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How to Send Data from Snowflake to Instagram Ads

Need to sync data from Snowflake to Instagram? Here are two methods for getting your data from A to B, manually and automatically.

Katharine Toll

Katharine Toll

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With the decline of cookies and email opens, marketers are seeing their retargeting audiences shrink down to nothing. So, it's no wonder that more and more marketers are turning to first party data to create audiences in ad platforms like Instagram. Marketers are using these audiences in a few ways: targeting, excluding and lookalike. 

To make the most of your marketing data and marketing strategy, you need the right data and activating it in your key destinations. The right data starts with your Data Cloud - Snowflake. If you have read our other posts regarding Snowflake and data activation, then you are probably already familiar with the process of how to integrate Snowflake into TikTok and how to integrate Snowflake to Facebook. However, you may still be missing out on the benefits of your first party date on one social media platform in particular: Instagram. With over one billion users of the social platform, it is considered one of the top five most popular social media platforms to date.

In this article I'll walk you through a couple of different ways you can upload your Snowflake to Instagram. 

Snowflake to CSV to Instagram

  1. In order to import data from your Snowflake Data Cloud into a usable format for Instagram ads, you’ll need to create a CSV file from one of your Snowflake tables. Check out this Snowflake help article on how to utilize double quotes to export to CSV. 
  2. Once you get your CSV file from your data team, you need to format your CSV file to have the right headers. If your CSV has fewer than 50,000 or so rows, I recommend using Google Sheets to manipulate the data. If not, use Microsoft Excel. 

    Instagram, like other social media ad platforms, requires your CSV file to have headers that it recognizes. You need to edit your headers in your CSV file to match these exactly. For example, Instagram requires your first name field to have a header of “fn”. If you haven’t already memorized these headers, you can download a file template

    Pro tip: Make sure that all of the rows have complete data, otherwise these imports can fail. When in doubt, just import email address as your customer identifier. 
  1. Instagram is owned by Facebook’s parent company, Meta. So, once you have your CSV file formatted, you’re going to login to your Meta Ads Manager account. From your Meta Ads Manager account, you’ll navigate to “Audiences”, then “Create Audience”, “Custom Audience”, “Customer List”.
  2. Here you’re going to give your audience a name and description. I recommend naming it something that you (and anyone else in your team) can recognize easily. If you’re a sports franchise and the customer list is of 2022’s season ticket holders, then name the list something like “2022 Season Ticket Holders - Snowflake List”.
  3. Follow the prompts in the file importer to map the identifiers correctly. Then you’ll finalize with “Upload and Create”.
  4. It may take a few hours for Meta to size your audience based on who they could match, so be patient. 

Next we’re going to walk through an option to connect Snowflake to Instagram ads using Flywheel Software.

Snowflake to Instagram

The fastest easiest way (less than 5 minutes) to send a customer segment audience from Snowflake to Instagram is to use Flywheel. These first couple of steps are a “set it and forget it”, once you’ve done it once you won’t have to do it each time you sync from Snowflake to Instagram. 

  1. Connect your Snowflake Data Cloud to the Flywheel app as a source. You should only have to enter your data cloud credentials once to load data. Although this article involves Snowflake, the process is similar if you use BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, or other data warehouses.
  2. Set your Facebook or Meta ads account as a destination.
  3. Use Flywheel’s visual audience builder to create a custom audience, or use one that is already saved in your account. Maybe you’ve already sent your audience of 2022 Season Ticket Holders to your email platform like Sendgrid and now you’re going to add cross channel promotion on Instagram. 
  4. After you build the audience or choose from a saved audience, you’re going to select the percentage of treatment and control experimentation you want to do.
  5. Export to Instagram ads. The audience is automatically created in your Meta Ads dashboard with the name of the audience that is in Flywheel.

You can sync your data from Snowflake to Instagram this one time or you can enable an ongoing sync from Snowflake to Instagram, maybe hourly or daily. This sync will allow you to automatically add new users who fit your criteria to your Instagram audience. 

That's it - you're done. While the process is very similar to that of linking Snowflake to Facebook Ads or linking Snowflake to TikTok Ads, it is important to note the platforms offer different marketing benefits. 

Benefits of Sending Data from Snowflake to Instagram 

Advertising on Instagram can empower your brand to:

  • Connect with the right audience: When you send your first party data to Instagram Ads, you can reach the right exact people instead of blindly throwing your ad to the masses.
  • Connect deeper with your audience with advanced segmentation: People expect more from marketing content, especially if they already have a relationship with you.

Exporting data to Instagram Ads via Flywheel lets you:

  • Find audiences with similar preferences using a lookalike function.
  • Win churned customers back based on their purchase history.
  • Upsell non-email openers with ads in their Instagram feed.
  • Remove recent purchasers from ad campaigns by using this audience as an exclusion audience.

Activate Your Data with Flywheel

Companies embracing the Snowflake Data Cloud need a powerful solution for activating their first party data to their marketing platforms like Instagram. We're here to help you accelerate your data-driven marketing. Enterprises using Flywheel have accelerated their time to market from months to minutes. Within minutes, you can export your raw data sets to over 30 destinations, including Instagram Ads. Get started by scheduling your free demo with our software specialists!

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