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  • Writer's pictureShivuKey

Basic Facebook Targeting Options You Need To Know About

Updated: Feb 12

Facebook ad targeting options are the parameters advertisers set during the campaign creation process to determine who to show their ads to. Their targeting options are robust, including everything from demographics to behavior and lifestyle. Targeting is required for every ad, and choosing the right options gets your ad in front of your ideal customers.


Demographic targeting is the heart of Facebook ad targeting, as it allows advertisers to define who an audience is. Demographics can answer how old your audience is, where they went to school, what they do for work, where they live, and more.

Demographics that can be targeted with Facebook ads are:

  • Age – Target users within a specific age range or by generation.

  • Language – Choose the language your target audience speaks.

  • Gender – Male, female, or all.

  • Relationship – Gender user is interested in and relationship status.

  • Education – Education level, field of study, school attended, etc.

  • Work – Industry, job title, employer, and office type.

  • Location – Everyone in a specific location, people who have recently been to a specific location, or people traveling in a specific location.


Facebook targeting by interests hones in on an audience by comparing your targeting selection to things they like, such as sports and hobbies. Interest targeting allows advertisers to show their ads to those who would likely be within their ideal audience. Most businesses will want to include interest targeting in their Facebook ads because it better qualifies audiences, driving Facebook advertising success.

Facebook interests advertisers can target are:

  • Business & Industry – Design, Entrepreneurship, Healthcare, Real Estate, etc.

  • Entertainment – Movies, Music, TV, etc.

  • Family & Relationships – Family, Parenthood, Dating, etc.

  • Fitness & Wellness – Bodybuilding, Dieting, Nutrition, Running, Yoga, etc.

  • Food & Drinks – Alcoholic Beverages, Cooking, Food, Restaurants, etc.

  • Hobbies & Activities – Arts & Events, Current Events, Pets, Politics, Travel, etc.

  • Fashion & Design – Beauty, Clothing, Fashion Accessories, Shopping, etc.

  • Sports & Outdoors – Outdoor Recreation, Sports, etc.

  • Technology – Computers, Consumer Electronics, etc.

Customer List Targeting

You can upload a list of individuals to match their information against existing profiles for targeting, or sync a list with a compatible CRM.

As long as these people have opted into receiving marketing messages from your brand, this list could include anything from newsletter subscribers to leads from your CRM.

Customer list targeting can be perfect for showing offers to people who are in your sales funnel but haven’t converted to a final sale yet.

You can also use lists for exclusions, such as ensuring you’re not targeting current customers in campaigns.

Life Events

Targeting life events is a really unique opportunity for businesses to advertise at exactly the right moment. Timing is half the battle for many businesses, and life events ensure your ad is displayed with the perfect timing. Businesses with event-based products and services, as well as those offering event-based promotions, are a great fit for targeting life events because they reach your audience at the time when they most need your product or services.

Life events Facebook advertisers can target are:

  • Birthdays – Upcoming or Recent Birthdays

  • Relationships – Anniversary, Engagement, Marriage, etc.

  • Family – Expecting a Baby, New Pet, Loss of a Loved One, etc.

  • Professional – Started School, Recent Graduate, New Job, etc.

  • Home & Living – Recently Moved, New Home Purchase, etc.

Website Retargeting

Website retargeting is likely the most familiar option.

But think beyond simply targeting everyone who visits your site, and segment audiences based on pages they viewed. For instance, you can target users based on specific categories of services they’re interested in.

Facebook also lets you target people who are spending the most time on your site (top 5%, 10%, or 25%). This feature can help narrow down your lists to those who have been the most interested in browsing through product listings or reading blog articles.

Don’t forget about using retargeting for exclusions, too. You can build audiences for people who reach “thank you” pages after submitting forms and completing purchases, excluding these individuals so they don’t continue to see ads.

Lookalike Audiences

While lookalike audiences are deserving of enough content for their own article, note that you can create lookalike audiences based off of any of the audience types above.

Facebook will use its wealth of demographic information to find users with similar characteristics to those in your current audiences.

For instance, you can build a lookalike based on your current customer list, or those who have completed a purchase action, to locate other users with similar characteristics.

Note that you can also choose audience size percentages. A 1% lookalike will be the most similar to the original audience, while higher percentages will add more individuals but also be broader in targeting.

Bottom Line: Facebook Ad Targeting

Advertisers on Facebook have a world of opportunity when it comes to targeting ads to reach both target audiences and advertising goals. Every business should think strategically about how they can utilize the plethora of targeting options to successfully reach their customers.

If you want to avoid the trial-and-error of testing targeting options on your own, simply contact us! We can help you reach the right customers, generate more clicks, and drive more leads with targeted ad campaigns.


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