A serious marketer knows their customer like the back of their hand.
Who are they? Where do they live? How much do they earn? What are they buying?
What is the biggest problem they are looking to solve?
What do they desire most from the person who can solve that problem and what is the best offer that will get them to take action?
So the big question is, how do you find this information?
In today’s data-driven, information-flowing-freely society… it’s a lot easier than you think.
One of the best ways to dig deep into your customer is a powerful tool that’s free to use and readily available… and you’re likely already on it at least a couple of dozen times a day.
Yep, it’s Facebook.
Facebook Is a Powerful Tool for Learning About Your Customers, Whether You Advertise On It or Not …
Most business owners don’t know this, so let me repeat it…
Facebook will give you a wealth of information on your prospects and buyers even if you never spend a penny advertising with them.
You don’t need to fund an advertising account with Facebook.
You don’t even need to give them your credit card.
What’s more, you don’t need to have existing customers to benefit.
That means you’ll have access to market research worth millions of dollars, no matter if you’re an online newbie or a seasoned pro. The same market research your competitors have access to, yet are probably clueless about.
Just one caveat…
What I’m about to walk you through is what’s available in our ad account, at this moment.
Facebook is constantly testing features and changing their layout, so by the time you read this (even if it’s tomorrow) there’s a good chance they will have changed something.
The data you see is also somewhat dependent on your location, so keep that in mind.
So let’s get started…
First, there are two things you will need in order to use this tool:
#1. Personal Facebook Account
Chances are, you already have one. If not, it’s time to bite the bullet and set one up.
#2. Business Manager Account
If you have one already, great… you’re in business.
If not, it only took me two minutes to set one up for myself.
How to Use Facebook Business Manager to Deep Dive Into Your Perfect Customer …
When you first log in to Business Manager, you’ll see a menu along the top.
Hover over Business Manager in the top-left corner and a submenu will pop up:
Click Audience Insights and a pop up will ask you to select between two options:
If you have a Fan Page on Facebook, you can click People connected to your Page to get a breakdown of the people you are already attracting, so you can find more like them.
For our purposes here, let’s start with the entire population of Facebook.
Click Everyone on Facebook and you’ll be greeted with a screen that looks like this:
This is the Audience Insights dashboard where your enlightenment begins.
In Facebook’s own words:
“Facebook Audience Insights gives you aggregate information about two groups of people – people connected to your Page and people on Facebook – so you can create content that resonates and easily find more people like the ones in your current audience.”
On the left side, you’ll see a series of search boxes to narrow down your search.
Unless you already have specific information telling you otherwise, I recommend leaving the Location and Age and Gender sections set to the default.
The Interests field is where the magic happens. If you click on the Interests field, a list of categories will pop up to help you narrow down your search.
For example, let’s imagine we are selling running gear in the fitness space.
So I’ll select Fitness and wellness → Running as our category.
As soon as you do that, you’ll see all of the data on the right side of the page change to reflect the category you’ve selected.
So Let’s See What Facebook Has to Tell Us About Our Best Potential Customers …
First… it tells us the running market is skewed towards women at nearly a 2-to-1 ratio, and that a full 69% of our market is between the ages of 25 to 54:
Second… 58% are either married or engaged, and 76% are college graduates:
Third… they are twice as likely to live in Long Beach, California… Honolulu, Hawaii… or Grand Rapids, Michigan as anywhere else:
Now let’s stop there for a moment.
Creating a profile, or avatar, of your perfect customer is copywriting 101.
You look at the market… figure out who you feel that perfect customer might be (right down to plastering a picture of them next to your computer)… and then you write directly to that perfect customer every time you create new marketing or advertising.
So how might this information help us build that profile so far?
Well, here’s what I’m thinking about our perfect customer:
A 37-year-old woman.
Married in a stable relationship.
A professional career woman.
That’s a pretty good start to building a customer profile, don’t you think?
Now you may say, what does location really matter? After all, Long Beach and Honolulu have little in common with Grand Rapids. So how does this really help?
First of all… it may not help much in this case, but you may find when you search your own target market that your perfect customer is concentrated in a specific type of location.
Maybe they tend to live in a big metropolitan city. Or a rural farm area. Or a coastal city.
The people living in these areas are living vastly different lifestyles. If you find your market is concentrated in one of these, that tells you volumes about your potential customer.
Second of all… it could be useful in helping you develop your advertising strategy.
Getting back to our example in the running market, you might use geographic targeting to advertise in those cities with a higher percentage of runners first. Then roll out to other regions later.
You’ll probably get faster results, for less ad spend, to help you test and roll out more quickly.
You might decide to target runners in Grand Rapids, Michigan with special promotions for cold-weather running gear during the winter months.
Or you might decide to step up your advertising to runners in Honolulu, Hawaii in the weeks leading up to the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
I’m just spitballing here to give you ideas… there are no hard and fast rules.
It’s valuable data, but it’s still just data. You have to figure out the best way to sift and sort and massage it in ways that are useful to you.
So now… we’ve learned all of this in about 15 minutes.
If we want to spend a little more time, here’s where it really gets interesting…
The Facebook Fan Page: How to Learn More About Your Perfect Customer Than You Can From a Dozen Fancy Focus Groups …
If we click over to the Page Likes tab, we can start to take a deeper look into the psychographics of our perfect customer:
This shows me the top 10 pages “Liked” by this particular segment of people. If I click See More at the bottom, it will show me even more.
How does this help me?
Well, let’s see. I see Runner’s World is number two on the list. So I click on it and it opens up the Runner’s World Fan Page in my browser.
So I spend a few minutes analyzing it.
I check out post titles and any other headlines on the page, including the titles of any blog posts they link out to. Especially, the most popular posts with plenty of activity.
I read through several of their posts and the comments people are posting.
Let me tell you, you can learn more about your target market just from reading the comments on a Fan Page than you could from a dozen fancy focus groups!
What subjects are popular?
What questions are people asking?
What are the biggest problems and issues?
Of course, I’m making notes as I go… this information is a gold mine!
Finally, I’ll look for any signs of an optin form where I can sign up for more goodies to see what offers they are running. I’ll also look under the About section to see if they have a website. If they do, I’ll visit their web site and analyze it just like I analyzed their Fan Page.
So what’s next? Well, it’s on to another Fan Page in the list.
Before I leave, of course, I’m going to “Like” the page so I can continue to get a wealth of market data in my News Feed every day.
If I’m feeling ambitious, I can go one step further.
I can go back to Interests and type Runner’s World into the field to analyze all of the data on the Runner’s World Fan Page.
Here’s what it tells me:
It breaks down to 70% woman and 31% men, with a median age of roughly 38 or so. In fact, it’s even more skewed towards woman.
So my earlier hunch that my perfect customer is a 37-year-old woman still holds. It also confirms that she is probably a married, highly educated, professional career woman.
I can also click the Page Likes tab and discover even more Fan Pages to analyze.
Once I’ve gone through this process with the top 20, 30 or even 40 Fan Pages that Facebook tells me is relevant to my market…
…I now have an enormous amount of information on my perfect customer!
How Do You Research Your Target Market?
So tell us…
How do you research your own target market?
Do you have any favorite tools or processes for digging in to the mind of your customer?
Have you ever used Facebook Audience Insights to do your research?
Would this process help you step up your marketing game and increase your sales?
Please comment below and let us know…
Until next time, happy selling!