Options for Facebook Ad Targeting

You have literally thousands of options for Facebook ad targeting, which is a big part of what makes the social giant such a popular option for online advertising.

You can make your ads much more effective by ensuring that they are shown to only the users who would be most interested in your product or service. Your biggest problem may be defining your audience narrowly enough (and correctly) to take advantage of all these targeting options.

In an effort to make things “easier” for advertisers, Facebook recently introduced a new ads manager that includes all your options in one info box. You have to use drop-down menus and search to get the options you want.

Unfortunately, there is no way to know all the options that are available without literally entering a letter and letting the boxes autocomplete to see all your options. While we can’t list all the targeting options here (remember: thousands), we can go over some of the most important.

Here are some of the targeting options you might want to use:


Demographics are among the most important information you will use in your ad targeting.

Facebook includes options for targeting:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Languages
  • Relationship status
  • Education
  • Work
  • Finances
  • Home type and ownership
  • Ethnicity
  • Generation
  • Parenting type (mom of preschoolers, teenagers, etc.)
  • Life events
  • Political affiliation

Under each of these categories, you can get even more specific. For example, relationship status on Facebook goes beyond single or married. You also get options like domestic partnership, civil union, open relationship, and complicated.

Life events lets you choose options like anniversary within 30 days, away on honeymoon, or recently moved.

The more specific you can be with your targeting, the more likely you are to reach an audience who is motivated to buy.


All those “likes” on Facebook create a detailed picture of what each is interested in, ranging from music to movies and hobbies.

You can use this data to target audience members by interest. Facebook breaks down interests by categories such as:

  • Business and industry (real estate, design, nursing, etc.)
  • Entertainment
  • Family and relationships
  • Fitness and wellness
  • Food and drink
  • Hobbies and activities
  • Shopping and fashion
  • Sports and outdoors
  • Technology

Some of this information is mined from the pages that people like, but other information is gleaned from their posts, the pages they interact with, the people they follow and so on.

Facebook is a treasure trove of information about what people like and want. Make sure you are using it to its full advantage.


You can drill down even more into what Facebook users might want and need by looking at their behavior on the site.

Facebook collects data based on recent purchases, online behavior, device usage and more. Since Facebook uses cookies, it can collect information even beyond the site, which is why a lot of marketers also use the site for retargeting campaigns.

Some of the behavioral information that Facebook collects can be broken down into categories such as:

  • Automotive
  • Business to business
  • Charitable donations
  • Digital activities
  • Expats
  • Financial
  • Job role
  • Media
  • Mobile device user
  • Purchase behavior
  • Travel
  • Residential profiles
  • Seasonal and events

Under each of these categories are more narrow options for targeting. For example, under “residential profiles,” you get options such as recent home buyer, recent mortgage borrower, length of residence, likely to move and new mover.

Use the right combination of options to get the most detailed targeting that you can for your ads.


While you are running Facebook ads, you are also building a following on your brand’s Facebook page.

You can tap into that audience you are already building by targeting your ads based on your connections.

For example, you can choose to show your ads to people who already like your page, to the friends of people who like your page, or to all people except those who like your page.

Similarly, you can target your ads based on ways that people interact with your Facebook app or based on who is or is not attending one of your events.


Finally, Facebook gives you great options for remarketing your content to those with whom you’ve already made some contact.

Remarketing options include:

  • People who have been to your website
  • Email lists
  • Phone number lists
  • Facebook lists

Combine your remarketing options with some of the targeting options listed above to get the best results.

Choose the right targeting options and employ the right conversion strategies in your ad creation and you will soon be seeing the traffic and sales that you want from your Facebook ads. If you get overwhelmed by all the targeting options, just look back at this list to remember some of the most important options.

Marketers Valley Team

Marketing Industry Experts >

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