How to estimate a market size using Facebook

How many potential customers?

What is the market size?

These are the types of questions one should ask when curious about the market they work in. These are questions that need an answer when doing market research. This article will show you how to find the answers using Facebook. Indeed, Facebook, whether you like it or not, knows everything about us — many times without our knowledge. It knows so much about its users that their ads are targeted with high precision. It can also help you determine the number of potential customers for any given activity.

Let’s take an example…

Let’s say I want to advertise dog sitting in Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA. I want to target everyone who owns a dog and who lives in that area of San Francisco. To maximize the conversion of the ad, I’m going to narrow my research to only include people who are frequent travelers as there is a big chance that they regularly need a pet sitter.

  1. Go to facebook.com/ads and create a new campaign.

2. Select “Send people to your website”. Enter the url of a website 
(you can enter any url, it won’t make a difference for now).

3. Click “Create Ad Account”. By default, the audience is everyone in the US who is between 18 and 65. As you can see, that is a total of 187 million people.

4. It’s now time to filter our audience. In this example, we want to target people who live in Nob Hill, who own a dog, and who are frequent travelers. To do so, I entered my zip code under locations. I then need to add dogs in the “Detailed Targeting” section. As you type in “dogs”, Facebook will give you suggestions. In our case, we want to select dogs under Interests.

5. We now want to narrow down the estimated audience and only count people who travel regularly. To do so, click “Narrow Audience” under the “Detailed Targeting” box. Then as you type in travelers, Facebook should show you an All Frequent Travelers option under Behaviors.

As you can see in the above screenshot, we’ve narrowed down our audience to 6,200 people. Now that you have this number, you can estimate the market size and find the answers to all your questions. You can also play around with the filters and find the best way to target your potential customers.

That’s all folks !