Who is Your Facebook’s Target Audience?

One thing that comes up again and again as a Facebook advertiser is the use of Facebook’s audience targeting and the ways in which we can define who our ads are seen by.

What area do we want to target? What age? What gender? What interests? Do we want to exclude certain interests, do we want to exclude people who like our page?

There are a lot of things to consider when setting up your custom, lookalike and saved audiences and it is sometimes a fine art getting them set up correctly – too large and your ads may not be relevant and perform poorly, too small and frequency could be high and/or your audience may be exhausted quickly.

Audiences should be continually tested, optimised and improved to ensure we, as advertisers, are getting the most out of our client’s ad spend and ultimately getting their advert in front of the right people, at the right time.

Below are examples of what I consider to be the bare essentials when creating audiences for Facebook:

Core Audience(s)

These custom audiences should form the basis of your main campaign targeting. Who is your target demographic? If you are a premium health spa you may choose to target females, aged 45-54 and an interest in massage and spas.  Whereas if you are a University wanting to promote undergraduate music production courses you may choose to target males and females, aged 18-25, with an interest in live music, electronic music and music production.

You may also choose to exclude people who are listed as undergrads already and also include people who are listed as high school leavers.

These are very basic and broad examples but Facebook offers a fairly detailed level of targeting to build core audiences for your campaigns and you would be a fool not to utilise them.

It should be noted that Facebook has recently made a dramatic overhaul to the targeting options available to advertisers.  

All third-party targeting is being removed (i.e. data that comes from sources external to Facebook); this includes targeting such as Household Incomes, Purchasing and In-market audiences and plans to remove a further 5000 over the coming months.


You may have heard the phrase retargeting, but what is it?  Well, it is as the name says, a method of (re)targeting your advertising to people who have already engaged with you in some way – and Facebook does this by utilising a very clever tool called the Facebook Pixel (we will be covering the Facebook Pixel in more detail another time).

At the very bare minimum, you want to be retargeting your advertising to people who have visited your website and who have engaged with your Facebook and Instagram pages. This can be one of the single most effective ways of delivering valuable traffic and conversions for a lower cost than normal as you are advertising to people who 95% of the time already have an awareness and interest in your product.


The next audience you should be looking at creating is lookalike audiences. This is Facebook’s way of looking through the entire Facebook user base in whichever country you choose and putting together an audience of 100k+ people which it thinks closely matches the attributes of your source audience.  

This source audience could come in many forms, it could be based on people who already like your page, it could be based on people who have signed up to an email list you have and one of the most beneficial lookalike audiences to create, is one based on your current customers/members. What better way to target people who are already very similar to those people who have already purchased from you?

The 3 audiences all work together in some way but some will work better than others depending on your overall goal/strategy. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to this aspect of Facebook marketing across all industries and sectors.

Audiences need to be tweaked and refreshed along with messaging and creatives at regular intervals. You may even find you need to “rest” a particular audience if it isn’t dynamic enough (for example, you have a website visitors retargeting audience set up but you aren’t getting enough web traffic overall).

It’s a continual process and one that you should always revisit to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your advertising buck.


If you want to talk to us about Paid Social advertising then contact us and one of the team will give you a callback.

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