Advertisers now have access to 92m expats on Facebook
The new feature, which has been named “expat” or “nationality-specific targeting,” will deliver ads to the 92 million expats on Facebook, according to an announcement by the social network on Tuesday. The company’s overseas advertising revenue will grow with the help of this feature. As of now, people in five countries–Brazil, Indonesia, China, South Africa and India–will have this feature available to them.
Using the feature, airlines will try to sell plane tickets whenever expats plan a trip back to home. The identity of the individual users is not disclosed by Facebook to advertisers, the social network claimed.
The question of major concern is why marketers would want to target expats in this way. The fact that people settled abroad always want to connect with friends and families in their home countries, and “a natural extension to this is a desire to connect with brands, news outlets, and other organizations familiar to them,” says a report from Venture Beat.
Successfully tried and tested
Etihad Airways, based in the United Arab Emirates, has used the feature, and the results have been positive. The company revealed that it successfully reached 27 million Hindus who were residing outside India. These users had their accounts on Facebook, and the airline reached them with their advertisements just before the major festival Diwali. Facebook stated that as many as 700 bookings were generated by the airline, which was able to target 536,000 Indian expats with its advertising in the Middle East.
According to Andrew Ward, VP of Marketing for Etihad Airways, “People expect communication to be personal, relevant and mobile. With Facebook’s expat targeting, we were able to speak to a highly relevant audience and deliver them something that was truly valuable in real time.”
This is not the first time Facebook has added a feature for the expat community. In 2009, the social network allowed advertisers to target by language. For example, such targeting allowed them to show ads in English to Brits living in Spain but who do not speak Spanish.