There's been heavy buzz about Facebook ads - and with good reason. Created properly, they can be an effective tool in rocketing your popularity like a meteor, or branding your business.
But. almost no one talks about using Facebook ads in reverse - as a source of valid ideas for market research.
Think about it. If a subject is on Facebook, and it's got an ad, it's likely viable. Are there groups? Fans? Often you can find out exactly how many Facebook fans a strong group or website in your niche actually has.
You can also see if people are actually interested in a particular product; how passionate they are about the subject; and what age group, gender, education background and more its members display in their profile.
- What the fans are talking about
- If the niche is actively "hot"
- If it is growing
You can also get an idea of its size from the number of fans. Fans in the millions? It may be too broad for your purposes. Only 6 fans? Watch that niche to see if it grows - perhaps even join the Facebook Group, if it's something you're particularly passionate about. But don't invest any ad money yet.
Once you've found a likely niche on Facebook, set up a profile page for yourself using highly specific keywords. Pay attention to the ads served up to you and you're spying on your competition. Click on their ads, visit their sites, view their source pages and see what keywords they use in their META tags (if any).