Differences between Twitter and Facebook Ad Targeting

Differences between Twitter and Facebook Ad Targeting

Here is the reply I posted as a comment to this AllThingsD article. Not sure if they moderate or something, but it wasn’t clear to me 1 hour later what they were doing since it looked in my browser like it posted and was part of the article, but another browser showed the comment was not posted yet. Regardless, here it is:

@Jim Traister: Facebook has many more targeting options than Twitter does, which is sometimes a good thing but also sometimes confusing for marketers. Twitter lets you target on (in addition to the new stuff mentioned above) accounts users follow, IAB interest categories, or hashtags/keywords in tweets they search for or are mentioned in timelines, geotargeting by country or city, and device (desktop or various kinds of mobile platforms). Think of Facebook targeting as either (1) “native” targeting OR (2) cookie-based retargeting (FBX). You can’t combine the two on Facebook – either you do retargeting (2) through one of the FBX-qualified partners on this list http://www.facebook-pmdcenter.com/fbx in which case they give you a piece of code to put on your site to target users who’ve previously visited your site, when they show up again on Facebook, or you use (1) which allows you to combine a lot of different things together, here’s a few:

a) Custom audiences (similar to what Twitter is talking about) – hashed email addresses where you have opt-in users who are receiving email from you today, instead of sending them an email you can target ads to them on Facebook. You can also exclude these people from being targeted if you just want to reach new users.

b) Fan-base – target people who are fans of your page(s) or not yet fans of your page(s). You can also target friends of your fans.

c) Partner categories – (http://www.facebook-studio.com/news/item/partner-categories-a-new-self-serve-targeting-feature)

d) Age/gender/location demographics. There are tens of thousands of towns and cities you can target along with a radius (e.g. 10 mile radius from Mountain View, CA), along with gender and age demographics.

e) Workplace/education etc. – only a small number of people put their workplace on their Facebook profile so this targeting isn’t as frequently used.

f) Broad categories – Over 100 targeting groups defined by Facebook that combine certain interests or other elements, like “Movies – Science Fiction”, also type of phone/handset maker/iOS vs. Android and so on.

g) Interest keywords or topics – Like “biggest loser” or “#Biggest Loser”, which combines multiple things including people who’ve entered this into their profile, or more often have liked that page(s) on Facebook. Here’s an example of a few targeting topics related to reality TV shows and the relationships between them (http://bit.ly/realitysocial)

Lots of options, often confusing with various tradeoffs so we try to educate people on when certain things are suitable for certain kinds of advertisers and which is why many large advertisers work with companies (in Facebook-speak “PMDs” or “Preferred Marketing Developers”) to help them. Our company (Optimal – optimalsocial.com) is currently the only one qualified to buy programmatically on all 3 of: Facebook’s FBX and non-FBX inventory, and Twitters Ads API.