Winning the Internet

Winning the Facebooks: Leveraging the Voter File and Offline Data, Content, and Facebook’s Tools to Microtarget Without Breaking the Bank

After a great run, the Winning the Internet blog has been retired. However, you can still keep in touch with New Media Mentors here.

Jarrett Fein

Jarrett Fein

Andrea Hong

Andrea Hong

As we gear up for Netroots Nation 2013, we’re taking a closer look at some of the convention’s hottest training sessions. We’re interviewing the trainers and taking you inside some of online activism’s most popular and elusive topics.

Today we’re interviewing Andrea Hong and Jarrett Fein, who’ll be leading Winning the Facebooks: Leveraging the Voter File and Offline Data, Content, and Facebook’s Tools to Microtarget Without Breaking the Bank.

NN13 Training Session

Winning the Facebooks: Leveraging the Voter File and Offline Data, Content, and Facebook’s Tools to Microtarget Without Breaking the Bank
“Micro” and “nano” targeting were all the rage in 2012 as campaigns learned to use data to target messages to high-value audiences more effectively than ever before. Come learn from leading practitioners about how you can effectively and efficiently reach and move those audiences online without breaking the bank. We’ll help you learn how to develop high-impact Facebook content and use Facebook’s tools to target and deliver the content to the people your organization needs to succeed.

Interview

Q: Tell us about your experience with microtargeting.

A: As digital campaign strategists at Trilogy Interactive, we do (among other things) a lot of ad work that requires getting our content in front of the right people. That’s where microtargeting — an increasingly important tool — comes in.

One of the best examples is what we did with Washington United for Marriage in the 2012 election cycle. Before 2012, marriage equality had been defeated at the ballot box 32 times in a row, so we knew that we HAD to run a nearly perfect campaign and reach every potential supporter possible if we were going to end this losing streak.

Every last vote would count — so we took advantage of new Facebook targeting abilities, including the new “custom audiences” targeting, to upload a file of targeted voters who were then matched to a “custom audience” of individual Facebook users. This unique and innovative use of Facebook enabled the campaign to serve GOTV ads with absolute precision to a highly targeted list of known supporters.

This is just one of our favorites; the list of microtargeting options and the clients we’ve worked with is long.

Q: In your opinion, why is microtargeting important?

A: Every campaign wants to use each dollar in smart and effective ways — and microtargeting through Facebook, thanks to its logged-in users, means we can serve ads directly and specifically to our targets with no bleed.

Given limited budgets with campaigns like the aforementioned Washington United for Marriage, we forewent the common voter-file targeted display campaign strategy of using vendors’ commercial cookie-matched voter targeting. These methods, while more targeted than traditional site-targeted online ad buys, still have significant bleed and limited reach.

Our unique and innovative use of Facebook “custom audience” targeting delivered 500,000 impressions to the 10,000 matched voters in Washington United’s targeted GOTV universe, with almost no bleed into non-targeted users — ensuring that every last possible ballot was mailed in. The campaign succeeded in mobilizing its supporters, becoming the first state in the history of the country to successfully defend marriage equality at the ballot box.

Q: What is the most important thing for folks to keep in mind when developing content for Facebook?

A: You’re competing with a lot of content on Facebook, so people don’t have the patience to digest something that’s overly complicated. You have to balance visual appeal with an intriguing, short message. It’s a hard balance. There are ways to achieve it, and we’ll show you some examples and tactics during our training!

Q: Why should folks attend your session at Netroots Nation, and how can they connect with you?

A: Facebook is an increasingly important tool in digital campaigning, and it’s important to know how to leverage it to its fullest potential. Our session will help you learn how to develop high-impact Facebook content and use Facebook’s tools to target and deliver the content to help your organization succeed. Facebook is constantly changing or updating its offerings, so even if you think you’re familiar with best practices, we think our session will be helpful.

You can reach us on that other social network, Twitter: Jarrett Fein (@jarrettfein) and Andrea Hong (@andreayhong).

 

To attend this training, or one of the 39 others at Netroots Nation 2013 in San Jose, register now.


About Melissa Foley

Melissa is the Director of Training and Mentoring for Netroots Foundation and New Media Mentors. She aims to use her MBA + nonprofit background to teach organizations to use new media tools strategically.