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Top 3 Capabilities of Facebook Ad Targeting You Should Know

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Last updated:
20th Feb, 2017
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Top 3 Capabilities of Facebook Ad Targeting You Should Know

This is a Guest Blog by Anne Felicitas, from AdvertiseMint, a Facebook ad agency. This is the second of a four-part series by AdvertiseMint. The first one was about 12 New Facebook Products.

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Targeting your ads is perhaps one of the most important aspects of Facebook ads that you must execute correctly.
The creatives you spent time and money on and the ad copies you whipped to perfection won’t matter if your targeting is weak. After all, what’s the point of spending money on beautiful creatives when your ad, because you failed to create detailed targeting, doesn’t resonate with your audience?

If your ad fails to resonate with your audience, your audience will ignore your ad, and you won’t get any conversions. Facebook ad’s targeting options are as vast and as bottomless as the ocean — you won’t believe all the tools available to you.

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Here are three things you likely don’t know — but you should know — about Facebook ad targeting.

1. You Can Target Almost Anyone

With Facebook targeting, you have the option to target by core audiences. Core audiences include the categories: demographics, location, interests, and behaviors.
Top 3 Capabilities of Facebook Ad Targeting You Didn't Know UpGrad Blog


You can target individuals based on their age, gender, relationship status, education, workplace, and job titles, among many others. Facebook will match the information you enter to the information Facebook users provide on their Facebook profiles.


You can also target individuals based on specific areas. Your target location can be as broad as the entire Unites States or as narrow as anywhere within five miles from your business. Additionally, should you choose to do so, you can also target different countries.
When you target by location, you can enter the specific country, state/province, city, or even zip code. Facebook will match the information you enter with the information Facebook users state on their profiles or timelines, which is validated by an IP address.

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In addition to demographics and location, Facebook gives you the ability to target individuals according to their interests. You can target people with particular hobbies, their favorite entertainment, particular interest in certain brands, and many other personalisations — honestly, you can target any interest imaginable.
When you choose the interests you want to target, the Interests Section will suggest keywords to begin your search. Additionally, these keywords will contain information on the number of people you can reach.


Finally, you can target individuals with specific behavioral patterns. For example, you can target people based on their purchase behaviors, device usage, and other activities that occur on or off Facebook.
Facebook acquires information on activities occurring outside of its platform from its third-party partners, which includes Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon.
Top 3 Capabilities of Facebook Ad Targeting You Didn't Know UpGrad Blog

2. You Can Target Customers, Web Visitors, and Mobile Users

Another Facebook targeting option is through Custom Audiences. With Custom Audiences you can target existing customers, web visitors, and mobile users.
Top 3 Capabilities of Facebook Ad Targeting You Didn't Know UpGrad Blog

Current customers

You can download data from your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system or customer contact lists to Facebook. Facebook will match the information your list provides (names, emails, phone numbers, etc.), to the information that current Facebook users themselves provide when signing up for an account.

Web visitors

In addition to contact lists, you can create a Custom Audience comprised of people who have visited your website. To obtain this information, you must use the Facebook Pixel, a piece of code installed on your website that tracks who visits the different pages of your site.

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Mobile users

You can also target those who used your app using the Facebook SDK. The Facebook SDK, a code you install in your app, will track the users who engaged with your app. You can then upload these users to your Custom Audiences.

Top 3 Capabilities of Facebook Ad Targeting You Didn't Know UpGrad Blog

3. You Can Target Look-A-Like Audiences

Sometimes it’s not enough to only target your customers. You need to expand at some point.
Fortunately, with the help of Lookalike Audiences, you can do exactly that. Lookalike Audiences allows you to reach an audience most likely to be interested in your business by serving your ads to individuals who are similar to your current target audience.
Top 3 Capabilities of Facebook Ad Targeting You Didn't Know UpGrad Blog

Lookalike Audience can take information from several sources:

  • Custom Audience
  • Facebook Pixel data
  • Mobile App data
  • Fans of your page

From these sources, Facebook can identify common qualities between your audiences. Afterward, Facebook finds people who are similar to your chosen audiences, in the location you choose.
Top 3 Capabilities of Facebook Ad Targeting You Didn't Know UpGrad Blog
If you didn’t know about any of these three Facebook ad targeting capabilities, don’t fret because you’re not alone. It’s hard to fathom Facebook ad’s targeting options, considering there are hundreds of them, more than you can ever imagine and more than you can ever commit to memory. Nonetheless, if you remember the three items mentioned in this post, then you’ll have an easier time targeting your ads correctly. Good luck!

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Read the third article in this series – Exciting New Features are Coming to Facebook Ads.


Anne Felicitas

Blog Author
Anne is a Writer and Social Media Manager at AdvertiseMint - a Facebook Advertising Agency.
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1Does size matter in Facebook ad targeting?
If you’re wondering what is the best audience size to run a Facebook ad, let us tell you that there is no right or wrong answer. Some people say you need a targeting strategy that will pull 500,000 to 1 million users while others say the lesser the better. Well, an important thing to remember is that more than the audience size, it is the relevance of the audience that matters. Your product/service should cater to their interests or solve their problem. Instead of targeting an audience of a specific size, concentrate on an audience that has a specific trait.
2Which are the three types of Facebook ad audiences?
When you advertise on Facebook, it is always better to create different categories of audiences. There are three options you can choose from. Firstly, there are saved audiences that allow you to target specific behaviors, interests, locations and income levels. Then there are custom audiences. This category allows you to target people who are already familiar with your business. It includes people who have visited your website or have engaged with your content. Lastly, there are lookalike audiences. It includes people who have never interacted with your business but are similar to your current target audience.
3What is hyper targeting on Facebook?
Hyper targeting is a fool-proof marketing strategy where you identify a target group and deliver relevant messages to them in places they're most likely to check regularly. Facebook is the perfect platform to run hyper targeting campaigns. Before you start hyper targeting, it is important to understand buyer-persona, the art of segmenting your audience on various parameters and geo-targeting. With the right hyper targeting strategy, you can deliver personalized marketing messages, get qualified leads, generate better value for your ad spend, and improve sales since you’re targeting the right customers on the right platforms.

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