How to Create Audience Personas on a Budget Using Facebook Insights

We know Facebook has a massive amount of data on people. For the previous 18 months, they’ve been sharing more of this information than ever before through their platform, Audience Insights. Accordingly, we can begin to pull together audience personas for very little price other than effort, time, and a Facebook account.

This post is going give a cyclone tour of how we can start to utilize Audience Insights to build personas for our business that will permit us to target content better and keep people in mind rather sessions & users.

What is a persona and why should we build them?

A persona is the summary of observations or research based on a key group of users who show similar lifestyle and behaviours choices. It permit us to collectively group users into buckets, rather than having to concentrate on thousands of individual wants and needs.

This is then distilled into a imaginary person that can be referenced to guide business decisions, whether they be the sort of design we utilize, the tone of voice we use for our brand, the content of our email marketing, or even the sorts of products we may look to be offering.

We may end up generating different personas to connect to different users we are looking to share our brand with. This will help guide business decisions, rather than taking a one-size-fits-everybody approach.

Three things to be aware of

  1. Facebook offers two audience options — “People connected to your Page” or “All of Facebook.” the “People connected to your Page” data could possibly be an inaccurate representation of our target audience, previously, if we have paid for Facebook followers or used exceptionally broad advertising options.
  2. If you choose more than one option in the faceted navigation, this uses an “or” functionality. This can make data difficult to analyze, especially if you input multiple interests.
  3.  If our audience segment is less than 1,000 people, Audience Insights would not display any data.

How to build a persona using Facebook Audience Insights

Let’s assume here that we are building a persona utilizing all of Facebook’s information, either because we are a new brand, doing some user research and we don’t have access to their Facebook account, or as said earlier, our current Facebook followers have been dirtied by either purchasing followers or previous advertising campaigns being excessively wide.

If we decide to build personas based on existing Facebook followers, the procedure is very similar; however, if the number of followers is low, we will be unable to segment our audience interests as much as in the steps that follow.

  1. Initially thing, head over to Facebook Audience Insights. You do not need an advertising account — all you need is a Facebook profile.
  2. Let’s assume we have a fictitious sports clothing brand who are trying to appeal more to runners. Enter an interest closely aligned to your brand or products; in this instance, it’s “running.”Facebook Audience
  3. The initial search gives us some really broad options that probably are not that valuable. However, they do indicate that of those interested in running, 60% of them are women, so let’s narrow by gender for our first audience persona. Remember, we will end up creating different personas for our brand — this is only one demographic we are targeting.Facebook Audience 1
  4. The results show that a huge part of our audience sits between the ages of 18 and 44 — however, that is once again a entirely broad segment of our audience. Let’s concentrate on where the bulk of the market appears to be by also filtering by age, 25–34.
  5. From the Demographics screen we can begin to dig into the kind of people who might be interested in our product and start building their persona.Audience Insights categorizes our audience into Lifestyle demographics and provides us with a brief description about the kind of lifestyle they may lead from which we can extract relevant data to filter our audience further. The table below show those lifestyles that fit best with our running brand for the demographics defined so far.__________________________________________

    Lifestyle:                   Definition

    Tots and  Toys:           Well-educated working     couples, Affluent, with preschool-aged children. They are homeowners, principally in single-family houses.

    Truckin’ and Stylin’        Mid-to-late 30s and live in rural towns. On average, they gain middle incomes; they rank below average for income when compared to the country.

    Shooting Stars                  Childless couples in their 30s and early 40s. Home-owning households frequently incorporate professionals with postgraduate degrees.

    Career Building               Childless singles, young. Mixture of mobile renters and first-time homeowners, living in single-family houses and condos.


  6. From here we can build a great picture of the sort of person that may be interested in our products. Using the above data, we now know the following information around one group of potential clients.They are:1: Working2: Mainly homeowners

    3: Females aged between 25-34

    4: Both singles and couples

    5: Mixture of childless or young children families.

    Adding all of this information as features and we have cut our audience down to between 300k and 350k monthly basis active people.

  7. From here, we can penetrate into every of the individual tabs to extract relevant data about our target persona, such as:
  • Interests: Categories and page likes
  • Activity: Frequency of online activity and device usage
  • Household: Income, home ownership, home market value, spending methods
  • Location: Where they live
  • Demographics: Age, gender, job title, relationship status, education level
  • Purchase Behavior: Likelihood of online purchases, purchase behavior

Facebook Audience 2

Example of a persona that can be built using Audience Insights

We now have a respectable amount of information that we can pull together to begin to build the profile of the sort of person we want sell our products to. We can keep this person in mind when pulling together any content or carrying out any kind of marketing activities.

Below is only one audience persona that we might look to target for our imaginary running brand.

Name: James Jackman

Age: 25–34

Relationship Status: In a relationship

Education Level: University

Household: Homeowner

Estimate Household Income: $125,000


Running events

  • Jewelry (brands such as Tiffany & Co. and Verragio Engagement Rings)
  • Clothing Boutiques
  • Romance Novels/Movies (The Notebook)
  • Reality TV (The Hills and Keeping Up with the Kardashians)

Spending Habits: Michelle primarily spends using a credit card rather than cash. She is also highly likely to complete an online purchase, particularly on clothing.

Device Usage: Her primary device is the mobile phone and she is more likely to be using an iPhone


So, that’s all we have to do?

We would need to rinse and repeat this procedure for various demographics that we believe may be interested in our brand. But yes, these are some initial steps we can take to building audience personas that we can target our products and brand towards.

On the other hand, I’m not saying that this is the only task we have to finish to build audience personas.

Yes, Facebook has a lot of information, but they’re still piecing together all the parts. Similarly we know we shouldn’t totally trust the numbers that Google Keyword Planner gives us, they simply give us a ballpark to play in. As such, the data we are given by Audience Insights should be only one of multiple research methods we should be looking to use to build audience personas.

Big brands spend big volumes of their budget trying to understand their clients. Many of us can’t compete on that level. We need to look to the tools and information we have available to us, and build the best personas we can for our budget.



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