For mar­keters, Face­book is the 800-pound goril­la in the room. The Pew Research Cen­ter says that near­ly 80% of Amer­i­cans who are online use Face­book, more than twice the num­ber who use Twit­ter, Insta­gram, Pin­ter­est or LinkedIn. Face­book users are also high­ly engaged, with more than three-quar­ters of them vis­it­ing the site dai­ly and over half log­ging in mul­ti­ple times per day.

The num­ber of active month­ly Face­book users world­wide stands at approx­i­mate­ly 2 bil­lion. But for mar­keters, the most impor­tant Face­book sta­tis­tics may be this: Users spend an aver­age of 35 min­utes a day on the social media plat­form. Mar­keters can’t afford not to com­pete on Face­book — it would be ced­ing too much ground to com­peti­tors, yet many find it a chal­lenge: 94% of mar­keters use Face­book, but only 66% are con­vinced that it is an effec­tive way to dis­trib­ute con­tent.

Why the dis­crep­an­cy? It’s not that Face­book doesn’t offer many options to help mar­keters find their tar­get audi­ence: There is 92 cus­tomer attrib­ut­es avail­able that mar­keters can select for tar­get­ing, includ­ing geog­ra­phy, mobile device type, oper­at­ing sys­tem, per­son­al inter­ests, demo­graph­ics and user behav­ior. That’s one rea­son Face­book charges a pre­mi­um rate via cost per click, cost per link, cost per thou­sand impres­sions and cost per action.

But for too many mar­keters, these cus­tomiza­tion options don’t trans­late into gen­uine oppor­tu­ni­ties. Mar­keters still face hur­dles in gen­er­at­ing ROI and effi­cient­ly and effec­tive­ly select­ing an audi­ence. Savvy mar­keters may have cus­tomer-engage­ment strate­gies in place, includ­ing com­pelling con­tent, but it only gen­er­ates ROI if they can get it to the intend­ed audi­ence.

So how do mar­keters accom­plish this? Audi­ence pro­fil­ing is the stan­dard reply, but to tru­ly suc­ceed, mar­keters need to look beyond the data Face­book pro­vides. An effec­tive Face­book mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy incor­po­rates data from a vari­ety of sources, includ­ing CRM infor­ma­tion such as trans­ac­tions, pur­chase his­to­ry, and inter­ac­tions. It should also include sur­vey research data, such as cus­tomer likes, dis­likes, cus­tomer-report­ed val­ues, and pref­er­ences.

To gen­er­ate ROI from a Face­book mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy, mar­keters should com­bine CRM and sur­vey results with data ana­lyt­ics. This is a great way to fill in the gaps between their own cus­tomer infor­ma­tion and Face­book pro­files. It also affords an oppor­tu­ni­ty for the mar­ket­ing team to iden­ti­fy con­nec­tions between cus­tomers’ Face­book pro­files and the company’s pro­pri­etary cus­tomer infor­ma­tion as well as between cus­tomers’ Face­book inter­ests and exist­ing CRM pro­file data.

When mar­keters con­nect Face­book infor­ma­tion with CRM and sur­vey data, they gain a greater under­stand­ing of their audi­ence. Mak­ing those con­nec­tions enables mar­keters to get com­pelling mes­sages in front of the right peo­ple, and it also allows the com­pa­ny to deliv­er a seam­less brand image across all chan­nels. This strat­e­gy also allows mar­keters to cre­ate more accu­rate effec­tive­ness esti­mates, keep­ing the orga­ni­za­tion on track.

The more mar­keters know about their cus­tomers, the bet­ter they can com­mu­ni­cate with them. Deliv­er­ing a pos­i­tive, seam­less cus­tomer expe­ri­ence across all chan­nels, includ­ing social media, is crit­i­cal for build­ing cred­i­bil­i­ty and estab­lish­ing trust. Data sci­ence is the best way to per­son­al­ize cam­paigns, and com­pa­nies that com­bine CRM and sur­vey data with Facebook’s pow­er­ful mar­ket­ing capa­bil­i­ties can dri­ve social media ROI and expand their cus­tomer base.