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Automatically expand your Facebook Custom Audiences with Zapier

Automation inspiration

5 min read

Automatically expand your Facebook Custom Audiences with Zapier

By Jasmine Williams · January 8, 2021
The logos for Facebook, Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, and Salesforce.

No matter what kind of audience you're trying to reach online, you'll probably find them on Facebook. With 2.60 billion monthly active users (and 1.73 billion users that visit the site daily), Facebook reigns supreme in the social media landscape and offers a massive audience of potential customers for brands and businesses of all sizes.

With Facebook Ads, you can create and run digital ad campaigns to directly market your business to potential customers. However, if you want to get the most bang for your buck, you should make sure your ads are reaching the Facebook users who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.

This is where Facebook Custom Audiences comes in. You can use this feature to create highly defined groups of people who already have a relationship with your business, which you can then engage with targeted marketing campaigns. These groups could include past customers, people who have visited your website, or users who installed your app.

You can also use Facebook Custom Audiences to create "lookalike audiences". These are groups of people who share key characteristics with your existing customers and fans, meaning they'll be much more likely to be interested in your business. 

Types of Facebook Custom Audiences

Now, not all Custom Audiences are created equal. There are three common ways that users can build these targeted lists.

1. Custom Audiences from customer lists

If you collect email addresses, such as when someone subscribes to your newsletter or makes a purchase, you can upload that information to Facebook to market to them via Facebook Ads. When you upload your email list, Facebook uses a process called "hashing" to match the email addresses with Facebook user profiles while keeping specific customer data private.

Keep in mind that you can only upload data from customers who have permitted you to market to them. For example, you can't use an email list you've purchased or data you've gathered from other websites. Also, if someone opts out of your email list, you need to remove them from your Custom Audience too. Most countries have restrictions around how you collect, store, and share audience data, so you should double-check your region's regulations before you delve into email marketing and Facebook ads.

2. Custom Audiences from your website

If you install the Facebook pixel on your website—the pixel is a piece of code that helps you measure customer actions and build audiences—then Facebook can match your website visitors to their Facebook profiles. You can then use this information to create Custom Audiences that include all your website visitors or generate smaller groups targeting people who have visited a specific product page or product category.

3. Engagement Custom Audiences

An engagement Custom Audience is a group of people who have already interacted with your brand on Facebook or Instagram. Some different types of engagement include watching a video on your page, filling out a lead form, visiting your Facebook Page or Instagram business profile, or registering for an event. 

You can also target your existing customers with a Custom Audience. Learn how to use your customer list to create Custom Audiences in Facebook.

Using Zapier with Facebook Custom Audiences

Facebook Custom Audiences has two actions available on Zapier: you can create a new Custom Audience or add email addresses to an existing custom audience. 

The latter is very popular as you can use it to automatically update your Facebook Custom Audience using data from a wide range of apps that you probably already use. It's also pretty simple to set up. Just use it as an action step in any Zap that involves user data, and you can upload email addresses from your other apps to the Custom Audience of your choice.

Why you should use automation to build your Facebook Custom Audiences

Existing customers and followers already know your brand, so marketing to them can produce much higher conversion rates than trying to reach people who have never bought from you or haven't even heard of your brand. It's also more cost-effective. It can cost five times more to attract a new customer than retain an existing one.

However, manually creating Custom Audiences from spreadsheets and forms can be a time-consuming chore. With a Zapier integration, you can automatically cut out the manual work and sync your app data with Facebook Custom Audiences automatically, so your ads will always target your most recent subscribers and customers, and nobody falls through the cracks.

Ways you can use Zapier's Facebook Custom Audiences integration 

Add new subscribers to your Custom Audience

If you use MailChimp or ActiveCampaign to keep in touch with customers, you can create a Zap that will automatically add subscribers to a Facebook Custom Audience.

Import contacts from a data provider dropped onto a Google Sheet

If you're using Google Sheets to collect audience data, such as with a Google Form, you can use Zapier to connect your spreadsheet to Facebook Custom Audiences. With this integration, you can automatically add email addresses from a Google Sheet to a Facebook Custom Audience.

Connect your CRM to Facebook Custom Audiences

Do you use a CRM like Salesforce to keep track of leads and customers? You can set up a Salesforce integration with Zapier and add existing leads or contacts to your Custom Audience.

Zapier works with dozens of CRMs. You can create a Zap to send information from any of them into Facebook Custom Audiences. Explore ways to link HubSpot, Pipedrive, or Agile CRM with Facebook Custom Audiences.

A Facebook Custom Audience made for you

No matter where you track audience information, you can use Zapier to help keep your Facebook Custom Audience up-to-date. Here are a few more ideas that you can explore on your own.

To get started, visit the links listed to be taken to our App Directory, then select your trigger and action events. You'll be taken to the Zap editor where you can customize those steps in your Zap and begin to use your automated workflow.

Collect emails from support tickets

If you use a system like Freshdesk, Help Scout, or Zendesk to manage your communication with users, you may also want to use Facebook Ads to deliver targeted messaging to these customers. With Zapier, you can automatically connect these platforms to Facebook Custom Audiences and add new contacts to an audience.

Upload form submissions

You can use Zapier to send information from form submissions to Facebook Custom Audiences automatically. For example, you could instantly sync new email addresses submitted through a form to an existing custom audience. You can set this up for Gravity Forms, Typeform, JotForm, and many other form apps.

You'll need a Zapier account to use the workflows in this piece. If you don't have an account yet, it's free to get started.

Remarket to customers from your eCommerce store

If you create a Custom Audience from a Shopify, Kajabi, or WooCommerce customer list, you can target past customers with Facebook ads. For example, you could create campaigns with special offers for repeat clients or let people know when you release a new version of a product they already own. With Zapier, you can automate the ad audience building process by creating a Zap that will instantly add new customers to a Facebook Custom Audience.

Create focused ads for custom segments

With Facebook Custom Audiences, you can create laser-focused remarketing ads for a wide variety of custom segments, from leads to customers and even website visitors. You can also remarket to these audiences and remind people about products they're interested in or have abandoned in a shopping cart to encourage them to take the final step of making a purchase.

Facebook Custom Audiences is a powerful marketing tool for businesses of all sizes, but don't let the chore of creating audiences from scratch hold you back from giving it a try. Add Zapier to the mix, and you can streamline the process even more by automatically adding customer data from the other apps in your toolkit to Facebook so you can reach the people most important to you.

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Jasmine Williams picture

Jasmine Williams

Jasmine Williams is an entrepreneur, writer, and content marketer on a mission to help brands and businesses tell their stories better. She is the founder of Jasmine Williams Media, a content and social media consultancy based in Toronto, Canada.

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