Here are some simple tips to learn how to use target audiences as tools to target your competitors ‘ fans on Facebook.
Knowing your competitors is part of a long-standing tradition of PPC marketing. In fact, thanks to the publication of ads it is possible to involve and finally generate leads even among the public of competitors. While on Google and Bing it is possible to do this by placing advertisements that compete for keywords related to the brand and the product, on a social media like Facebook, which is not based on keywords, you have to focus on another strategy.
The first thing that would come to mind to do would be to identify the fans of the Facebook pages of their competitors. While it is a good strategy, it is not feasible. This is because Facebook does not give the possibility to point directly to the fans of a specific page, but only to do so based on the targeting of interest.
How does it work
This strategy makes it possible to take advantage of the targeting of interest of one ‘s competitors . For example, if you search for the name of a competitor, Facebook will show the audience that has expressed an interest or who has liked his page. It is not a direct strategy like identifying the target of a page’s fans, but it is the closest thing that Facebook allows to do.
We visualize the interface that appears to us when we perform this type of targeting:
First, we will go to the settings menu at the ad set level, where we will start selecting our target of interest.
Through different combinations of keywords linked to our competitors, we will get results on Facebook. For example, we can start with the website address and see what the results are for this search: if Facebook detects data in this regard, it will provide and present an estimate of the size of the audience linked to this address.
If, on the other hand, the web address is not visible, we will have to type single keywords or phrases relating to our competitor, paying attention not to use words that have multiple and unrelated meanings.
Once all the search options have been exhausted, if no results came out, it means that there is no consistent audience for that competitor on Facebook and it will not be possible to proceed with targeting. Let’s now look at an example specifically.
Let’s assume we are in the airline business and want to identify the target of Southwest Airlines. We will go into the settings at the ad set level and start working on the different options to see which options will be possible to target.
We will start with the competitor’s internet address. Not getting any results, we will try, as a second option, “Southwest Airlines” and not simply Southwest, because it is a word with multiple meanings and would probably also lead to identifying people not related to our competitor .
Below are two screenshots: the first shows the results for “Southwest Airlines” written in capital letters, while the second “southwest airlines” in lowercase. The two screenshots provide different audience numbers, which we will need to take into account when targeting.
Southwest Airlines with capital letterssouthwest airlines in lowercase letters
Once the options have been selected, we simply save our progress and begin targeting our competitor on Facebook.
Once we understand the mechanisms of this process, let’s analyze how precisely this strategy is able to identify the target of fans on the Southwest Airline Facebook page.
Identify the target of a competitor’s fans on Facebook: strategy accuracy
Facebook describes an interest as “people who have shown some degree of involvement or liked pages related to that interest” whatever it is.
This is why identifying a competitor through an audience of interest is not an exact formula. How do we understand how close interest targeting is to the actual number of fans who have liked the page, the main goal of a Facebook campaign?
One way is to enter competitors ‘ information in the audience tab, see how many people are present, and then go to the competitor ‘s Facebook page and see how many likes they have on their page.
We always use Southwest Airlines as an example. Below we find a screenshot of their Facebook page and likes (= fans).
And again, a screenshot of the number of people in the audience when we search for Southwest Airlines (in this case using the lowercase version).
Comparing the two screens, we notice that the audience numbers are not exactly the same, although quite similar.
This means that while other factors may be the cause of the numerical differences in audience numbers, a large portion of the identified audience is represented by people who have liked the Southwest Airlines Facebook page.
Identifying competitors on Facebook is not as straightforward as it is on Adwords and Bing, but it can be a useful strategy to try. We just have to remember to pay attention to the target we identify and to monitor each performance to evaluate its effective effectiveness.