How to Target the Right Audience on Facebook

Last week 1marketingidea hosted its Social Media Experience Workshop. It was an intimate learning experience where business owners and marketing managers gathered to learn how to, hands-on, create and launch a Facebook marketing campaign. We developed a strategy, observed a marketing funnel, and defined a target audiences. In this article I’ll describe the 3 types of audiences you can use to target the right audience on Facebook.

What are Facebook Audiences and how do they work?

Facebook audiences (FA) are clusters of Facebook users that share similar qualities, interests, and behaviors who can potentially become your customers.

FA are one part of the Facebook marketing campaign process.  We use a system consisting of a 6 Point System designed to break down all aspects of a successful campaign. This system answers the most important questions:

      1. What is your most critical marketing objective?
      2. How strong is your current online presence?
      3. How effective is your social media?
      4. How to find new audiences?
      5. What is your message?
      6. How do optimize and test your results?

FA allow you to reach people who might not be familiar with your brand, products, and services. These people might be potential buyers in the near future.

When creating your campaign’s audiences there are 2 approaches you can use depending on your marketing strategy:

1) Broad target audiences – These audiences help uncover potential customers.  Think awareness.  You are casting the bigger net.

2) You can create a specific target audience – These use more specific parameters usually to target a primed user.  You are looking for conversions from a defined group. Ex: your own database.

What are the 3 Types of Facebook Audiences?


Saved audiences help you uncover new audiences outside of your existing networks.  These are the options available for building this type of new audience:

      • Locations. Target ads to people based on locations (ex: country, state, province, city, congressional district, zip or post code).
      • Age. Target ads to people within an age range.
      • Gender. Target ads to women, men or people of all genders.
      • Languages. Target ads to users of certain languages.
      • Interests. Target people interested in your competitor, a broader market segment, magazines, pages, and blogs covering your market.
      • Behavior. Target people using brands they prefer, employers, events they like, birthdays.


A Custom Audience is an option that lets you find people who already know your business on Facebook.

You can create Custom Audiences from activity on your website through the Facebook pixel or based on your page’s  Facebook engagement activity.  For example:

      • Custom Audiences from a customer list
      • Engagement Custom Audiences
      • Website Custom Audiences (remarketing)
      • Mobile App Custom Audiences


When you create a Lookalike Audience, you choose a source -or model- audience and Facebook identifies the common qualities of the people in it.

This source audience may have no less than 1000 people from a single country. Facebook then finds and builds a similar to (or “lookalike”) audience with people who share on these similar qualities.


A common pitfall in selecting audiences is if they are too specific or too small to be effective.

Start broad and narrow down as you see more results.

Use the ‘Audience Definition’ panel on the right column on the ad set tool to manage audience size.

We always recommend that our clients be generous with the time they spend formulating their strategy and planning before they start campaigning.

About the Author

Daveeed is the Lead Consultant at 1marketingidea, a San Diego digital marketing consulting firm that specializes in social media marketing, websites, email marketing, video marketing, and event marketing.

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