Beyond the boost with Facebook

Beyond the boost with Facebook

Written by: Gerard Doyle, Fractal – The Startup Marketing Agency

About Fractal: To help startups realise their potential and create a more efficient world.

You’ve posted your perfect pic and catchy caption to your Facebook page. Now to let those likes roll on in, right? 

Not quite. 

If you run a business page on Facebook, you’ve probably hit that ‘boost’ button to give your recent post a little more exposure. 

That boost button is just the gateway to an entire ecosystem of advertising options on Facebook through the Facebook ad manager. 

First things first. Before you can start playing around with the ‘ad manager’, you’re going to need a ‘business account’. You can see if you already have this (and sign up if not) by visiting 

There is a multitude of advertising options on Facebook, and getting to grips with the whole shebang is a full-time gig. So let’s break it down.

Here, we’re going to focus on one thing –  the ‘who’, not the ‘what’. That is, we’re going to talk about how you build an audience on Facebook with which you can promote your posts. 

It’s all about the audience. 

On Facebook, audiences are separated into three types. 

  1. Custom 
  2. Lookalike 
  3. Saved 

Each of the three types offers a unique way to find and target people on Facebook.  

In this article, we’re going to cover custom audiences quickly. In future articles, we’ll cover ‘lookalike’ and ‘saved’ audiences. 

A custom audience is one of the most powerful advertising tools on Facebook. A Facebook custom audience is a targeted advertising service that allows you to import user data for re-targeting on Facebook. 

So what user data can I use? 

Well, you could upload customer emails, phone numbers, you could track users of your app, people who watch your videos, visit your website, respond to your events (on Facebook), fill out a lead form, or just like your Facebook page.  

Each one of these is independently powerful, but as a suite of re-targeting options, a custom audience empowers you to communicate with your already engaged audience over the Facebook platform. 

For most businesses (after re-targeting the followers of their Facebook page) the most common custom audiences are website custom audiences. This feature doesn’t require you to have any data about the users you want to target. All you have to do is wait for a user to visit your website. Thanks to a unique tracking code – the Facebook Pixel – Facebook will recognise users and automatically add them to an audience, making them ready to be re-targeted with advertising. 

The most overlooked customer audience is the video re-targeting option. 

With these custom audiences, you can re-target people who passively consume your social media videos. The key difference from the other customer audiences is that watching a video does not require the user to take action; instead, you can re-target someone because they watched 90 per cent of your 10-minute video, which is arguably a stronger indicator of engagement than a simple ‘thumbs up’, like.  

With well over 2 billion users on Facebook and over a billion on Instagram, it’s essential to know how to target just the right people so that you maximise your results and avoid wasted ad spend. So have a look at customer audiences, and rather than always aiming to reach a new audience, try targeting the people that have already shown your business some interest. 

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