For example, if you work on behalf of a Washington D.C. hospital, you can target your ads to appear for people in the D.C. area instead of people in Chicago.
Notably, you can target outreach to people based on interests, which Facebook determines based on data like things they share on their timeline, previous ads they clicked, the Facebook pages they like, and more. If they like certain organizations that are similar to yours, they could be potential donors. Further, you can target people based on behaviors, which are constructed from both someone’s activity on Facebook and through offline activity provided by data from Facebook’s third-party partners. It would be a good idea to choose people who are “charitable givers.” If all this targeting sounds overwhelming, you can always turn to an advertising partner for help.
As research has shown, it can take seven to 12 touches before a message becomes memorable to supporters. Facebook might be the critical touchpoint in your multi-channel campaign that gets your supporters and future supporters to take action and donate. So, get creative with your advertising and targeting!