Recently a new Facebook feature rolled out of beta that can provide brands with a viable process to connect their offline CRM databases to those users on Facebook. Now, this process of custom audience list targeting has just rolled out to all brands who advertise on Facebook.
This new feature can be a significant enabler for a brand, as most have larger customer databases outside of the social sphere (after years of traditional CRM outreach) than they have engaged on their social properties.
With Facebook’s new targeting capabilities, brands can bridge the connection of their offline data through social channels. By targeting the exact individuals that the brand already has or had a relationship with, the impact of the targeted reach can be greatly enhanced.
With the new Power Editor, the brand has the ability to identify “who” they want to target beyond the general parameters that have been available. This applies to current customers, prospects, people who like specific products, lapsed users, etc… The ability to take these offline lists and create custom audiences via Facebook’s ad platform is a major step forward for the platform and allows a greater level of targeting to a base that has already established a self-selected affinity towards the brand at some point in that customers brand life cycle.
Brands can create lists based on email addresses, phone numbers, etc.. that represent the groups of people in a CRM database. These elements are then matched to Facebook’s own records to create the custom lists.
In terms of ownership of the data, Facebook does not receive the brands customer data fully. The data is protected and resides on your local computer, then the data is imported via hashes. Facebook then matches the hashes to it’s own records and deletes the data. All that remains is a custom target list. This list is then tied to the individuals Facebook ad account. No other advertisers can use the list.
My recent discussions with Facebook state that their clients have seen a higher ROI based on beta interactions. This applied to higher conversion rates, lower cost per fan, lead or reengaged users than with other campaigns.
Brands have the ability to create unlimited lists at no cost and have the ability to keep audiences up to date. One additional benefit, is that it is possible to map the custom lists to those who have and have not liked the page.
This option is not available at the page level, but only as part of the advertising platform. The ability to marry offline data with Facebook’s social graph to further amplify existing connections is a key addition to the platform.
Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360