11 Unbelievably Specific Facebook Audiences You Can Target

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As I was jogging by the Charles River one recent morning, a Pandora ad advertising a primary care practice in downtown Boston came on. Weirdly enough, I had just conducted research on finding a new doctor earlier in the day. Creepy, huh?

Facebook audience 11 unbelievably specific audiences you can target 

Perhaps, but creepy might be the new normal. With more user data and targeting capabilities than ever before, online marketing is continuing to become more and more personal. Yes, at times this may turn shoppers off, but typically it draws shoppers in because businesses that are doing it right are showing consumers products and offerings that they’re genuinely interested in.

Facebook is at the forefront when it comes to targeting options to home in on your business’s buyer personas and show them the most relevant offerings. With over 1.49 billion active monthly users on Facebook it’s critical for marketers to get granular when targeting, and luckily Facebook allows you to layer targeting options upon each other so you don’t waste spend on people who are out-of-market.

Check out these 11 unbelievably specific Facebook audiences you can target, and beware – they get more and more granular as the list goes on. (Also check out our epic infographic of all of Facebook's many ad targeting options.)

#1: French- & English-speaking women, between the ages of 31 and 56, located in a 10-mile radius of Boston, MA

So far, this setting isn’t actually that granular, but as you start creating a new Facebook audience it’s impressive how closely you can target right off the bat, selecting specific age ranges, languages spoken, and even the ability to drop a pin on the map to create very precise geo-targets.

 Facebook audience location targeting screenshot

#2: French- & English-speaking women, between the ages of 31 and 56, located in a 10-mile radius of Boston, MA, who work either from home or from a small office in the retail production industry

I decided not to pigeon-hole my Facebook audience into specific job titles (which you can do – you can literally target Obama or the Prime Minister of France), and instead drilled down to two relevant industries and office types under the demographics tab:

 Facebook audience example of industries and office types you can target

#3: French- & English-speaking women, between the ages of 31 and 56, located in a 10-mile radius of Boston, MA, who work either from home or from a small office in the retail production industry, who are “fit moms” and “green moms” of grade-school kids.

That’s right, you can target “green moms.” What does this mean exactly? According to Facebook, “People whose activities strongly suggest they are environmentally friendly moms.” The long list of mom personas advertisers can chose from is pretty fascinating:

 Facebook audience screenshot of types of moms you can target

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#4: French- & English-speaking women, between the ages of 31 and 56, located in a 10-mile radius of Boston, MA, who work either from home or from a small office in the retail production industry, who are “fit moms” and “green moms” of grade school kids, who have friends with an anniversary within 30 days or friends with upcoming birthdays.

Facebook audience screenshot of demographics you can target including life events 

Life Events has to be my favorite targeting option within Facebook because it’s the perfect medium for this. From personal experience, I’ve found that my friends like to share major life events on Facebook, whether it being getting engaged, graduating from grad school, or having a child.

Facebook audience example of a anniversary post on Facebook 

Clearly, Facebook has this data, and now marketers can use it to sell their products and offerings during relevant life events. For instance, a bridal store can target newly engaged brides-to-be, and a home décor e-commerce site can pursue new home owners. In this example, you can see businesses can even target people who have friends going through major life events (and are therefore in-market to purchase celebratory gifts). It’s pretty incredible! 

#5: French- & English-speaking women, between the ages of 31 and 56, located in a 10-mile radius of Boston, MA, who work either from home or from a small office in the retail production industry, who are “fit moms” and “green moms” of grade school kids, who have friends with an anniversary within 30 days or friends with upcoming birthdays, who have college degrees from either Northeastern University, Simmons College, Fairfield University, or Emmanuel College.

Not only can you target specific degrees and educational statuses (like “in grad school” or “some college”), but you can search for and select specific colleges attended:

Facebook audience example of targeting education level and schools  

#6: French- & English-speaking women, between the ages of 31 and 56, located in a 10-mile radius of Boston, MA, who work either from home or from a small office in the retail production industry, who are “fit moms” and “green moms” of grade school kids, who have friends with an anniversary within 30 days or friends with upcoming birthdays, who have college degrees from either Northeastern University, Simmons College, Fairfield University, or Emmanuel College, who are active in US politics and either liberal or very liberal and self-proclaimed democrats.

Don’t forget about political affiliations! This is another layer that you can hone in on to target a more liberal or conservative Facebook audience based on what you’re selling. For instance, if you’re promoting education about medical marijuana, you might want to focus on a liberal or democratic Facebook audience.

 Facebook audience example of targeting political affiliations

#7: French- & English-speaking women, between the ages of 31 and 56, located in a 10-mile radius of Boston, MA, who work either from home or from a small office in the retail production industry, who are “fit moms” and “green moms” of grade school kids, who have friends with an anniversary within 30 days or friends with upcoming birthdays, who have college degrees from either Northeastern University, Simmons College, Fairfield University, or Emmanuel College, who are active in US politics and either liberal or very liberal and self-proclaimed democrats, who live in a condo or apartment built after 2011, between 2,000 and 2,999 square feet.

The depth you can get into with home type is also very impressive. Some of the options include home value, property size, single vs. multi-family home, square footage, and even the year the home was built.

 Facebook audience home type targeting

#8: French- & English-speaking women, between the ages of 31 and 56, located in a 10-mile radius of Boston, MA, who work either from home or from a small office in the retail production industry, who are “fit moms” and “green moms” of grade school kids, who have friends with an anniversary within 30 days or friends with upcoming birthdays, who have college degrees from either Northeastern University, Simmons College, Fairfield University, or Emmanuel College, who are active in US politics and either liberal or very liberal and self-proclaimed democrats, who live in a condo or apartment built after 2011, between 2,000 and 2,999 square feet, who enjoy attending ballet, theatre and musical theatre movies.

Facebook users are constantly viewing, clicking, and liking pages, products, and things of interest, so it’s not hard for Facebook to understand their hobbies and pastimes.

Whether it be from the user’s behavior on Facebook, behaviors tracked online via other sites, offline loyalty cards, third-party data providers like Facebook partners Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon, Facebook knows a whole lot about what interests you. Now marketers can use this to their benefit by targeting customers that are more likely interested in them due to their other interests:

 Facebook audience example of interest targeting

#9: French- & English-speaking women, between the ages of 31 and 56, located in a 10-mile radius of Boston, MA, who work either from home or from a small office in the retail production industry, who are “fit moms” and “green moms” of grade school kids, who have friends with an anniversary within 30 days or friends with upcoming birthdays, who have college degrees from either Northeastern University, Simmons College, Fairfield University, or Emmanuel College, who are active in US politics and either liberal or very liberal and self-proclaimed democrats, who live in a condo or apartment built after 2011, between 2,000 and 2,999 square feet, who enjoy attending ballet, theatre and musical theatre movies, who frequently travel internationally, plan to travel to Spain, and used a travel app within the last month.

Behaviors are another category of targeting where there’s layers upon layers of behavioral traits to choose from. Under travel alone, you can get specific as targeting types of travelers, such as those going on “casino vacations” or who are “frequent flyers.” You can target people who are planning a trip to a specific location or who have recently returned from a trip, or have used a travel app recently. The level of granularity is mind-blowing:

 Facebook audience example of behavioral targeting

#10: French- & English-speaking women, between the ages of 31 and 56, located in a 10-mile radius of Boston, MA, who work either from home or from a small office in the retail production industry, who are “fit moms” and “green moms” of grade school kids, who have friends with an anniversary within 30 days or friends with upcoming birthdays, who have college degrees from either Northeastern University, Simmons College, Fairfield University, or Emmanuel College, who are active in US politics and either liberal or very liberal and self-proclaimed democrats, who live in a condo or apartment built after 2011, between 2,000 and 2,999 square feet, who enjoy attending ballet, theatre and musical theatre movies, who frequently travel internationally, plan to travel to Spain, and used a travel app within the last month, who are categorized as “foodies” and “green living” buyers, who tend to spend above average in high-end retail online stores.

81% of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase, according to MineWhat. Whether shopping online or in-store, chances are good that Facebook understands what you purchase. You’ve provided them with this information simply by using the Internet, so yes, targeting by purchase behavior is another behavioral setting Facebook has to offer up to advertisers. From buyer profiles to specific categories like home and garden to pet products and subscription services, the options are plentiful:

Facebook audience another example of behavioral targeting  

#11: French- & English-speaking women, between the ages of 31 and 56, located in a 10-mile radius of Boston, MA, who work either from home or from a small office in the retail production industry, who are “fit moms” and “green moms” of grade school kids, who have friends with an anniversary within 30 days or friends with upcoming birthdays, who have college degrees from either Northeastern University, Simmons College, Fairfield University, or Emmanuel College, who are active in US politics and either liberal or very liberal and self-proclaimed democrats, who live in a condo or apartment built after 2011, between 2,000 and 2,999 square feet, who enjoy attending ballet, theatre and musical theatre movies, who frequently travel internationally, plan to travel to Spain, and used a travel app within the last month, who are categorized as “foodies” and “green living” buyers, who tend to spend above average in high-end retail online stores, who are connected to people who have used your app.

Last but not least, you have the ability to target by connections, whether it be through Facebook pages, apps, or events. You can also exclude based on these things. For example, you can “exclude people who like your page” or “exclude people who use your app.”

 Facebook audience example of connections targeting

Ok, now let’s recap by looking at the sidebar to see the Facebook audience we created:

Facebook audience summary of all the targeting options we set up 

Yikes! As you may have suspected this Facebook audience is far too narrow to target even with 1.49 billion users out there…

Facebook audience screenshot showing it's too specific 

The moral of the story is use these targeting features and layer them, but don’t get so granular that you destroy your reach.

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Comments

Azizul Yusof
Oct 21, 2015

Wow! That's interesting.

Maybe it should be titled "How to Laser Targeting Your Facebook Ads Audience in 11 Miraculously Easy Steps"

:=)

Margot da Cunha
Oct 22, 2015

Thanks Azizul! And good point :)

Joseph Hansen
Oct 22, 2015

If you are using social media like Facebook, there's a big possibility to reach your targeted audience and potential market because there are millions of online users today and one of them can be your customer. However, you have to learn some important ways to make it effectively. You don't just post in social media to get an audience, but you have to interact and communicate with them as well.

Margot da Cunha
Oct 22, 2015

Hi Joseph! I couldn't agree more. Interacting with your audience should be a critical part of your social media strategy.

Dave Sentenn
Oct 24, 2015

in the article you guys state, "who are “fit moms” and “green moms” of grade-school kids." .. this is misleading because it indicates that you're able to intersect audiences; moms who are both fit AND green... you can't do this with Facebook natively

by choosing these options you are making OR selections. they will might be fit moms OR green moms.

so when you make a sale you will have no idea if the person who bought was a fit mom or a green mom, which is terrible for tracking your audience and making targeting selections in the future.

I'm not bashing, but for your readers I think this is important to point out that when picking massive amounts of interests and demographics that you really leave yourself not understanding what worked and what didn't.

Kim
Sep 19, 2016

Unfortunately, if you are in Canada, a lot of those extremely nuanced Facebook audience targets are not available to you.

ABHAY K SONAK
Nov 23, 2016

Unfortunately, We dont get these many filter options in India when setting up FB campaign. All we get is 4 option to filer i.e. (1) Gender, (2) Age, (3) Locations & (4) Interest.

Do we have an option to add filter parameters when creating audience for FB campaign?... Please help. Thank you

Bradley Markham
Dec 19, 2016

I'm in the United States and don't have most of those targeting options. I'm looking under Audience Insights in my add account. Is there somewhere else I should be looking?

Jett
Jan 21, 2017

I'm trying to follow along by mirroring what you've done for practice, but as of Jan 22, 2017, I can't seem to be able to pull up the many categories you've used here.

I'm creating a new audience in the audience tab in the asset library section in the business.facebook page. I'm presented with a "Detailed Targeting" tab. When I click "browse", there's a dropdown menu for demographics, interests, behaviors, and more categories but the choices are very limited. If I try to type a search query in the "Detailed Targeting" of exactly the criteria you've used in this page such as "home office", "condo", "intendor - Spain", either there's no matching category or it's listed in very broad category of "interests" instead of the specific "office type", "mons", or "home type"

What am I doing wrong here? Has Facebook downgraded its targeting capabilities? Am I on the wrong audience creator page?

Hope would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Jett.


Robin Harrison
May 18, 2017

I've used the targeting tools in marketing, but your insight into being "crazy specific" really helped! Thanks.

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