Facebook recently announced the launch of “custom audiences,” a feature that allows advertisers to target their audience with laser-focus. With this new feature, you can upload an email list or list of phone numbers, match them to Facebook users and advertise directly to them.
This is great news for small businesses of all types. Uploading your email or newsletter list allows you to advertise directly to people who are currently buying from you or who have expressed an interest in buying in the future. You can offer specific deals to those existing clients, without wasting impressions on hundreds or even thousands users who don’t know your brand or have any affinity toward your brand.
You can focus even more directly on users who, say, haven’t liked your Facebook page yet, versus those who have. You can layer different queries to create a hyper custom list in ways you haven’t previously been able to on any platform. The ways in which businesses and online marketers can use this feature seem limitless at this point.
As always, user privacy is a big deal. Those of us who engage in email marketing understand how important it is to protect the privacy of the users who sign up for our mailing lists. Facebook is promising to encrypt (hash) all of these email addresses, phone numbers and Facebook IDs. If one of your customers doesn’t have a Facebook ID, Facebook won’t actually see that email address, thus protecting the privacy of your customer.
According to Facebook, “Facebook calculates the hash of the email addresses and phone numbers that people have given us and stores these hashes with the corresponding person. When an advertiser imports their hashed audience list into power editor, we compare it with our hashes to find all the matching user IDs. If an advertiser imports a hashed email address that we don’t have, it won’t match anything. Facebook won’t know the original email address or phone number because it was hashed before it was uploaded.”
How do you plan on using Facebook Custom Audiences?