The 4 Essential Facebook Targets

Whenever I start a new Facebook Advertising Campaign, one of the most important considerations is targeting. Who do we need to reach, and how are we going to do it? Making some assumptions is inevitable at the outset, but I rely on four “standard” targeting tactics to get started.

These four targets are done at the Ad Set level, as that is where targeting happens (duh). Here they are:

1. The List

My first two audiences work on the assumption that my client has some sort of list. Whether it’s for a newsletter, a download campaign, or something cobbled together through an association, it must have the following at a minimum - first name, last name, and email address. Facebook is able to import these lists and match them with Facebook user accounts.

Side Note: You can even “score” the names in the list if that’s helpful. In other words, if a subset of users are more valuable than others, you can give them a score of, say, 100. If other users are less valuable, give them a score of 50. Or 10. Whatever you like. The score is arbitrary, but relative. I.e. An individual with a score of 100 is twice as important as an individual with a score of 50.

I start by creating a new Audience based on this list. I then use that audience to target to directly.

2. Lookalike

I then take the List audience I just created above, and create a single degree lookalike audience from it. That allows Facebook to create a much larger audience that is similar to the folks in the customer list I used. This is a particularly powerful tactic to reach new people who are likely to convert.

3. Remarketing

Even if my client’s website has never had their Facebook pixel installed on it, once I have that pixel setup, I will create a Remarketing audience. I typically set this for the standard “Website visit within 30 days”, by the way.

Despite the fact that this audience will have nobody in it at first, it will start populating right away with visitors from both the ad campaign, as well as any other source. It’s better to have that Ad Set ready to go from the start than have to remember to create it later.

4. Custom

This is the one where most people start. You have created your customer personas, you have a decent idea (i.e. guess) of what they’re interested in, what their demographics are, and what their behaviours are. I too, rely on a custom audience to reach new people. It can be very powerful.

A couple of tips for customer audiences:


Utilizing these four essential Facebook target audiences will get you off to a great start. Good luck!