Max Johnson
By
Max Johnson
On
Mar 30, 2021
You may have noticed that over the past few years, the ads you see on social media have become more and more targeted towards you… maybe you’ve even found yourself clicking on them more often!

This is because the systems for targeting people on social media have become much more sophisticated, causing advertisers to make their targeting as granular as possible. This means that you’re far more likely to have seen relevant and engaging ads on social media.

There’s a seemingly endless combination of targeting options you can design your social media marketing strategy around. This is because you can narrow your audience by combining any of the options available.

Facebook & Instagram Targeting Options


Here is a top level view on the main targeting options available in Facebook;

  • Age & gender
  • Location & language
  • Employer or job title
  • Field of study or university
  • Families & relationship status
  • Key life events & anniversaries
  • Prospects vs remarketing vs lookalikes
  • Purchase behaviour - Engaged shoppers
  • Specific interests and hobbies
  • Digital activities - Device usage, Facebook usage, Facebook payments users

I’m sure a lot of the methods above will be pretty self explanatory… Age is targeting the age range you want to target, gender is males or females… For this reason I’ll skip past a few.

Regarding location targeting, you can breakdown locations as granularly as you like. This allows you to gain data on how each location is performing, and then optimise campaigns based on that.

‘Prospects’ refers to when you are targeting brand new users, as opposed to those who have heard of your brand or been to your site already - this is ideal for brand awareness and new customer acquisition. 

Prospects pools will primarily use detailed targeting methods, which find people who’ve expressed interest in specific subjects, combined with demographic and location targets.

To design prospects audience pools, I encourage you to use tight themes and never make audience pools greater than 300k. I have written a guide to facebook ads in 2021 that will guide you through this process.

If you have lots of potential prospect audience pools that are quite diverse, I suggest testing one at a time and not mixing them up at all. When you do mix them all up, you will end up with overly large audience pools and you won't be able to see what is effective within them.

‘Lookalikes’ is another type of prospecting audience, but far quicker and easier to set up, and sometimes more effective than the custom prospect pools! They’re essentially audience pools that are automatically generated by Facebook based on your existing audiences.

This means that Facebook can produce a list of people who ‘look like’ users who have either visited your site, engaged with your social media, or even similar to users who made a conversion on your site. 

As you may have guessed, remarketing presents a great opportunity to show a high frequency of ads to users who have already expressed interest in your brand. You can make remarketing audience pools that contain all your websites users, or just your websites converters, or just non-converters, or even users who interacted with your Facebook or Instagram pages.

When I set up Facebook marketing campaigns, I’ll tend to always spend a portion of the overall budget on each of the techniques listed. If one is a clear winner, then begin to reallocate more budget to that, while lowering the budget for the worse performers. 

My Facebook Audience Pool is too big!


Don’t panic! There are a few techniques you can use to narrow down your audience to a recommended size, so that Facebook can optimise accordingly. 

Depending on your brand or the product you’re selling, you may want to experiment with the Engaged Shoppers Purchase Behaviour segment. By narrowing down your prospects so that they must include this behaviour, you will notice that your pool will be drastically cut down. Great!

But what does this mean and how will it affect your campaign? The Engaged Shoppers segment is made up of people who have clicked a 'shop now' button on Facebook in the past 7 days. This is awesome as it shows purchase intent but you should test it, as it will have a higher cost per impression than your pools that don’t use it.

Other ways you can streamline your pools into smaller segments include targeting smaller or less geolocations and using a tighter age range.

Think outside the box


What combinations of demographics, geolocation, and detailed interest targeting can you combine to find your perfect audience? Have a think about it, ask your co-workers, superiors or even your existing customers, and start designing audience pools to test.


The social media experts at Digital Reflow are well prepared and know exactly how to set up and effectively manage paid social accounts. If you would like to discuss what we can do for you and your business, give us a call today on 01206 589967.