5 Facebook Ad Targeting Options all Marketers Must Use


Social Media Week

Facebook today is certainly different than it used to be, and paying to reach your audience is now the norm. But, are your decisions with Facebook Ads benefitting your business, or just wasting your time and energy?

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While every popular social network eventually expands into paid advertising for business accounts, none have been more successful than Facebook. There are numerous reasons for Facebook’s tremendous success, but perhaps the greatest is the network’s ability to incorporate tremendously effective ad targeting options. As a marketer, you must know how to use these targeting options if you want to develop successful, high-returning campaigns. Here are five important items you’ll want to leverage.

1. Geographical Location

Perhaps the most valuable ad targeting option is the ability to target a specific geographical location. This is known as geo-targeting and offers brick and mortar businesses and companies in service industries the opportunity to maximize ad impressions by honing in on a relevant target market.

Facebook lets you target based on country, state, city, and even zip code. These layered targeting options are ideal for large cities. For example, did you know that there are 450,000 inhabitants in Atlanta, Georgia – with a vast 5.5 million residents in the metropolitan area? If a local business were to target Metro Atlanta, it may not get the ROI it’s looking for. The market is just too broad. On the other hand, if it narrowed its target down to a specific zip code – say 30067 – the ad delivery would be much more relevant to the target market.

2. Age and Gender

Age and gender targeting is really important because, let’s face it, delivering identical ads to an 18-year-old male and 87-year-old female won’t be equally effective. By using different combinations of age and gender, marketers can develop demographic-specific ads that are much more likely to produce positive results. When combined with geo-targeting options, age and gender selections can help you build custom audiences.

3. Purchasing Behavior

In early 2013, Facebook built partnerships with three of the largest data brokers in the world: Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon. While it may not have seemed significant the time, these partnerships have allowed Facebook to develop rich profiles of each and every user on the platform. For that reason, they know a whole lot more about you than you probably realize, including your purchasing behaviors.

As a result of this knowledge, Facebook is able to give businesses the opportunity to direct advertisements to users based on past purchases. When combined with personal interests – another valuable targeting option – marketers can effectively increase conversion rates with very little work.

4. Connections

Facebook has what it calls a “connections” option. This allows marketers create ads that are targeted according to the relationship users have with a business’ Facebook page. Businesses can choose to specifically target fans of their page, exclude them, or even target their fans’ connections. This really helps a business grow their social awareness.

5. Life Events

One of the neatest ad targeting options involves what Facebook calls “life events.” Because Facebook users frequently add new information to their profiles, the advertising platform is able to segment users by major life events, including marriage, the birth of a child, death of a loved one, etc. Businesses that sell to people experiencing major life events – such as wedding planners, pediatricians, and funeral homes – can then target their ads to these groups.

Learn to Love Facebook

Whether you love or hate Facebook in your personal life is an entirely separate issue. When it comes to marketing, there’s no option but to love Facebook, due to the detailed targeting options the social network affords you.

Keep the options mentioned in this article in mind and don’t be afraid to play around with some of the other targeting capabilities. You’ll soon find that Facebook advertising, when properly utilized, offers high returns.



Larry Alton

Writer, Freelancer

Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.



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