Facebook is a marketer’s dream. It offers:
- Unprecedented access. Facebook is the biggest social network worldwide, boasting 2.41 billion monthly active users. The average Facebook user clicks on 8 ads per month and spends more than 30 minutes per day on the platform.
- Flexible, cost-effective advertising options. With a variety of ad types available (including photo, video, mobile news feed, carousel, and product set), you can easily reach hundreds or thousands of Facebook users without breaking your budget.
- Powerful targeting parameters. An amazingly rich source of personal information, Facebook has thousands of parameters you can define to serve ads to people who are most likely to find them relevant.
Understanding Facebook Ad Targeting
Whether you’re a social media advertising novice or just looking to tweak your current ad campaigns, proper targeting will help you maximize your results by delivering your ads to the right audience.
Facebook offers three audience selection tools, as well as multiple options for targeting the right people within those groups:
- Core Audiences. This tool allows you to define your audience as broadly or specifically as you like, by setting rules based on a number of criteria:
- Location. Serve your ads in the geographic areas where you want to reach people.
- Demographics. Age, gender, job title, marital status, you name it – define an audience that mirrors your ideal customer.
- Behavior. Serve ads on a wide range of consumer behavior parameters, such as prior purchases made.
- Interests. Specify interests and hobbies of people you want your ads to be shown to.
- Connections. Include people connected to your page or event – or exclude them from serving your ads to new audiences.
- Custom Audiences. From loyal customers to “tire kickers,” serve ads to people who already know your business and have engaged with your brand (either online or off). Facebook offers three options for connecting with this audience:
- Upload your contact list (e.g., email list, CRM, or other database contacts) and serve ads to them on Facebook.
- Use the Facebook pixel to serve targeted ads to a custom audience of people who visit your site.
- If you’ve developed an app, Facebook allows you to create relevant ads that drive people to take desired actions while they’re using your app.
- Lookalike Audiences. Serve ads to a new audience whose interests are similar to those of your ideal customers. Simply create a source audience of people you know, and Facebook’s algorithm will then identify and reach people with common traits and interests.
A few words of caution about Facebook targeting:
- If you intend to use Facebook to target the right audience for your healthcare practice, review the tips in this post to protect your practice from HIPAA concerns.
- Last August, Facebook announced that it would restrict Lookalike targeting options for specific industries, including those related to housing, employment, and credit. Be sure to follow these new ad targeting regulations, or you risk being locked out of the platform altogether.
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