6 Ways to Target Effectively on Facebook - The Beginners' Guide

Keep up with the very latest developments in the digital marketing world

By Herdy Ramanuj
on 22/2/16

Have you just launched a Facebook page for your business? Facebook Campaign Objectives

As a business you need to find a way to pull the user’s attention from browsing personal timelines in a non-intrusive manner. One of the best things about Facebook advertising is the ability to granularly target the people most likely to meet your intended objective, which also means less wastage (hurrah!).

Therefore, in this blog, we’ll be focusing on the key targeting options available to your business and how you can use them to best optimise your advertising efforts to convert, engage and reach those who matter.

"If time is money, then the site represents the most valuable internet property on the web today" - Needham

1. Custom audience

I believe the use of custom audiences to be the best converter of all the targeting options. If you’re looking to manage a budget correctly and drive relevant traffic to your site, this is definitely something you should be doing. Emails, website traffic and app activity are the 3 ways in which you can create a custom audience.

Creating a custom audience

Customer lists can be a very useful way to remarket to existing customers in an attempt to divert them back to your site to make a purchase. Not every email list you upload will be active in your targeting (the match rate for lists is around 50%).

The benefit of using this method is that the user already trusts you as a brand, otherwise they wouldn’t have given you their information. However, it’s also important to consider that the users in the list might not have been on your site for a long time, making your ad less relevant to them.

If you’re looking to get relevant users engaged who are actively visiting your site (and need a little push over the finish line), then website custom audiences are the way forward.

In all honesty, I could probably write a 10-page essay on the wonderful things a website custom audience can do. Instead I’ll list a few:

  • Remarket users who have visited specific pages on your site. For example, a user may visit the ‘healthy food’ section on your site without having seen the fantastic offer you have on another product - now there’s a way to show them.
  • Save money by excluding people who have already purchased or used your offer. We’ve all been through this; you’ve just bought a T-shirt online, and an ad appears asking you to buy the same T-shirt! Don’t be that company.
  • Choose the number of days you want to reach out to your audience. For example, you may want to only show your advert to people a couple of days after visiting your site to avoid looking like a crazy stalker. Give the user some space and offer a gentle reminder at a convenient time.

Website Custom Audience

For more help on Facebook pixels click here.

2. More demographics

Everyone’s mum, dad, gran and dog have a Facebook profile nowadays, and despite what you may have heard about its decline, we can reassure you that your customers are probably on Facebook. More demographics allow you to explore extremely granular methods to get the best results. Here’s a couple of weird and wonderful examples:

  • Single mothers who work in the education sector with a child between the ages of 0-5 (Childcare service, anyone?)
  • Divorced males who have a Master’s degree AND earn £100-250k (


More Demographic options
These are just a few examples of the possibilities and power of Facebook targeting that could benefit any company out there looking to find new business.
3. Age, gender & location

These are probably best to cover in one section. These are the simplest forms of targeting and are usually combined with another form of targeting. Age and gender target exactly who they say on the tin, whereas location requires a little more work:

  • Location allows you to target people in a city, town or a pin drop of your choice within a radius of up to 50 miles.
  • You have the option to target people who live in a certain place, as well as people in (or recently in) a certain location. Facebook allows you to include up to 2,500 postcodes.
  • You can also exclude certain towns, cities or postcodes from your targeting.

4. Behaviours

Behaviour targeting allows you to target people based on the activities they participate in, on and off the platform. This comes in handy when you want to target users who are more likely to purchase something from Facebook ads than others, based on previous experience.

Behavior Targeting


Behaviour targeting can also capture activity such as frequent travellers based on their Facebook activity, or users who have accessed travel apps in the past 2 weeks (just one possible use for this targeting strategy).

5. Interests

Interest targeting can include a number of things, such as the apps that people use, pages they like or even general activities such as yoga. These can be manually entered as keywords, or selected from categories such as ‘sports’.

This can be narrowed down even further to ‘and’ or in some cases ‘or’. When your audience is too big and not as relevant as you’d like, you are able to select interests that must match one another.

Interest targeting


For example, you’re selling organic weight loss tablets, so you may want to target people who have ‘dieting’ as an interest but also must like ‘Holland & Barrett’. This narrows your reach, giving you a more relevant audience.

6. Connections

You can use connection targeting for any Page, Event or App you’re the admin of, even if it’s not what you’re advertising.

Found these Facebook targeting tips useful? If you require any help with the above, have any questions or would like to provide feedback – comment below, or email And click here to find out the 7 pitfalls you should avoid if you’re doing organic social.