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How to Create Effective Facebook Prospecting Audiences Faster

Posted on August 31, 2020

If you’re selling a product and you want to advertise on Facebook, there are two main ways to create the audience you want to target. You can upload a list of your current customers and/or people who have visited your website and remarket to them or you could try and target potential new customers. Of course, you can do both (and the majority of our clients do) but if you’re just starting your business or want to increase your existing revenue, you’ll need to find new customers.

Normally, if someone wanted to create prospecting audiences on Facebook, they would get stuck on the part where they need to enter in detailed interests:

Facebook Targeting blank slate

Facebook will target people who match the interests you enter in this field so the trick here is to think like your target audience and figure out what interests they might have.

As an example, let’s say you’re selling golf clubs and want to show your Facebook ad to people who are passionate about the sport and live in the United States.

If you enter ‘golf’ into the detailed interests field, you can see what suggestions Facebook gives you: Facebook Targeting suggestions

These suggestions are pretty general and one of them (Volkswagen Golf) isn’t even relevant. But let’s say you pick Golf, Golf Club, Golf Course, Golf Digest and Golf Magazine from the list, you’re looking at a potential target audience reach in the U.S. of 64 million people.

Facebook Targeting golf interests

Is this a good size or is it too broad?

According to MuteSix, you want a large audience size but remain targeted (depending on your budget). So anything over one million users is good as it gives Facebook more data to sort through to find the most relevant potential consumer. But you also don’t want it too broad as that’s just a waste of money because you’ll be showing your ad to a lot of irrelevant people.

Here at TopicDNA, if you’re targeting a national audience we use the rule of thumb that the reach should be between 1% - 5% of that country’s general population, so that means for the U.S. the audience size should be between 3 - 16 million. Therefore, 64 million is way too broad.

Now the question becomes: How do you find interests that can narrow the reach and still hit your core market (golf lovers)? DigitalMarketer came up with a trick to handle this called “But No One Else Would”:

Facebook targeting method

Basically they are saying that non-golfers around the world would know who Tiger Woods is because his popularity transcends golf. Casual golfers would know who Phil Mickelson is because he’s famous within the golfing world, but not to non-golfers. But only hardcore golf lovers would know who Bubba Watson is because no one outside of this circle would know! But that’s just one interest. How do you go about finding more of the same?

There are a few ways:

  1. You could use the many social listening platforms available out there. But these are costly and the audience insight data they show can be relatively high-level and not actionable for building prospecting audiences
  2. You could start your own focus group, but this is also very costly and by the time you receive the results they are already out-of-date
  3. You could also just use Google and do your own research, but this takes a lot of time and effort without knowing if the results are correct and putting your ad campaigns at risk of performing poorly
  4. You could use TopicDNA.

The goal of TopicDNA is to help you quickly build effective prospecting audiences with as few inputs as possible, saving you valuable time and money.

To start, you would need to enter in one or more interests that your target audience has. So if you’re selling golf clubs, you would enter in a few of the major golf club manufacturers. And to keep with our example, we want to target people in the US:

Facebook Targeting TopicDNA interest search

Pro Tip: You only need to enter in one interest for our algorithm to work, saving you lots of time!

Once this is done, TopicDNA would go out to find people on social media that follow these interests, then analyze what other interests they have to help you target the most relevant people. This usually takes between 30 minutes to one hour, depending on how busy our servers are.

We’ll let you know when your audience is done (through email and platform notifications), and you can review the audience before you get it ready to use on Facebook (feel free to change the options where necessary).

Automatic Facebook audience creation with TopicDNA

As you can see, the resultant target audience has a reach of 8 million golfing enthusiasts, which is a lot more targeted than the initial 64 million that Facebook suggested above. Also, the list of interests TopicDNA has unearthed are all highly relevant to golfing enthusiasts such as FootJoy (golfing shoes), Adidas Golf (sports brand) and Brandt Snedeker (American professional golfer). In a nutshell, we take a small list of interests and scale it up to find many, highly relevant interests for your target audience.

When you’re ready to use it, just add in your campaign details to create the ad set in Facebook Ads Manager and you’re all set!

With TopicDNA, creating effective Facebook prospecting audiences has never been easier and the results our clients have achieved speak for themselves.


Andrew Ko

Written by Andrew Ko. Follow me on Twitter.


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