New Facebook Ad Options that Help Small Businesses

Facebook announced  an important advertising option update this week. The new change is that custom audiences are now available to all advertisers. This is especially important to small businesses because it makes it easier to target your own contacts in a Facebook ad platform. Previously this feature was only available through Facebook’s API and Power Editor Tool and was not widely known about.

Getting started with Your Own Custom Audience Campaign

Setting up a custom ad audience made up of your own email list subscribers is quite simple and intuitive. If you use MailChimp, it integrates directly with their system to upload your contacts or you can upload any email list. Once contacts are uploaded, Facebook matches the email addresses from your file to Facebook users with the same email address. This is done with encryption technology, so your email contacts are not compromised in any way. Facebook then matches your contacts and sets up the targeted users with ads for your site, Facebook Page, or mobile app. Before you get started, the first step is to accept Facebook’s terms of service for Custom Audiences.

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Facebook expert Mari Smith explains  the privacy issue, “The good news is that Facebook encrypts (called “hashed”) each email address on your list so the emails are not actually usable and then your list is deleted once the match process is complete. Facebook does *not* suddenly start emailing (spamming!) your subscribers. And, for those people on your list that didn’t match with a Facebook account, Facebook doesn’t suddenly start sending invites to join Facebook. “

Powerful Possibilities to Reach Your Customers

With Custom Audiences and objective-based ad buying, businesses can:

  • Message existing customers with promotions or offers on Facebook. For example, a local auto dealer can reach people who bought a car a year ago with an ad for a free oil change.
  • Find new customers in a specific area by excluding existing customers from campaigns. A clothing boutique might try to reach new customers in its area by excluding people who have already signed up for its mailing list.
  • Most uploads result in a 50% – 70% match and allow you to connect with your existing customers that are already interested in your product and have already showed that interest by signing up for your email list.

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