Facebook just announced their Facebook Audience Insights API—essentially a more sophisticated version of the current Facebook Audience Insights tool—at the Cannes Lions Festival.

Sarah Rogers, Senior Social Strategist at CPC Strategy, shared her thoughts about the upcoming API in our recent post about the event:

Greater depth to audience identification will lead to richer user experiences and finely-tuned creative tailored for maximum results. Through the Audience Insights API, brands will discover their social followers’ true identity, and will be able to gear campaigns and content creation to best serve their audience.

As stated, the Audience Insights API is still in development, and only available for “select partners” through 2017. In the future, we look forward to utilizing data from the updated Facebook Audience Insights API to boost conversions and engagement. For now, let’s talk about how Facebook’s basic Audience Insights works.

What is Facebook Audience Insights?

Facebook Page Insights differ from Facebook Audience Insights in a big way: Facebook Page Insights is solely for measuring interactions on your page (likes, etc.), while Facebook Audience Insights covers trends for current or potential customers across Facebook.

With Facebook Audience Insights, you’ll get to delve into your ideal customers’:

  1. Demographic information
  2. Lifestyle and interests
  3. Purchase behavior

Once you’ve nailed down your ideal customers, you can create custom audiences from the data and create ads with your new insight.

How to Use Facebook Audience Insights

In order to use the Facebook Audience Insights, you must be a Page Advertiser, and you’ll need an account on Facebook. Log into Audience Insights, then select what audience you’d like to see: everyone on Facebook or just people connected to your page:

Choosing an audience on Facebook Audience Insights

From here, you’ll see an entire dashboard with the option to create a New Audience to target. On the left side, you’ll see many options for targeting, from basics like “location” to advanced filters  such as “income”, “politics”, or even “life events”.

Audience Insights

Once you’ve made your selections for your target audience, you can save your audience, then access them later by choosing “Open” on the main selection bar. Here, you’ll find all of your saved audiences:

Audience Insights (1)

Notice the super professional naming convention.

If you need to modify an audience, you can choose to replace that audience with the updated audience, or simply create a new one, which can be helpful for testing purposes.

Well, creating an audience is great, but what can you do with that? Select the green “Create Ad” button in the right top corner of the page, and you’ll see this menu come up:

Audience Insights (2)

Notice you have option to create an ad geared toward your chosen audience directly in Power Editor. If you choose to work in Power Editor, you’ll be taken directly to this page:

Power Editor

You can use your existing campaigns and ad sets, or you can start fresh with a new ad. By the way—if you’re planning on creating dynamic product ads, you can access those within Facebook’s Power Editor as well.

How Facebook Audience Insights Gathers and Uses Data

Wondering how Facebook gather’s this much data from their audience? The two main sources are Third Party and Facebook native data. All of Facebook’s third -party data comes from sources like Acxiom, Epsilon, and Datalogix. All of their native data comes directly from the Facebook platform—what users choose to share on their profiles, what groups they join, etc.

If you’re looking for more general information and studies compiled by Facebook using this data, check out the Facebook IQ platform. Some of the most interesting studies we’ve seen for ecommerce retailers include:

facebook iq insights

Pro tip: Click that “Stay in the Know” button to keep up on new research and platform updates.

Facebook Audience Insights and Custom Audiences

You can use Facebook Audience insights to create new targeted audiences. However, if you’re hoping to examine data from your current Custom Audiences, Facebook requires that you have at least “1,000 monthly-active people” in your Custom Audience to view it in Audience Insights. To learn more about creating Custom Audiences, check out our Retailer’s “Must Have Facebook Custom Audiences Cheat Sheet”.

Upcoming Changes: Facebook Audience Insights API

We’re excited to see how much more effective ads can be once Facebook Audience API becomes available to all advertisers on Facebook, and we’ll keep you updated.

Interested in learning more about how to target your ads effectively on Facebook? Check out these CPC Strategy posts:


Have questions about how to use Facebook’s current Audience Insights? Email leanna@cpcstrategy.com


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About the AuthorLeanna graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University (NJ) in 2012 with a BA in Creative Writing and lived in NYC for two years. In 2014, she returned to her home state of California where she enjoys eating too many fish tacos, skipping winter, and writing quality web content for CPC Strategy. Follow her on Twitter @slylikeasmeagol. See all posts by this author here.