The addition of one simple boolean operator to the ads platform is all that it would take for Facebook to instantly make advertising even more effective and open a new dimension of micro targeting possibilities. Currently, you have the ability to use AND/OR when targeting different category targets but not so for precise interests.
With all of the changes Facebook rolled out over the last year, the rapidly increasing number of hours spent on Facebook, and the continued growth of the social network it’s getting more difficult for marketers to get in front of exactly the right people.
The fact of the matter is that people “like” things they don’t actually like more and more every day. A fanpage might give away an iPad or a free account or a coupon in exchange for you “liking” their page. It’s quickly becoming common practice for Facebook users to like away in exchange for just about anything – increasing the number of interest in their profile and diluting targeting efficiency. This is a problem with ad targeting because your interest targets might be things that people liked or put on their profile for reasons other than actually liking it.
As of today there are 180,000,000 targetable users in the U.S. alone on Facebook and an average of 4.5 billion (with a b) likes per day. The precision and efficiency of existing ad targeting options is slowly declining.
There is hope though – with one small tweak to the way precise interest targeting works Facebook can fix this problem while simultaneously increasing ad relevancy to the end user and ad efficiency to the advertiser. It’s really a win-win-win. What is this magic tweak you speak of, Tom? Simple. Give advertisers the option to AND together interests instead of only allowing OR.
To put this into laymen’s terms, right now when you enter 2 different interests in the precise interest targeting field Facebook will allow you to target anyone who likes either interest: so for example cats OR dogs.
This serves little value from a micro-targeting perspective (and we all know that’s the key to ROI from any type of marketing) because each additional interest you enter increases the audience size and number of people the ad will potentially be shown to. In most cases, that’s the exact opposite of what you want to do – especially if you’re trying to nail down your customer personas.
Lets say I wanted to find people that really like animals – if precise interests ANDing was an option in the ad manager I could do something like this:
(this is a mockup and not actually available as of this post being written)
In this scenario I know that the 42,000 people in the audience are much more likely to be animal lovers than interested in just dogs or cats or horses.
See the difference?
[hr]Stats source: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-17-amazing-facebook-stats/