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If you’re a marketer, you might already know that Facebook Ads are a very useful tool. By providing you access to approximately 2.41 billion active monthly users, the platform gives you an opportunity to reach many potential customers.

That’s not to say you’re taking full advantage of this marketing resource. Facebook offers an extremely wide range of marketing features. Odds are good you’re not leveraging all of them.

For example, this guide will teach you how to target referral traffic with your Facebook ads. This helps you develop marketing content that aligns with your audience’s needs, tastes, and behaviors.

How to Monitor Referrals on Facebook

You’ll need to use the Facebook Pixel to track how guests are being referred to your site. This line of code can be inserted into various pages on your site, collecting information about Facebook users when they engage in certain behaviors. For instance, if you wanted to run ads targeting customers who purchased items from your brand in the past, the pixel will provide the data necessary for generating that audience.

You can also use it to track and target referral traffic. Follow these steps to do so:

  • Visit your Facebook Analytics page. Select the pixel.
  • Select “Events” from the “Activity” section of navigation on the left of the screen.
  • Select “Page View.” Then, select “Edit” next to the segment, and choose “Web Parameters” under “Select Condition.”
  • Select “Referral Domain” under “Select Parameters.”
  • Now you can set your Referral Domain to see referral trends from specific domains/sites. For example, if you wanted to monitor the degree to which guests reach your site via Instagram, you would make “instagram.com” the Referral Domain, and click “Apply.” Just keep in mind that, if you want to monitor global traffic, you may need to include multiple domains, as the specific address of a site can vary from one country to another.
  • Save the chosen segment. This allows you to skip these steps the next time you want to monitor relevant traffic.

Custom Audience for Facebook Ads

Now that you’ve gone through this process, the pixel will collect this data. You can then use it to create a Custom Audience. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Begin creating a Custom Audience from your website.
  • Choose “From Your Events,” then select “PageView.”
  • Select “Refine By,” then select “URL/Parameter.” Select the “URL” drop-down, and select “Referrer.”

Now you can create an audience from traffic referred to your site via a specific source. If you wanted to create an audience of users who accessed your site via Instagram, you’d select “Contains” and enter “instagram.com” (as well as any other relevant domains if they vary from one country to the next).

Why target referral traffic? There are many reasons this may be a good idea. For example, perhaps you want to spread brand awareness with a hashtag contest on Instagram. With this technique, you can run Facebook ads promoting the contest to users who’ve visited your site through Instagram. This is key to reaching the right users.

As always, it’s best to experiment with this feature. Effective Facebook marketing should involve some degree of “playing” with the various tools the platform has to offer. As you do so, you’ll learn how to leverage them to their full potential.