July 24, 2024

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Understanding Facebook Ad Targeting

With over 2 billion active users daily, Facebook is a hot spot for B2C and B2B marketers. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented surge in people using the platform, so there’s never been a better time for businesses and organisations to grab their Facebook Ad targeting strategy by the horns.

Facebook Ads to Target Key Audiences

Still, Facebook has hundreds of targeting and ad demographic options, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Here’s a brief guide to getting the most out of money spent on Facebook Ads, and how brands can zero-in on their targets.

The “target market” that brands advertise to is referred to as the “audience” on Facebook. Brands can get very specific in their targeting, tailoring their campaign based on factors like education, income, location, age, gender, job title, and much more. Here’s a breakdown of those factors:


Brands can target users by state, locality, zip code, country, etc. Facebook even gives organizations the option to target users where they work, or where they live.


Demographics refers to data like age, sex, marital status and income. Thanks to information readily provided by users, Facebook offers a wealth of demographic options.


Targeting based on interests can be particularly useful to businesses who already know a lot about their target market. Brands selling almond milk, for example, can choose to target users interested in veganism and environmentalism.

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This factor uses Facebook Pixel to track user behaviour and display ads based on their recent activity. This includes targeting users who recently visited a brand’s website or subscribed to an organization’s newsletter, and can be a very profitable way to target a campaign.


Engagement refers to when a user comments, likes or follows a brand’s pages on social media. If a user has recently liked a brand’s Facebook or Instagram posts, a campaign can specifically target these users.

Partner Connections

This advertising strategy shows ads based on user behaviour off the Facebook platform using partner connections. For example, a car dealership may elect to target users who recently applied for a new car loan at the bank.

Automatic Optimization

Ideal for brands who are not as in touch with their target market as they would like to be, Facebook algorithms can automatically optimize campaign targeting on their behalf.

Facebook Ads in Summary

It’s important to remember that building the right Facebook audience for organizations’ campaigns can take some time; for best results, audiences need to be specific but not too specific. Moreover, brands should consider using a range of audiences to achieve a range of campaign goals: just because a Facebook audience was right for a previous Facebook ad campaign does not mean that subsequent campaigns can do a copy-paste.

Custom audiences are some of the highest converting audiences available to a Facebook ad campaign. Brands can upload a list of emails or phone numbers of prospective audience members, or use the Pixel function to target users based on the above factors. For example, brands can choose to target visitors who didn’t complete a purchase, or who recently read a company’s blog post.

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The options for Facebook ad targeting are truly endless, and organizations truly have the world at their fingertips when they decide to prioritize this marketing platform. With more people using Facebook more often due to the current COVID-19 crisis, it’s time to take Facebook ads seriously.

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