Facebook like every other major social media platform has always depended on constant changes to make the platform more engaging and more verbose to its users.
These updates are limited not only for users but for advertisers too. With changes to Facebooks detailed targeting becoming almost routine to the platform.
The latest update has come as a shock to advertisers with Facebook implementing massive changes whilst not complementing the platform with something that would help to advertise easier on Facebook.
Why did Facebook’s update cycle begin in the first place
In September 2017 Facebook was hit with many accusations towards its advertising platform for enabling advertisers to target people such as “Jew Haters” and on interests such as “How to burn jews” and ” antisemitism “. This fault in targeting blew out of proportion and the social media giants ad policies and practices came under massive criticism and scrutiny.
To recover from this Facebook had to go offline and make major changes to its targeting and even revamp the advertising platform in its entirety.
So what are the changes exactly post Facebook’s update?
The most prominent changes have been spotted in the detailed targeting section of Facebook. Under this education and job profiling seem to be the most affected.
As you can see these are the categories that you had under education before Facebook’s update. Giving you a wide variety of options to choose from to target your specific audience according to your objective or target audience.
Education level- Over here you could target people according to what level have they completed their education.
(Higher, secondary education, College etc.)
Undergrad Years- These are students that have done their undergrad in particular years and can help you target products to them.
Field of study- This is where you can target what they have studied. Example their specialization or what they have listed as their major. This was a widely used targeting option as It helped advertisers to target more efficiently and to their core audience.
Schools and universities- Over here advertisers would target to particular colleges or universities. The utility of this targeting was primarily towards local businesses or institutes that would cater to such students.
Example: you can target students of particular universities that have a high number of students or students that match your audience and cater your products to them.
Effects of Facebook’s update on education targeting
After Facebook’s update, these are the major changes that advertisers have noticed in education under demographic targeting.
It has become harder to target colleges and universities. Advertisers have lost the ability to efficiently target students of particular colleges and universities. With local colleges and universities being removed from Facebooks targeting options. This has resulted in advertisers finding it difficult to continue with their previous AD campaigns and forces them to devise all new ones. Which might not guarantee a good ROI.
Another measurable change post-Facebook’s update is the inability to efficiently advertise according to field of study.Before in the field of study targeting, you could target according to what your audience has majored in or has pursued as its graduation field.
Again this was helpful to advertisers as they were able to target specific products depending on what people in specific fields would prefer.
Example a marketing student would be interested in an advertising and online marketing course as this would relate to his or her field of study. Whereas a student who has listed finance as a field of study would presumably prefer a stock market course.
This is good both for the user and the advertiser as an advertiser will only show the product to someone who will be interested in it and the user will only see ads that directly relate to them.
The inability to efficiently target according to fields of study has come as a shock for Facebook’s advertisers.
How has Facebook’s update affected Targeting according to job titles
Facebook’s update has resulted in problems for targeting in job titles.
In job titles, advertisers are now finding it harder to target a wider variety of positions. Apart from that, even many job titles have been taken down.
Post Facebook’s update you cannot target Brand managers or assistant managers (This is just an example) There are many more targeting options that have been removed from job titles.
An advertiser could use job titles to target specific products or services depending on their audiences job titles. Example a luxury car brand can target ads to CEO’s and Directors as they would be their target audience. Since Facebook’s update targeting according to job titles has become more difficult.
How can you work around Facebook’s update?
Even after Facebook’s update , there are certain ways that you can target your audience like before.
One of the options to target like before is to save the audience– If you have advertised before on Facebook and have saved your audience. You can again use the same audience and target like you used to before. However, you must be sure about your saved audience targeting as there is no way to change it.
Another option for geographical targeting would be to manually drop pins. This is a very time consuming and might not result in exact targeting as your pin could be a little inaccurate hence your ad might not be as efficient as you wish for It to be.
Bonus tip for Facebook advertisers.
Want to know about how your competitors target on Facebook? Well, in under 2 easy steps you can learn just how.
Look at this ad below.
In the above example If you want to know how is Google is targeting this ad what you need to do is.
Go on to the options button on the ad and select why am I seeing this ad.
Once you do this you will roughly be able to see how is Google targeting this particular ad.
(However Overuse of this feature will lead to your access being blocked to view why am I seeing this ad)
Verdict on Facebook’s update
This update on Facebook’s part is a bad decision. As they have streamlined their targeting options while not providing anything substantial or concrete as an alternative has resulted in tremors for the social media advertising community.
This has resulted in advertisers using Facebook as a platform less consistently primarily due to these adverse updates in targeting.
However, We hope that these implemented changes are temporary and that Facebook is able to re-integrate the targeting that advertisers are used to and prefer.