How to find out your customer’s favourite food, software, magazine, blog or TV show

I’m going to talk about how we get incredible insight from our customers using Facebook insights.

The idea is that we want to find out as much as we can about our customers. Interestingly, often when we start a new project with either our customers or with our own projects, we will try to create an in-depth custom avatar.

Customer avatars aren’t necessarily the easiest things to create. Partly because 1) we don’t really know why we are creating them, and 2) its often difficult to get as much information as we’d like from our customers.

So what we’re going to use is Facebook’s incredible massive library of content and data, in order to discover more about our customers.

So at the left-hand side of the Facebook menu, under explore. I can click on adverts manager.

This is a free tool available to everyone who uses Facebook, you don’t have to pay for it and you don’t have to pay for the tools we are going to use.

At the top left in adverts manager, click the button and come down to “all tools” and then come back up under Plan, to audience insights.

Audience insights has made our lives incredibly easy, by allowing us to see exactly the categories, pages, website, blog posts, foods, companies or whatever our customers love.

For this example, I’m going to use an accountancy course company that we work with, and I’m going to show how we find more information about their business.

Our example company sells courses, delivered online to accountants in America, who must take continuing professional education (CPE) credits and courses.

As soon as I enter Facebook insights, I’ll be given this screen about choosing an audience.

If we had a page with a large following, we could find out data about people connected to that page.

For example, if we were running a large membership business or a large brand with over 10,000 followers. It would be incredibly insightful to understand more about people who are connected to that page, but instead I’m going to select everyone on Facebook.

There is also a method to be able to upload an email list for a custom audience, but I’ll go over that in another post.

If I select everyone on Facebook, first of all, it asks me to change the location. For this particular customer, all of their customers are inside the United States. So I want to keep that as it is.

The age and gender I pretty much keep as is, and then we can focus on this box underneath saying “Interests”.

Now the demographic data that is provided is essential for everyone inside the United States, so there’s about 150 to 200 million active people on Facebook, inside the USA and we’ve got breakdowns of their age, their genders, the different lifestyles they lead, relationship statuses etc.

And inside the USA, we can look inside their household income ownership when the last purchase something online what they tend to purchase their location. The amount of activity on Facebook, how often they post per day.

And most importantly their page likes, and categories.

For example, I know my customers know a very, very large organisation for accountants called the AICPA By entering “AICPA” and searching for it inside “Interests”, I can see that there are between 60 to 70,000 monthly active people in the United States who follow the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

This is where it gets incredibly interesting.

I can also see the top categories for organisations, websites, charities, coming all the way down to finance publishers, authorities that people who follow the AICPA are interested in, when building out a custom avatar.

It’s incredibly important that we use this insight to build understand the language they use, the people they follow, the words and copy and lexicon that they use. And also use this to be able to test advertising and traffic driving campaigns.

For example, we can see here that under business and economy websites, the two top ones that people who are interested in the AICPA follow, are Investopedia and Business Insider.

We follow the Miles Beckler method for creating interest lists, where I will try to find 30 interests connected to my audience of between 50 to 200,000 monthly active people.

Now just for a research standpoint, we are not focusing on traffic at the moment. We will use numbers under 200,000 potentially up to 500,000 depending on the market. But anything over that is often too broad.

For example, with Investopedia, I can see between 500 000 to 600 000 monthly active people that could well be accountants, but it also likely to be private individuals and investors as well.

So it might not necessarily be a good indication that everyone who follows Investopedia, as an accountant. But it’s likely that there are lots of accountants within that.

It’s still incredibly important, because I could look at the types of content Investopedia creates and see if I can target any of that to my accountancy based customers.

If I come back and choose AICPA again, I can also look at the top pages on Facebook that they follow.

Interests is a funny tool in Facebook, because some people and some products will be in here and some won’t. Very, very large and famous organisations might not be under interests, but then slightly smaller businesses will be.

For example, the top organisation here is a “Young CPA Network”. They also have Young CPA Network as the top page.

I can then take a look at this group and potentially also even join it. It says in the “Community” box, that there are 13,000 people connected and it is also a part of the AICPA.

However, if I come back to audience insights and search for “Young CPA Network”. You can see that “Young CPA Network” doesn’t come up.

We could also then go through the list and look for Another71, and again Another71 doesn’t come up. So I’ll want to go through this list of page likes and categories and try to find as many interests as I can, that are relative to whom my audience follow.

What I might also do is find something such as Intuit or QuickBooks. I can see that this has got 1.5 to 2 million people in it’s audience size.

Intuit QuickBooks might be an interest that people follow, who aren’t necessarily accountants. Small businesses use QuickBooks in order to be able to submit their accounts. So not every single person who is monthly active on Facebook, who likes QuickBooks, will necessarily be an accountant.

However, it’s interesting to see that anyone who does like QuickBooks has got a few other similarities here with people who are interested in AICPA.

If I choose something too broad, such as “accounting”, there are 2.5 to 3 million active people.

That might sound fantastic and indicate that there are up to 3 million people interested in accounting.

However, first of all, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are accountants, it could be that there are managers or small businesses who are just interested in small business accounting.

But it could also mean that if I was to try and advertise towards that audience it’s so large that it could be quite expensive. So although I would perhaps put that down as a takeaway or an interest, it would be something I wouldn’t necessarily focus on.

If I try AICPA again and I can see here that Dave Ramsey, under categories of finance, is someone who a lot of people are interested in.

Now I don’t know who Dave Ramsey is. He is evidently very well known as a financial public figure, it could well be that he is someone who we would like to target for an accountancy based courses.

So if I search for Dave Ramsey under Interests, I can see here, again, it jumps up to 3 million people, which could well just be private individuals and private investors as well as accountants.

So I want to make sure that I’m using content categories and pages that are connected to my accountancy customers. I will try to create 30 interests for any particular list that we are working with, with customers and we might produce several lists per product in order to use this as a report to show them the potential demographics and size of their market.

One of the things I find particularly interesting is if I look at an interest, which is useful to my particular audience, to demographics and I can see how young they are, how old they are, and the particular types of lifestyles that they lead and just dig into this data and present it back to my customers

So that’s how we find out as much as possible about our customers using the free Facebook tool.

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.