All of Facebook’s Ad Targeting Options (in One Epic Infographic)

by Mary Lister July 3, 2016
July 3, 2016

If you have heard anything about Facebook advertising, you know it’s extensive (and complicated). If you’ve ever been targeted by Facebook ads, you know it’s almost borderline stalky. And if you have ever tried Facebook advertising out for yourself, you know it’s efficient and cost-effective.

While paid search marketing is mostly accomplished by targeting specific keywords that users are searching on, Facebook advertising is based on finding the audiences that are most likely to become your fan or your customer. These targeting options focus directly on users and profiling potential customers in order to get clicks and grow your business.

facebook ad targeting

As we have found with PPC, there’s definitely a sweet spot when it’s comes to ad targeting—somewhere between hugely broad and a tiny 20-person audience—just ask Brett McHale. Facebook has almost endless targeting options—so extensive that this particular marketer was able to specifically target his roommate in a series of elaborate ads. These options can be so specific that more than once, I have had Facebook friends complain about being targeted by ads that are “inappropriately personal.”

It’s easy to imagine general combinations of demographics to target on Facebook, but the real value is in interests and behaviors. By targeting to specific life events, you could catch your customer at the perfect purchase point in the funnel.

Moreover, there is an appropriate time and place for these targeted ads—before you address the many, many choices on targeting, make a plan! When you can get this granular, you can get carried away and the next thing you know, your campaign is targeting new grandmothers who are interested in weight training and animal rights, just celebrated a birthday, own vacation timeshares, and are currently shopping for homes in Waltham, MA. Even though you can be so specific, ask should your marketing strategy include it, and how?

ad targeting options on facebook

Recently, we sat down with a non-marketer interested in toying with Facebook Advertising to boost her small business. As we walked her through it, she became increasingly overwhelmed with all the options and we realized our mistake. Instead of mapping out her campaigns before jumping into the tool, we had ambitiously tried to execute with no clear strategy. What if your business is extremely broad? Maybe you have a pizza shop (everyone loves pizza) and you need to create an audience on Facebook. Once location targeting is complete, it becomes difficult to identify segments to target. If you get too specific, you risk excluding a chunk of potential customers; if you aren’t specific at all, you risk your ad getting ignored.

To help you navigate the seemingly murky waters of Facebook ads, our #flawless graphic designer Bekah Wheeler put together this handy infographic! This graphic will walk you through alllllll the many demographic, interest, behavior, connection and remarketing targeting options that are at your disposal as a Facebook advertiser. We recommend using it as a checklist when planning your Facebook ad strategy; hopefully, it should make the process smoother and inspire your next Facebook advertising campaigns.

facebook advertising targeting options

Wondering if Facebook ads could work for you? Check out our Facebook Advertising Opportunity Calculator to see how many more leads and sales you could get with a small Facebook ads budget.

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