Remember those times when you thought that your competitors are your enemy?
Of course, you still compete with them to win your audience’s attention, and some of them are winning faster than you, but saying they’re your enemy? Now, when we have technology and social media on our side?
You’re better than that.
There’s a silver lining in there, and that’s targeting competitors’ followers on Instagram and Facebook. Your competitors’ followers are your potential customers as well, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t reach out to them and try to convert them into leads and customers.
Instagram has more than 1 billion active users and by not targeting competitors’ customers, you’re missing out on an enormous audience that could easily turn their back on your competitors and come to your side.
Don’t worry, we’re about to change that.
In today’s blog, I’m going to spill the beans on how you can leverage your competitor’s social media profile and target their followers on Instagram and Facebook.
Let’s dive in.
1. Find Direct Competitors on Facebook and Instagram
If you’re reading this, you probably know your competitors by now, and you just want to know the different ways to target competitors’ followers. But, for those of you who don’t know how to identify your competitors, I’m going to do a quick brief.
If you want to know how to target competitors on Facebook, start by performing Facebook research. Even if most businesses nowadays have websites, Facebook is still the easiest way to find your competitors.
Let’s say you own a pizza place.
Where to start?
- Competitor’s Pages – list all of your competitors and check out their Facebook pages. In this case, here’s what my search for pizza places showed:
You’ll get a good look at some of your best Facebook competitors, which is a good start.
- Public Figures – locate the public figures related to your brand and find the brands they collaborate with. Here’s what my search for pizza influencers looked like:
You can do the research this way or you can look through this article that lists multiple pizza influencers and try to find them on Facebook afterward.
- Pages according to keywords – type in related keywords in the search bar, and see what kind of business pages will appear. For example, I typed in ‘pizza delivery’ and here are the results:
- Related pages – once you find the competitors’ pages, look in the Related Pages field and search in there, there will be plenty of related pages to your brand. It’ll look like this:
By doing this, you’ll get enough Facebook insights into your competitors, and you’ll be one step closer to target competitors’ followers on Instagram and Facebook.
Pro tip: Start by locating your local competition. You can do this by using the Location feature and choose only the city where you’re running your business.
It’s an excellent way to find your local Facebook competitors and know your primary competition before targeting the big industry sharks.
Let’s move on.
2. Use Interest-Based Targeting to Target Competitors’ Followers
Facebook doesn’t allow you to directly target competitors’ followers. But there’s a way around it, luckily, and it’s quite simple – it’s called targeting based on interests.
If you want to check out the list of your Facebook ad interests, go to the Settings→Ads→Ad Settings→Categories used to reach you→Interest Categories.
Here, you can find all the advertisers who’re targeting you based on your interest.
If you want to find out your ads interest on Instagram, the process is pretty much the same: Settings→Security→Access Data→Ads Interests.
Your competitors’ followers have these interest categories as well.
All you have to do is to target a closely related subject to your brand and find an untapped audience. This will require you to do detailed research on your competitor’s followers’ Facebook ads interests, meaning you’ll have to manually check out all the profiles so you can get a better picture of your competitors’ followers.
Notice how I focus more on Facebook rather than Instagram?
That’s because with Facebook Ad Manager you can run campaigns on both social media platforms – meaning you can target competitor’s followers on both Instagram and Facebook.
However, there’s no easy way around getting to know your competitors’ followers – the process will take a lot of time, and resources, but it can be worth it.
After you do the research, you can set it up in your Facebook Ad Manager, in the Interest field. As SocialMediaExaminer said in their example, you can type literally anything in the field and some interests will pop up.
Image Source: SocialMediaExaminer
By doing this, you’ll start targeting customers from competitors who are not familiar with your service, but they’re more than familiar with the benefits of such a product or service, as they follow your competitors.
Don’t be afraid to select precise interests in your Facebook ads: if you’re’ too generic you’re not going to get closer to your audience.
It’s worth a shot, although marketers still fight over how to do proper interest-based targeting.
3. Create a Lookalike Facebook Audience
For those of you who don’t know what a lookalike Facebook audience is, here’s a little explanation:
A Facebook lookalike audience is similar to your existing customers, but you’re using a more advanced type of interest-based targeting.
Note that in order to create a lookalike audience, you need to be a Page admin or pixel admin.
To start, visit your Facebook Ad Manager dashboard and click on the Create Audience field.
Next, you’ll see this window on your screen:
As you can see, creating a lookalike audience is determined by three factors: source, location, and audience size. You and your competitors have similar audiences and by setting up these criteria, you’re tapping into their pool of followers and you have a chance of converting some of them into your followers.
The most important part about creating a lookalike audience?
Facebook lets you set up the source of the audience – it could be a custom audience, a page, or a pixel. With this feature, you’re able to create an audience on Facebook that’s carefully picked by you, using outside data to increase the success rate.
And here’s where I get to talk about my favorite topic – targeting competitors’ followers on Instagram and Facebook by using custom audiences.
4. Create And Target Specific Custom Audience
Creating a competitive advantage on Instagram and Facebook by creating a custom audience is one of my favorite ways to steal competitors’ traffic.
If you don’t know what Custom Facebook Audience is, it’s pretty simple: it’s an audience that you get to create by yourself, either by using an outside source or another way of generating Facebook audience insights and it can help you better position your brand. It’s a file that contains a list of user’s emails or other data that you may have access to.
Here’s the greatest catch – your Custom Audience list can consist of users who are already familiar with your brand and your ads are shown to those users only and you increase your chances of achieving higher RoAS.
If you don’t know how to leverage this for your business, I’ll tell you in a bit.
First, to create a Custom Audience, visit your Facebook Ad Manager and click on Create Audience field:
You’ll be asked about the different ways of creating the audience.
Here’s how that looks like:
Image Source: SocialMediaExaminer
You can choose between uploading a file, using your website traffic, a list of users who have interacted with your application, or users who have engaged with your Facebook content.
I’ll go with uploading a Customer file.
If you have a file prepared with your users’ data, now it’s time to benefit from it.
You can upload the file as CSV. because that’s the only file Facebook will recognize.
Why is this my favorite thing?
Facebook doesn’t require any proof from you nor verifies the list, so your Custom Audience may consist of your Instagram followers’ emails or the emails of your competitors’ followers.
And, as Facebook doesn’t verify your Custom Audience, you can collect emails from different platforms, such as Instagram, and upload them as your Custom Audience!
More than 30-40% of Instagram users have business accounts, with publicly available personal information, such as emails.
You have two options here.
One is that you can manually search through your competitor’s followers list and collect the users’ emails. If your competitor has less than 1000 followers, it won’t take too much of your time.
But are you that lucky to have only one competitor?
What happens if your competitors have thousands of followers on Instagram?
Not to mention the fact that many of those accounts and emails can be fake and if you don’t have a way to verify them, it can raise a flag when you try to import it in FB Ads.
But, here at Influencers Club not only can we collect the emails from your competitors’ followers, but we’ll verify them all and you’ll get a clean list.
Here’s one example of an eCommerce store using targeted cold emails as custom audiences.
How To Target The Right Audience on Facebook And Reach A 13:1 ROAS
Here’s the short version of our success story with our client.
Our client was Jack Black Beard Oil, an eCommerce store for beard care products that used Facebook as their only growth channel. But, even though they ran Facebook ads based on audience interests, they experienced a significant loss in the ad budget.
They decided to go with a more secure approach and create a custom audience!
We provided them with 10,000 verified emails of competitors’ followers for the first batch and the results were stunning!
In the first campaign, they’ve reached 13:1 RoAS on Facebook ads – that’s $13 for every $1 spent, which is huge!
That’s for the short version of this story – the longer version you can read it here!
We can do the same for your business as well. We hold the number one spot for a company with the largest chunk of consumer and influencer data (over 80 million contacts).
We’ve worked with clients in dozens of niches, and you bet that we have countless emails of your competitors’ followers already in our base. If not, then we can go over every one of their followers and deliver them in less than 48 hours.
The best thing?
You can use the same emails to target competitors’ followers both on Facebook and Instagram! And you can win their followers over on both platforms. Or if you’re into email marketing create a cold email campaign and popup right in their inbox.
So, the only thing you need to do is to write down your competitors using the form below.