Part 1: Facebook Buyer Persona Targeting Exploration & Combinations | Psychographic Hot House

The bad news: Too often, social marketers seeking direct sales from social find themselves with too little sales at too high a cost. A holistic marketing strategy that incorporates search, social, and display ads, along with retargeting and RLSAs throughout the buyer journey, simply annihilates this problem. The blended CPA across all channels can yield RADICAL, cost-effective fruits at scale. The first step to successful social direct-purchase or assists in tandem with search is identifying buyer persona’s via Facebook targeting. With Facebook’s cherry targeting, made even richer through big data, backed by actual purchases and loyalty memberships (see the data breakdown here!), it’s easier than ever for Facebook advertisers to target buyer personas.

Recently, we had the pleasure of digging deep into social buyer psychographic targeting to present at SEMpdx’s #SearchFest — the resource, we felt, was SO GOOD, why not expand it a bit and share with our friends here in the form of a (mini) compendium to Facebook Purchase Behaviors if you will…


In Part 1 of AIMCLEAR‘s Facebook Purchase Behavior Buyer Psychographic Profiles (say that 5 times fast 😉 ) we’ll first explore the verticals: clothing, and food and drink. We’ll discover sideways thinking about seemingly banal targeting categories and combine it all at the end with expertly culled audiences for cardiovascular medical research. (Yes, really!) Let the PSYCHOgraphic targeting fun begin.


Facebook Purchase Behaviors

We’ll start with the straight-up Purchase Behavior categories identified in Facebook (Detailed Targeting > Behaviors > Purchase Behaviors).


WHOA! Categories from clothing to food/drink to purchase and store types are just the tip of the Facebook Purchase Behavior targeting iceberg.

Food and Drink Purchasers

You are what you eat. Or at least that’s what they say… and it couldn’t be more true! Even if your industry isn’t anywhere close to food and beverage, there are endless opportunities for marketers to use these purchaser categories to reveal psychographics of a persona not necessarily found elsewhere.


Here advertisers can identify Facebook users on diets, who may never express that lifestyle elsewhere, by purchases of: diet foods, diet drinks, fresh & healthy, fresh produce, low-fat foods, and natural and organic food. Psychographically focus to tree-hugging hipsters by selecting craft beer with natural and organics, and excluding bottled water and K-cup consumers. Own a restaurant with an ethnic flare? (Nom!) Show your ads to buyers of frozen ethnic foods. Pretty simple, right? Now, let’s explore some more targeting mash-ups.

Food purchase behaviors by grocery shopper type can also be an indicator of income, conversely paired with lower incomes; this highlights a targeting segment that really cares about what they put in their body. Their expendable income goes towards premium groceries.


Companies like Blue Apron looking to tap into the male market can target males, plus income, filtered by consumers of frozen pizza, pasta and entrees.

Through this targeting, marketers can wield Facebook’s targeting tool to pinpoint other niche dieters who don’t necessarily “like” or call it out in their profiles, such as vegans and gluten-free dieters.

Here, we’ve targeted users who straight up say they’re vegan OR via Facebook purchase behaviors have been identified as vegetarian and then we EXCLUDE users who purchase any sort of dairy. Similar to the gluten-free folks, add in all interests that are about celiac disease or living a gluten-free life, while EXCLUDING gluten-laden purchase behavior categories.


Vestis Virum Facit – Clothing Purchasers

Vestis virum facit or “the clothing makes the man” isn’t a famous proverb for nothing! The type of clothing one purchases can mean so much more than simply style.


On Facebook, it’s pretty impossible to target users based on height and weight. However, through Facebook’s Clothing Purchase Behaviors, marketers can easily target big and tall men’s wear apparel to hit huskier guys and women’s plus size apparel to target curvier women. It doesn’t end there! There’s (actual!) travel intent here! Geo target southern, sunny states and users who buy winter clothes, plus have a love of snow sports, and you’ve got an audience ready to hit the slopes in Vail, Big Sky, or Park City.


Facebook’s Clothing Purchase Behavior categories may seem unassuming, but major income indicators can be found here, especially in the women’s category.


While women who purchase any of these luxury apparel categories are certainly a worthy target and exude some level of substantial income, don’t forget the power you have: the AND operator! Advertisers who zero-in on women who are purchasers of the compounded women’s luxury apparel categories are hitting ladies with serious cash, and likely loads of disposable income.


Contradictory targeting mashups can paint potent psychographic profiles. For example (and taking from the prior audience), flip the targeting from females to males who purchase the compounded women’s luxury apparel categories and you’ve found a couple thousand Christian Greys (minus the BDSM & baggage?)


Vertical Purchase Behaviors + Nested Categories

OK! Now let’s combine again —his time between verticals and sub-categories. Say you’re the Penn Med marketing department, working with the cardiovascular medical research center on a lead-gen clinical research campaign. It may not be obvious, but by combining Facebook Purchase Behavior targeting, marketers can effectively reach overweight adults in the Philly area, at risk for high blood pressure.

Start by targeting buyers of men’s big and tall and women’s plus size apparel categories. While these folks may not be overweight, you’ve effectively narrowed the field by over THREE MILLION. Next, revisit the food and beverage purchases vertical to focus on our plus and big/tall apparel shoppers with those who buy high-salt and fat-laden food.


340,000 is an awesome start and definitely a worthy audience, especially to divide into various age groups and genders for ultra-focused messaging. But let’s figure these marketers are looking for the serious salt and fat offenders, — re-enter the AND operator et voila! A focused audience of 160,000 adults on Facebook in Philly who purchase six categories of notoriously salty and fatty foods and are big/tall or plus sized shoppers.


As you can see, there’s more to Facebook’s Purchaser profile targeting than meets the eye! Combining this type of targeting, based on real purchases and loyalty membership, with tried-and-true standards such as likes and interests creates laser-focused, unexpected, precise psychographic targeting. Stay tuned for part TWO where we’ll dive into even more Facebook Purchaser Behaviors.

Happy targeting 🙂

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