Facebook Ads Targeting: Best practices

One thing is sure, the advertising power of Facebook lies in the advanced targeting features that you can use to reach the customer that matters to you. Since targeting on Facebook is over 2X more accurate than most online advertising networks, you’ll only pay to reach the people who’ll love your business.

Here are some tips and best practices that you can use to fine-tune your interest skills and show your ads to the right set of people:

  1. Exclude and/or Include specific audiences

When creating the audiences it is most important to select the right combinations. You have the features of adding or excluding certain groups from the audience.

Let’s say that you have 1 product that you are selling and assumingly, the fans that liked your page already bought the product. It is not worth spending money on the existing customers in this case, but you can still use their help in the form of vanity (in the concept of word-of-mouth), by promoting your ads to their friends but excluding the existing fans. This is an effective promotion technique since we usually tend to trust something that our friends are using more.

You can find this feature under Advanced Combination while creating the Audience.

  1. Audience size

There are two general approaches you can take to creating a target audience: specific (small audience) and broad (large audience). The approach you choose depends on what you’re trying to accomplish and what resources you have available.


Targeting specifically

Targeting specifically essentially means that you’re giving Facebook a relatively strict set of parameters to work within while finding the best people to show your ad to. These parameters can take the form of demographic targeting or Custom or Lookalike Audiences. They may lead to a potential audience that’s smaller, but hopefully also to one that’s more interested in what you’re advertising than a larger and broader audience would’ve been.

For example, a children’s toy store located in Sibiu may want to target specifically. It could target people who live near Sibiu and are parents.

Important: When narrowing your audience, be careful to not make it too specific. Doing so can lead to an audience that’s too small to be effective. Monitor the “Audience Definition” panel to the right of your audience creation options. If the indicator needle is in the red section of the dial, make your audience broader

Targeting broadly

Targeting broadly essentially means that you’re mostly relying on Facebook delivery system to find the best people to show your ad to. You are increasing the size by adding more interest while building the audience. This approach can lead to finding potential customers you never would’ve known about otherwise. It’s also a good approach if you’re not sure who you want to target. If you target broadly and then check Audience Insights or ads reporting, you can learn more about the types of people Facebook found for you and how they reacted to your ads.


For example, a business running a large-scale brand awareness campaign may want to target broadly. It could target people 18-65 years old in the Romania.


Neither type of targeting is inherently superior to the other. In fact, it’s almost impossible to not incorporate elements of both into a given ad set. The Facebook delivery system is always optimizing for the result you care about no matter how specific your audience is, it all depends on your advertising goal.

Advice: Use the suggested interests tool: Based on the interests that you input Facebook will recommend similar ones. People seem to dismiss this option but it allows you for one thing a) understand your audience better and what are the similar interests b) expand your audience pool while still reaching the right people.

  1. Use the right location type

You can choose from four options: Everyone in this location; People who live in this location; People recently in this location; People traveling in this location; Depending on what you are advertising for, choosing the right option can make a difference.

Why is this important? For example if you have a carpet cleaning business, by choosing: Everyone in this location (which includes everyone currently in that location including tourists and visitors) you would be spending money for people that won’t use your service. “People who live in this location” would be the best option in this case.