Over the past year, we’ve shared practical tips to improve your online targeting, answered your top Cambridge Analytica questions, and explained what you can do to stay ahead of Facebook’s recent newsfeed changes. But we still get tons of questions from clients about how they can drive even more performance on their Facebook ad campaigns. So this time, I want to try something different. We recently worked with a national home goods chain that had a solid Facebook following, but they wanted to use social media to build more than brand awareness. They were searching for a way to use paid social ads to drive real sales, specifically in their online store. With all the buzz surrounding people-based marketing, we knew it could improve their paid social strategy and prove Facebook ads really work. Because this Facebook ad campaign was so widely successful – bringing in over $1.2 million in revenue in a single month at the peak of the campaign – I want to share some of the key takeaways from our experience that you can actually implement on your next Facebook ad campaign. Don’t Forget to Layer On Your First-Party Data Segments Nothing is more powerful than your own customer data. Yet, many advertisers abandon their first-party customer data when building their social media marketing strategy. Facebook ads are cost-effective and the targeting options are so diverse that many marketers simply forget to layer on their most meaningful data. But with people-based marketing, you can import your CRM, mobile app users, or other first-party data segments to target them on social media across all of their devices, increasing your precision and efficiency. Not surprisingly, we recommended combining Facebook targeting with people-based marketing strategies to ensure our home goods client reached high-interest prospects. The Facebook ad campaign targeted home organization interest groups with above average household incomes and a custom audience segment comprised of first-party data anonymized and imported into Facebook for retargeting. The custom audience segment featured the brand’s top 30% of spenders, meaning those who have shown high conversion rates in the past. Tapping into these high-value spenders from their own data proved successful and produced a $5 higher ROAS than the general interest groups. Use Look-alikes to Expand Your Social Prospecting Pool Look-alikes are people who share the same interests, demographics, and behaviors as your best customers, in other other words, a custom audience of users that have shared traits as those in your CRM list. Building look-alike audiences off your current customers is a great way to expand your prospecting pool because you can reach new people who have a higher likelihood of being interested in your products since they are just like the audience that already is. Because the resulting look-alike audience is based on the CRM segment you create, it’s important to think strategically about which factors to include. The objective is to uncover your audience segments that are most relevant for your Facebook ad campaign goals. For our home goods client, we focused on traits from the brand’s top 30% of spenders for the look-alike modeling within Facebook since our goal was to drive purchases. Think Beyond Brand Awareness and Set ROAS Goals There are a lot of metrics companies like to use to determine a paid social media campaign’s success, but most center around driving brand awareness – reach, new followers, likes, etc. These metrics are important, but when it comes to e-commerce, nothing beats return on ad spend (ROAS). ROAS gives a quick look into whether certain types of ads or audiences are worth the money that is spent on them by tracking the actual revenue generated from advertising dollars. Typically, we do this by placing a revenue pixel on a site’s purchase confirmation page. Once activated, the pixel passes the exact amount spent back to Facebook, making it easy to attribute sales to the correct ad or audience source. What’s more, we can use that information to better optimize performance mid-flight and amplify the campaign’s success. For instance, our analysts saw that shopping cart abandoners produced the highest ROAS for our home goods Facebook ad campaign, so they shifted more budget to that group in the latter months of the campaign and drove even better ad performance. Ultimately, the Facebook ad campaign delivered impressive results — culminating with every $1 spent on advertising bringing in an average $34.70 in sales. If you want to get results like these, it’s important to leverage people-based marketing across all of your advertising channels, including your social media strategy. Remember, you can continue to get proven strategies and practical advice on how to keep your ad campaigns ahead of the competition by subscribing to our blog or following us on social media.