How to Use Facebook Audience Insights The Beginners Guide

Want to have more insight as to who your ideal prospects are, what they like, where they live/work, how much money they make, etc? Would you like to have access to all the data Facebook has so you can narrow in on the exact interests of your ideal customer?

Well with Facebook’s Audience Insights, this is all possible. Facebook is giving you access to its own data so your job is to take advantage of it and learn how to use it to your own advantage.

In this article, you will learn how to use Audience Insights to help you learn more about your audience.

What Is Audience Insights Anyway?

Audience Insights is a free tool, Facebook has created, to allow you to better target your ads and learn more about your ideal audience.

It is a tool that allows you to access the vast amount of data Facebook has compiled over the years from its users.

Available Insights

You can view several different insights on your audience:

  • Demographics — Age and gender, lifestyle, education, relationship status, job role and household size
  • Page Likes — The top Pages people like in different categories, like women’s apparel or sports
  • Location and Language — Where do people live, and what languages do they speak
  • Facebook Usage — How frequently are people in your target audience logging onto Facebook and what device(s) they are using when they log on
  • Household Data – Compiled household data including household income, home ownership, household size and spending methods.
  • Purchases Activity — Past purchase behavior (i.e. heavy buyers of women’s apparel) and purchase methods (i.e., in-store, online)

Why you should use Audience Insights

While you think you may know who your fans really are or what your ideal customer likes, with Audience Insights you can really drill down into their likes, demographics and behaviors.

This is an excellent tool to use to learn more about your current fans, website visitors or those on your email list.

But the true magic of this tool comes in when you may not have a large following and need to find other interests to initially target with Facebook ads.

Here are some ways you could make use of Audience Insights:

  • learn about the fans of your page
  • learn about the fans of a competitors page
  • learn about a custom audience (website visitors, email subscribers, people who buy your product, etc.)
  • learn about an audience who has certain interest (ie yoga)

How to use Audience Insights

You can access Audience Insights by going to https://www.facebook.com/ads/audience_insights or you can also access it from your Facebook ad manager interface by clicking on menu in the upper right-hand corner and selecting Audience Insights.

audience insights

Step 1 – Choose or Create an Audience

You can get started with Audience Insights by choosing one of the following starting points:

  • Everyone on Facebook – Everyone on Facebook
  • People connected to your page – This would be everyone who  has liked your page.
  • A Custom Audience – Data for a particular custom audience you have previously created with the Ad Creation Tool or Power Editor

choose an audience

You can choose on of these options or simply close the box and use the filtering option from the left sidebar to create your own custom audience.

Step 2: Select your segment’s parameters.

In this step, you will define the audience you want to analyze.

The left sidebar offers the following options to create a custom audience to analyze.

  • Custom Audience – Select an existing custom audience to analyze.
  • Location – Narrow your existing audience to only include data for user in particular Countries, Regions or Cities.
  • Age & Gender – Narrow your existing audience by age and gender.
  • Interests –  Narrow your existing audience by particular interests.
  • Connections – Include or exclude your own fans.
  • Advanced – Filter for behaviors, language, relationship status, education, work, financial, home, market segments, parents, politics, life events and device owners.

audience insights filters

The Interests option is a great way to uncover new interests to try targeting with your ads. You can type in general interests or the name of specific Facebook pages you think your ideal customer would follow.

yoga interests

Now not all pages will appear. Generally the page needs to have at least 2,000 likes, however that is not always the case. The best thing to do is to have a list of Pages and interests, and simply enter them into this box to see if they appear.

So for example, in the image below we are analyzing people who like “Yoga Journal Magazine”

yoga journal magazine interests

Step 3: Explore the data.

So after we create our audience of people in the United States who like “yoga journal magazine”, we can dive into and explore the data to learn more about this group of people.

There are six tabs available within the tool, which cover different aspects of data available. These are:

  • Demographics
  • Page Likes
  • Location
  • Activity
  • Household
  • Purchase

audience insights tabs

Demographics

The demographics tab includes information on age, gender, lifestyle (U.S. only), and relationship status, education and job title.

Looking at this audience, Facebook is saying the active audience size is 1 – 1.5 million people. If the active audience has fewer than 1,000 people, no data will appear here.

active audience size

You can see that 92% of the Yoga Journal audience is female, compared to 8% male. You can also see that most of audience are in the 25-34 and 35-44 age bracket. This data is highly valuable when creating your ads because based on this we would be best to only target females in the 25-44 age range.

age and gender insights

We can also see that most of our audience is married and has a college degree.

relationship and education level

This data shows that a fan of Yoga Journal Magazine are most likely to education, healthcare and personal care.

audience insights job titles

Page Likes

The data here is split into two sections.

The first section shows the top categories of Pages along with the top Pages within those categories that your selected audience likes.

Using the Yoga Journal audience, we can see what else they Like on Facebook to help get a better picture of their interests and lifestyle.

top categories

The second section shows the specific Pages that this audience is more likely to Like than the average Facebook user. This list is sorted by an affinity score. All affinity simply means is that this audience is X times more likely to like a certain page as compared with a general interest that you have chosen.

This is a great place to find other pages your ideal audience likes and follows.

page likes

Location

Within the location tab, you can see Top Cities, Top Countries, and Top Languages for your selected audience. This data can come in very valuable if you want to only target specific countries or cities.

location tab

Activity

The Activity tab will give you some insight into the behavior and activity of your audience on Facebook.

This tab split into two sections:

Frequency of Activities: This shows user activity in the last 30 days. You can see the average number of Pages Liked and the number of engagements (comments, Likes, shares, ad clicks) made in the last 30 days.

Device Users: Shows the different types of devices used to access Facebook.

We can see that the average fan of Yoga Journal Likes 54 Facebook Pages. You can also see that they are more likely than the average Facebook user to engage with comments, Likes, shares, and ads.

frequency of activities

The second data category you will see is devices used by this audience to access Facebook.

device users

There are 2 options ‘All Devices Used’ and ‘Primary Device’. By selecting ‘Primary Device’ you can see whether this audience is more likely to use desktop or mobile, alongside the type of device.

We can see that 98% of are audience uses mobile to access Facebook and that ‘iPhone/iPod’ and ‘Android’ are the two most popular devices. This data will help you determine if you should run ads to desktop and mobile or just mobile and even in particular what devices to target with your ads.

devices by primary device

Household

Household data is available only for users in the US, and this data comes from survey responses, purchase activity, census and publicly available data through external third-parties.

There are five data sets included in this tab:

  • Household income
  • Home ownership
  • Household size
  • Home market value
  • Spending methods

household data stats

Purchase

The Purchase tab offers information based on US purchasing behavior collected from third-parties such as Datalogix, Epsilon and Acxiom.

You’ll find four types of data:

  • Retail spending
  • Online purchases
  • Purchase behavior
  • In market for a vehicle

You can see that this audience is much more likely to purchase Kids and Health & Beauty products than the average Facebook audience.

purchase behavior stats

Step 4: Save your audience

If after analyzing all of this data you decide this is an audience you would like to use in your ad targeting, you can save it for later use in your ad campaigns.

Simply click on ‘Save’ at the top of the Page and you will be given the option to name your audience.

saving an insights audience

Later this saved audience can be used in your ad campaigns. and selected within your campaigns.

You can also use the Open option to access a previously saved audience.

Your Turn

What do you think? How do you plan to use Audience Insights to better understand your audience?

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