Facebook Ads: Targeting to Success

Apr 28, 2017


Ad Sets and Audiences Part II

Facebook currently offers one of the most advanced and robust advertising platforms to marketers. The power in their network is the ability to target almost any audience you are looking to attract. This is done through Audiences and today we look at some of the capabilities that will help your business be more successful online.
When advertising on Facebook, you can create your audiences when you are placing your ad or you can do it beforehand. Our recommendation is that you start the advertising process by carefully designing your target audiences and custom avatars, then build the audiences through the Facebook Ads Manager. Once you have created your audiences, you can then go and create the ads in the Ads Manager (or through page boosts and the Power Editor).

In order to build your audiences first, you want to create a “Saved Audience” from the Audiences module of the Ads Manager. Simply, choose Audiences from the Ads Manager hamburger menu, choose “Saved Audience” from the “Create Audience” drop down button.


The first section of the targeting section is to include or exclude any custom audiences. This is a unique feature because you can choose to include people from database or do targeted audience and remove your existing customers. It’s a unique option that can be quite useful in certain situations.

Before we get into the obvious, I want to take you through a dropdown box that must people overlook. It is the first field in the location section. It is critically important in targeting by location. There are three ways you target using geography. First you can choose to target people who live in a specific location. This will include people who have chosen to include their current home address in their Facebook profile and that address falls within your criteria. The next option is those people who have recently been in this location. This means it will include whose most recently location is within the criteria that you have designated. If someone has checked in somewhere within your criteria, they will be included in those results. Next is a travel option. If you are targeting tourists, this is a great option. It includes people who have checked in within your criteria but whose home is more than 125 miles from that criteria. If you are marketing a restaurant in downtown Chicago, it will include people who are visiting Chicago but who live more than 125 miles away. The final option is “Everyone in this location.” This is the all of the above option.

Facebook also lets you both include and exclude people by location. Those locations can be cities, zip codes, DMAs, states, countries, etc. When choosing a location, you can also use that specific location or a mile range from that location. So I can include everyone who lives in Elmhurst, Illinois or everyone within 50 miles of Elmhurst.



Facebook allows you to refine audiences based on gender, age and language. You can choose males, females or all. You can also specify age ranges as well. Remember if you are marketing alcoholic or other age-restricted products, you MUST specify the appropriate age ranges. Finally, Facebook allows you to target people by language. This is applicable if you are targeting that uses a specific language that is not common in the area in which you are targeting. This is determined by the Facebook language setting. In the United States, many people speak Spanish as a primary language but do not necessarily designate Spanish as their Facebook language. This is something to consider when targeting.


The detailed targeting section is where the true power of Facebook Advertising exists. As you browse through this section, you will see that Facebook allows you to target people by so many different criteria (Demographics, Interests, Behaviors, and More Categories).


• Education (Education Level, Fields of Study, Schools, Undergrad Years)
• Financial (Income, Net Worth)
• Generation (Baby Boomers, GenX, Millenials)
• Home (House Ownership, Home Type including values, Household Composition)
• Life Events (Anniversaries, Away from Home/Hometown, Birthday, Friends of, New Job, New Relationships, Newly Engaged, Newlyweds, Long Distance Relationships, Recently Moved)
• Parents (Ages of Children, Expectant Parents)
• Politics (Self Reported, Likely to Engage, Contributors)
• Relationship (Interests, Status)
• Work (Employers, Industries, Job Titles, Office Type)


• Business and Industries
• Entertainment
• Family and relationships
• Fitness and Wellness
• Food and drink
• Hobbies and activities
• Shopping and fashion
• Sports and outdoors
• Technology


• Anniversaries
• Automotive (Car Shoppers, Owners, Purchase Type, Used Car Buyers)
• B2B (Company size, industry, seniority)
• Charitable donations/philantrophy
• Digital Activities (gamers, OS, FB Payments, Page Admins, Event Creators, SMB owners, Web Browser, early adopters)
• Expats (people living in a different country)
• Financial (Bank usage, investments, spending methods)
• Job roles
• Media (radio and television)
• Mobile Device Users
• Multicultural Affinity
• Purchase Behavior
• Residential profiles
• Seasonal events
• Travel

More Categories

• Fast food and Nail Care


The final options in saved audience targeting are connections. This area allows you to include or exclude people who are in some way connected to one of your Facebook pages, have used your app or have responded to one of your events.

Once you have finished with your targeting, save your audience. You can incorporate these audiences into your ads.



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