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Facebook Audience 101: How to find fans that matter, and things that matter to them


“Why not target everyone?”

A lead from merchant banking asked me once. Of course, they have enough cash to target almost everyone on facebook.

“Not everyone matters” was my response. Looking at how he shrugged, we realized that our pitch was doomed.

My timing was terrible!

Success was defined by how big your fan-base was. Given the small digital audience back then, filtering wouldn’t allow them to reach the size as quickly as they wanted.

Today, everyone is chasing engagement; only to realize how costly it is to engage a fan-base that wasn’t handpicked.

Some of you started wondering why the proven mantra of mass reach didn’t work at facebook.

Here’s your answer!

Why marketers who target everyone on facebook hate themselves later

  • Targeting indifferently kills engagement ratio and your affinity. That means your next campaign will get even lesser engagement. The larger your fan base grows, the deader (is that even a word!) it becomes.
  • Mass advertising invites people from nightmares who make stupid remarks, trolls your page, and send erotic messages to admins!

Even if you can put up with these menaces, your customers can’t. The nasty presence of these unwanted visitors shoo away people you care about. Cutting the long story short,

You may have paid to drive your customers away!

If what you’ve read so far rings any bell and you want a way out, this article can help. We’ll start with what moves an audience…their interest.

Data Analysis: How audience interests differ by demography

Head over to your facebook ad account (create one if you haven’t already), and click audience insight from the menu (top left).

Select “Everyone on Facebook”, once the audience data loads, change the default location from US to Bangladesh.

Voila! You have the entire Bangladeshi audience at your fingertips. But you don’t want everyone anymore, do you?

We’ll now play with age and gender groups to see how their page likes differ (what interests them)

Leaving the age settings at default and selecting “Men” will give us the following scenario


Sports Channels, teams, and news dominate! Does that mean all men regardless of age are crazy about sports?

Wait till you see the following

Now we’ll split them into 3 common age groups, 18-24, 25-34, and 35-44 years.

See how interests change from one age group to another? Maybe this infographic will help:

Key takeaway from Audience Interest

If you have a pre-determined audience in mind, you can use this tool to research them. You can also research only the people who like your page.

By playing around age and gender groups, you’ll learn how interests differ from one segment to another. This will help you craft killer content or marketing messages.

Study: How Telecoms Create Content That Works

Remember the overall interest snapshot of “Men” in Bangladesh? Cricket, ICC, IPL, Club Football; they gobble it all!

And here’s what the telecoms post to drive engagement.

On the eve of 2nd match between BAN vs SL, Grameenphone speaks out exactly what fans have in mind.

Men aged 18-24 are crazy about gaming. Everybody was young someday. See how GP made fans nostalgic:

But is it really getting any engagement?

For your eyes, I mined data from facebook’s API and created a PTAT Map for GP (You don’t need to be an admin to get publicly available metrics)

In Bangladesh alone, 1.5 million people liked, commented, or shared GP’s post in past 28 days

Hats off to the people behind GP’s Digital Marketing. Be it the employees themselves or the agency people. They studied their audience interests and used it well.

It would have been great to post about all telecoms, but this article isn’t meant to be a comparative study. Almost all telecoms create content that resonates with audience interests.

This is why they top the list of largest fan pages in Bangladesh

Top interests of Men in Bangladesh are cricket and news. Telecoms used this insight to create relevant content to get more fans than sports and news pages.

Key takeaway from Finding Content Topics That Work

Content is what educates or entertains the audience. But please don’t go on posting cat meme if you’re not into pet care business.

Some people spend all day scavenging the internet to find something to post on facebook page for the day. It doesn’t help. Nor does it help to post your product ads and videos every now and then.

If you want your audience to engage with your content, the only way is to study what matters to people who matter to your business. Thanks to Audience Analysis Tool, it has become easier (and free).

Targeting: How to get fans who don’t play dead all the time!

I know, you stress engagement over anything else. Can anyone engage fans that don’t want to engage, or aren’t really active?

With audience insight tool, you can see how active or inactive an audience set is. This gives you a heads up in case you’re targeting an audience that is tough to engage.

See this chart showing how active the “Women” audience are in Bangladesh.

Now you feel the need for finding fans that are active on facebook. The good news is, if you filter audience by interests, you’ll always get people who are active.

Who are the ones that don’t have any interest? Fake profiles, voyeurs, and people who are so irregular that facebook can’t figure out enough information about them.

Step 1: Define interests that represent your audience

This one’s easy, provided you have a well-documented Buyer Persona. Just take the interest list from your buyer persona and put that in facebook audience filters (left pane as depicted).


If you sell wellness products, your audience must be interested in “Fitness & Wellness”. Instead of taking it as a whole, I recommend that you dig deeper and pick specific interests such as nutrition, dieting, exercise, etc.

And to do an optimum targeting, you also need to think of other interests that maybe relevant to your audience.

Do you think they’ll listen to rock music? Do they love cycling or swimming as well? The more information you can put in here, the more refined your targeting is.

Step 2: Play with age and gender settings

I do this for every audience set I create. Once I’m done filtering with interests, I head out to explore the Demographics data of the audience to see which age and gender groups are dominant.

It helps break any premeditation that I may have about how old (or young) my audience should be.

You can now study how their interests vary from one age-gender group to another (What we discussed earlier in this post). This will lay a rock solid foundation for creating content that engages them.

Once you’re done exploring, filter out the age groups you don’t want by defining an age range (on the left pane, above interests).

Step 3: Advanced Settings (skip if you’re not sure)

An audience can be further refined by tweaking the advanced tab in the left pane. You can select behaviors such as “photo uploaders”, relationship statuses, or education.

Example showing how active a refined audience is

If you repeated the steps shown above, you’ll end up getting an audience segment which is 5 to 10 times more active and receptive than the overall audience in Bangladesh. Here are some example sets that you can play with

Key takeaway from defining an active audience set

Getting fans to engage is becoming harder everyday. Add to this the poorly constructed fanbase, and the job becomes almost impossible.

If you carefully define your audience, you can get more engagement from a smaller audience. As engagement drives both organic and viral reach, it eventually brings down your cost per reach as well as engagement.

Summing Up

Defining the audience is the crucial first step in any marketing campaign. Yet it is much neglected in facebook marketing.

Most brand pages have ended up growing massive yet getting fans to engage remains a challenge.

Your content creators can learn what moves your audience and use that knowledge in crafting engaging content or marketing messages.

Moreover, laser targeting helps you hit the sweet spot where you can get more engagement from a small yet highly active audience set.


  • Atiqul Bari Chowdhury | Founder, Little Biz Marketing


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