Exciting New Facebook Ad Targeting Functionality


What you need to know about Page Engagement Custom Audiences

So, you can guess from the title that I’m about to nerd out a little bit. But this is a big deal! And these are helpful new capabilities if you’re trying to reach a target audience on Facebook.

The ability to target custom audiences based on uploaded lists, website traffic, etc. has been around for a while – but Facebook just rolled out additional features that allow you to target audiences based on page engagement.


This option allows you to target people who have previously interacted with your page or posts based on the kind of media they engaged with – which is a huge leap in potential audience segmentation.


This functionality offers advertisers the ability to follow up with retargeting ads super specific to what the user has already engaged with, which will not only likely lead to higher conversion rates but also will give advertisers the opportunity to create a cohesive experience in terms of creative execution and storytelling in the ads.


Clearly, being able to know how a user engaged with your page or content will help you craft messaging strategies that are much more likely to connect with them and drive action than broad retargeting efforts can accomplish.

The only drawback here is that because Facebook Business Manager is a bit of a beast to navigate, finding exactly where and how to create these audience takes some clicking around. Feel free to shoot me a message if you need some help!

Tis’ the Season for…Lots of Work

November was a busy month, and blogging momentarily slipped to the back burner. More blogs are in the works, but today I’ll just give you a quick update of a couple other things I’ve been working on.

At my agency, we’re in the thick of production for our second round of content for Enough With The Puff, a cigarette smoking prevention/cessation public health campaign. The design updates to the website are done, and you can see those here – and we’ve got tons of new content that will be going up on the site in mid-January. This morning, I had the pleasure of going out near Conifer to the shoot for two of the new commercials for the campaign. It was chilly but a lot of fun. Can’t wait to see how these turn out!


Over the weekend, I headed to Ophelia’s to see Wildermiss, one of my favorite new Denver bands. I just happened to buy a new telephoto lens for my DSLR that afternoon, so I decided to try it out at their show. I will confess that I screwed up about 90 percent of the photos because there proved to be a pretty good learning curve on that lens, but these are the few that came out well. (Click for higher res)

Why Facebook Is Evil (or The Monetization of Facebook)

Facebook has, for quite some time now, been using algorithms to determine what shows up in your News Feed. But now, Facebook’s updated EdgeRank algorithm (explained well here) drastically influences what you see. It theoretically populates your News Feed based on assigned value to posts…but the problem is, it chooses those values for you. So, when a page you Liked never shows up in your feed and instead some spammy-looking “trending story” does, that is why.

This is a problem for this reason: If I have worked hard to build a following for a Facebook page I manage that has a large number of fans, you would think that when I made a status update that all of those fans (who voluntarily Liked the page) would see it, right? Wrong. Of course, that’s never been the case, but it’s even worse now.

Now that Facebook has introduced the “Promote” feature on posts, the algorithm seems to more aggressively limit the organic views of your posts. [note: This could be debated, but this is my theory based on conclusions from observed trends and a bit of speculation.] Facebook claims that using the Promote feature “increases organic views of your content” – which is only true because they have likely intentionally diminished the true organic reach of content so they can turn around and make you buy what you used to get for free.

Want an example?
I manage a page for the band I play in. For the past few months, we have typically reached 36% to 40% of our audience (i.e. the people who have Liked us). Since the introduction of the Promote option, our reach per post has dropped to only about 14%. Now, just to reach the same amount of people I used to reach, I have to pay at least $5 per Promoted post. This is why Facebook is evil. Or, evil genius if you want to think of it that way.

How about another example?
On a page I manage for xx xxxxxxx that has xx,000 fans, we went from having a xx% reach on an average post to having an x% reach – just since the Promote button has been introduced. Ok, decided to edit out that example so as not to give away any proprietary information.

On Facebook, you now have to pay for the same reach that you once got for free. I must say that Facebook did a damn good job of getting everyone on the bandwagon without ever letting on that the ride was eventually going to cost us a lot of money.

You know what drug dealers do? They give you some crack or meth or whatever for free. And when you come back for more, they might even give you a little more for free. Once they have you hooked, all of a sudden what you once got for free is now gonna cost you hundreds of dollars just to get a fix. Who could have guessed that someone in mainstream culture would get away with that same business model?

The Power of Presence

That’s the name of the new ad campaign for the Range Rover Evoque. The first commercial I saw for it (below) really does illustrate that power – both in the original context (physically in NYC) and in the secondary context (the commercial seen on the web).

Though I wouldn’t quite call this a PR stunt, it is a clever, though simplistic, approach to launching a product. One of the best things about the marketing strategy here is that there is no attempt to control or influence the message. It’s just a “here it is” approach that displays a “and we’re know you’re gonna like it” kind of confidence in the product.

Their method also works well to translate word-of-mouth buzz generation to online buzz generation. I like that (except in the time-lapse shots) the focus is as much on the people and their reactions as it is on the SUV. And, the commercial as film has some nice touches – some tilt-shift, some nice cinematography and some great shots of NYC. All around, this one is a win. I just wish they would only use this one instead of some of the other edited-down versions of this commercial that just don’t do it justice.


And all this got me thinking about this concept, the power of presence, in relation to social media. ‘Cause it’s sorta the same thing: you’re giving people something to “look at” that represents your brand or organization. And what you’re giving better be 1) interesting and engaging and 2) less about you and more about them. The same way that many of the shots in this commercial focus on the people walking up to check out the car, the focus of any good social media campaign should be on the customer. Listen to them, watch their reactions, highlight them…all to the end of giving them what they want. And, it sure won’t hurt if you’re a bit flashy (but tasteful) with the content you’re putting out there.


I’ve seen a couple of buzz-creation attempts lately, both of which seem quite effective, though one somewhat disappointing.

The first was the super short teaser entitled “Coming Soon.” When it was first up, it had no further description like it does now.

That got me really excited. Of course, what I thought is what most people thought…that there was a sequel in the makes. But when I saw the newly-released longer version, I was disappointed. Not disappointed because the ad is bad but because it is just an ad, and for the Honda CRV, nonetheless, which is not exciting at all.

But in the wake of that bummer (or maybe not so much of a bummer since that’s a movie that is too good for a sequel), I ran across this viral marketing idea for the upcoming movie Chronicle. The movie probably isn’t one I’ll go see in the theater, but this marketing stunt is pretty sweet. In the movie, the main characters develop the ability to fly. So, the team at Thinkmodo decided to create some flying human sightings in New York and New Jersey by constructing custom made (human shaped) remote control aircraft.