For years, media outlets have conducted research to understand the psychographics of the audiences they sell. Psychographics are nuggets of information amid broad demographic information. But now, Facebook not only knows about its audience demographics, Facebook also know a lot about its users—down to their very likes and dislikes.
Facebook is providing big-data dives with Audience Insights. Before, you could easily match your advertising purchases to age targets, but now you can also aim at people who enjoy adventure travel or are into fitness. Even more importantly, you can also target people who have high engagement on Facebook. If you are stuck in the “Like” world, you can now target people who are likely to like your posts.
You can begin to build predictive personas to understand your targets. Facebook, like many researchers, provides lifestyle personas. The complex personas are from US demographic and interest data based on purchase behavior, brand affinity and activities. They have nicknames such as Children First, Career Building, Married Sophisticates and Lavish Lifestyles. You can also build your own ultra-targeted personas.
All of this is made possible by understanding the data Facebook is able to mine from billions of interactions and cross-referencing that data with demographics, income data and other third-party data collectors.
Understanding the personas of your market allows you to build a detailed journey map prior to beginning your marketing efforts. It’s all big data, but it is refined, so you can understand the little nuances and micro-moment decisions that drive behavior.