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13 Tips for Effective Facebook Targeting

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I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say Facebook targeting requires the right technique, knowledge, and content.

Facebook targeting isn’t intuitive, and everyone has a different way of doing it, promising that their method is the best. You’re on a constant search for the right steps to take and guidance on exactly how you should target your ads. Sometimes, you’re tempted to hire someone else to do it for you because you don’t have the time, knowledge, or tools. But then you realize it might be more cost-effective to do it in-house.

It’s perfectly normal to feel this way, because most business owners struggle with Facebook targeting and ad creation. That’s why so many are convinced that it just doesn’t work. However, with how the digital world is changing the way advertising is done today, you need to understand it and take advantage of it. There are billions of Facebook users, and you can reach them by using the right Facebook targeting techniques.

If you need more guidance, scroll down for tips that are practical and actionable.

13 Simple Tips for Facebook Advertising

1. Get Specific With Your Targeting

Facebook gives you several options for targeting, and marketers utilize them to boost their reach and improve their ROI. There’s a lot of promise here because you’re able to create hyper-niched audiences.

However, in the beginning, you might consider starting broad. This will help you start to narrow down the kind of audience interacting with your ad. You have to know which market is most interested in your ad before choosing hyper-specific criteria.

As your ad is running, Facebook will collect all kinds of helpful information that will help you determine who you should be targeting, more specifically.

Once you have a better idea, don’t let Facebook’s many ad options distract you. Stick with what your data has shown you. Remember, don’t target too many people just for the sake of having a bigger total audience. This is often counterproductive.

2. Target People Who Already Like Your Page

Those who currently like your page are already your fans. They’ve shown interest in what you offer, and there’s a good chance they’re at least open to purchasing what you’re selling.

Aside from your custom target audiences, starting with this group of people is a good move. These people are aware of your brand, so they’re warm leads — not total strangers. It’ll be easier to nurture these relationships and get them on your side, compared to dealing with all new leads (although you’ll need to do that, as well!).

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3. Target Fans of Your Competitors

You’ll find useful information from Facebook Audience Insights that’ll give you a better understanding of Facebook users who care about your product or services. A good strategy is to target fans of your competitors. Want to know who your target market is? Poke around your competitors’ followers!

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Go to the Audience Insights dashboard, where you can select everyone on Facebook.
  • On the left side, you will see Create Audience, and here, you can choose the age, gender, location, and interests you want to target.
  • Find out which pages they already connect with by clicking Page Likes. Take a screenshot of the pages they like and save it.
  • Now, click the Create Audience tab again and type any of pages on the list in the Interests box. Not all of them will come up, but some will.
  • Save!

You can start from here and target further from this audience based on your goals.

4. Install the Facebook Pixel on Your Website

Not installing the Facebook pixel can be costly. The Facebook pixel is a snippet of code that you place on your website. It tells you about the actions and characteristics of your website visitors.

You’ll know who arrived on your page from the ad posted so you can see how effective it is. Plus it gives you all sorts of valuable data about those people. After that, you can segment these visitors according to their behavior, and then you can specifically retarget them so that any content is more targeted to the group.

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5. Have the Right Landing Page

Each person who clicks on your ad will arrive at the next destination online to see more information on your offer. That moment is crucial because you need to prove that you’re what they need. When you have a well-made landing page, you’ll catch the attention of your visitors, and that gets you serious results.

Facebook ad clicks should be consistently converted, which is why a targeted landing page is a must-have. You’ll achieve a higher ROI if you get the landing page right. Your visitors should be treated properly from the very beginning, from their first encounter with the ad to their experience with the landing page.

6. Consider the Device People Are Seeing Your Ad On

Mobile usage continues to increase, meaning that you need to have optimized not only for desktop but also for mobile.

Otherwise, your audience might see an ad on their smartphone that is difficult to see in its entire, sized improperly, or otherwise just plain old funny looking.

The mobile view is so important, in fact, that you might want to cater content to these people specifically — which brings us to our next point.

7. Create Mobile-First Content

Unless your data tells your otherwise, it might very well be better to create mobile-first content to reach audiences interacting with you on their smartphones. Plus, content that looks good on mobile often automatically works for desktop. The same can’t usually be said of the opposite, however.

Make sure that the content you make meets mobile practices, which includes more vertical campaign videos because it’s easy to expand them to full-screen view. Then, that will send them to your landing page, or wherever you want them to go.

person using iPhone

8. Put Money Toward Posts That Are Already Doing Well

Isn’t it always exciting to discover one post in particular that your audience really loves? Of course! Why not give those posts an extra boost and run a little money on them?

It doesn’t have to be a huge budget. You can spend $10 a day for three days and still see serious results. Even though the object is simply to get more traffic and engagement, it’s healthy for your page and also helps introduce people to your brand.

9. Create Lookalike Audiences Using High-Value Customers

Who are your higher-value customers that engage more, spend bigger, and are loyal? These individuals can be made into custom audiences, and then you should try to base a lookalike audience on that.

By doing this, you can connect to cold audiences that are similar to the high-value clients. It’ll give you a chance to find more of these types of customers. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Figure out what works and try to copy it.

10. Use Frequency Caps

Frequency caps are configurable settings that limit the number of times an ad can be shown in a specific time frame. They’re usually overlooked, but don’t make that mistake. Showing ad content too often and too quickly, even if it’s high-quality, will cause it to perform poorly and could affect the performance of your page as a whole.

You should test out different frequency caps, and consider the audience size and your offer. A good rule of thumb, at least as a starting point, is to only show the same ad twice a week. If you do it more, your audience can get exhausted, and that’ll can damage your reputation.

Test different days and times to determine what works best, but don’t be too eager with showing people you’re content. It can feel overwhelming and smothering for them.

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11. Utilize Engagement Data Specifically

Not all visitors to your website are the same. If you want to get the best results, it’s best to target the users who spend a lot of time visiting your site. People who click through the ad, spend two seconds on the page, and then bounce aren’t your ideal customers.

This will help you optimize your ad and put the budget toward people who are interested in engaging with you — not those who very casually landed on your site and almost immediately left.

12. Combine Unique Audiences Together

Sometimes, super precise Facebook targeting is not suited for the product or promotion you’re trying to push. Maybe you’re not very particular with the demographic or behavior of who you’re targeting. If there is a broad category you want to capture, experiment with broader targeting.

What you can do is combine two unique (read: specific) audiences in your targeting. This allows you to target a niche  (or two) while still exposing yourself to a bigger market.

13. Try Broad Targeting and Let the Algorithm Do the Grunt Work

If you have money to play with, properly set your conversion tracking and choose a broad audience through general messaging. Craft a specific offer, and let the Facebook algorithm do the rest for you. It can do some of the optimizing on its own.

You might have to spend more while the targeting optimizations are looking for the right audience, but you’ll gain an audience with a lot of data points after this is completed. Facebook will know when your ad is getting a higher conversion rate. This method often proves to be superior compared to other forms of audience-building because there is very little bias involved. You can reach more people and introduce yourself to groups you may not have thought of at first.

Does it sound like a lot? It is! But here’s the thing. So much of Facebook advertising is trial and error — and this is completely normal. Test, test, test. Test everything. You’re not likely to hit a home run on the first ad. That’s just not how it works.