Understanding Facebook Ads Target Audiences

David Pagotto

Founder & Managing Director

Social Media
6 November, 2022

You’ve probably heard of Facebook Ads. They’re a great way to get your product or service in front of potential customers on the world’s largest social media platform. But what are Facebook Ads Targeted Audiences, and how can you use them to your advantage? We’ll cover everything you need to know in the points below.

Facebook Ads Targeted Audiences Defined

A targeted audience is a group of people you want to reach with your advertising. When you create a Facebook ad, you have the option to target a specific audience based on demographics like age, location, gender, interests and behaviours. For example, if you sell women’s clothing, you might want to target your ad at women aged 18-35 who live in Melbourne or Sydney, and who have expressed an interest in fashion.

Why is Facebook Ads Target Audience an invaluable tool for your social media marketing efforts?


You can target your ads more effectively

What do we mean by this? In a nutshell, you’ll be able to reach the people who are most likely to be interested in your product or service. By ensuring your ad is seen by people who are likely to be interested, you’ll get more clicks and conversions. You can target by location, age, gender, interests, and even behaviours – this ensures that your ad reaches the right people, for a more streamlined ad campaign.


You can save money

Another advantage of using Facebook Ads Targeted Audiences is that you can save money. By only targeting those people who are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer, you’ll avoid wasting money on ads that no one will see. This allows you to invest more money into other areas of your business, such as product development or customer service.


You can fine-tune your campaigns and test different audiences

Finding the best conversion rate for your business is important because it allows you to make sure you’re getting the most out of your ad budget. By testing different audiences, you’ll be able to see which ones convert at a higher rate and adjust your campaigns accordingly.

You can build a competitive advantage

Finally, using Facebook Ads Targeted Audiences can give you a competitive advantage over other businesses that are not using this feature. With so many businesses competing for attention online, it’s crucial that you use every tool at your disposal to ensure your ads stand out from the crowd. By targeting specific audiences, you can make sure your ads are seen by the people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.

How to Target a Specific Audience on Facebook

Targeting a specific audience on Facebook is easy. First, create a new campaign and select your objective. Then, under “Audience”, click “Create New”. From there, you can enter the demographics of the people you want to reach – once you’ve saved your changes, your ad will only be shown to people who match your target audience criteria. Taking it a step further, you can refine your audience by clicking on “Define Further”. This allows you to add extra layering of targeting. For example, you can target “shoes” interests but they also must be an “engaged shopper”.

Breaking Down the Different Types of Facebook Ad Targeting

Whether you’re a small business looking to increase brand awareness or a large company trying to drive conversions, there are three types of Facebook Ad targeting to cater for different goals and motivations.


Custom Audiences

These are people who have already interacted with your brand in some way, shape or form. For example, they could be people who have visited your website, signed up for your newsletter, or made a purchase from your online store. Custom audiences are typically the people who are most likely to convert because they already have some sort of relationship with your brand.

To target a core audience, you might select “people who have visited your website within the past 30 days” or “people who have made a purchase from your online store within the past 60 days” in the settings.


Lookalike Audiences

As the name suggests, lookalike audiences are groups of people who share similarities with your existing customer base. For example, if you’re targeting women between the ages of 18 and 35 who live in Melbourne or Sydney and have an interest in fashion, Facebook will find other women who meet those criteria and show them your ad. A good strategy here is to do a lookalike audience of your website visitors and/or leads and purchasers; thereby identifying similar attributes to your core target audience.

The lookalike audience function will allow you to target audiences based on website visitors, email subscribers, or even people who’ve liked your page. Once you’ve chosen your group, Facebook will create a lookalike audience for you based on their interests and demographics.


Customer List

In Facebook’s own words, the Customer List Custom Audiences feature “enables you to create an audience using your data such as email addresses and phone numbers (typically from subscriber lists). When using this feature, your data is locally hashed on your system before you upload and pass it to Facebook to be used to create your audience”. In a nutshell, it presents a great opportunity for upselling and/or cross-selling.

The Do’s & Don’ts of Facebook Ads Target Audiences

Now that you’re ready to start experimenting with the Facebook Ads Target Audiences tool, here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind – these tips will help you streamline your future Facebook ad campaigns and avoid the common pitfalls that many marketers fall into!


  • Use Facebook Audience Insights: This helpful tool will give you a clearer idea of who your existing and potential customers are, and the best ways to reach them online.
  • Target based on saved posts: You can specifically target Facebook users who have saved one or more of your posts, which is perfect for reminding these users about your content that they saved for later and maybe forgot about.
  • Exclude existing followers for your target audience: These users are already seeing and engaging with your content – don’t pester them by doubling up on their exposure to your marketing.
  • Target major cities rather than the entire country as a whole: It might seem easier to just select “Australia” rather than “Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane etc.”, but the reality is that if your products and services are only suited to people living in built up metropolitan areas, you don’t want to be targeting small towns in rural areas.
  • Retarget people who have clicked on a specific link: Tools like RocketLink allow you to shorten URL’s and add retargeting pixels to them. This way, you can capitalise on external content shared with your followers or in Facebook groups. By tracking users who have previously clicked on your links (be it on Facebook, other social media platforms or even in a newsletter), you can generate a precise Custom Audience and target users who are highly interested in a specific topic or product.
  • Remind users about their abandoned carts or half-completed registrations: Retargeting pixels can also be useful for tracking customers’ behaviour on your website, so you can re-engage people who perhaps added a product to their cart but didn’t proceed to checkout, or began signing up to your newsletter but didn’t complete the process, for example.


  • Target users who have messaged your business on Facebook: This might seem counterintuitive – why wouldn’t you want to target people who have interacted with your business online? Because not everyone who messages you via social media is doing so for positive reasons… don’t push your offer to the very people who are currently complaining about your product or services (hopefully there are none, but you get the idea!).
  • Target anyone who has visited your page before: Sometimes people click on things by mistake – by targeting anyone who has previously visited your business’s Facebook page, you may find this to be imprecise and less effective.
  • Narrow your target audience to be so specific that it hardly reaches anyone: This tip speaks for itself – while it’s important to hone in on your target demographic, you still want to cast a wide net where possible.
  • Tackling too many audiences at once: Facebook Ads Target Audiences is a craft that takes practise to make perfect. Our best advice is to start small, and then gradually scale up your campaigns over time as you become more proficient in the tool.
  • It will take some trial and error to experiment with different target audiences and hone in on the ones that are most likely to convert, so consider the process more of a long-term marketing strategy than a “quick push” to increase traffic and boost sales.

SIXGUN develops multipronged and highly effective digital marketing campaigns for our valued clients, including highly targeted Facebook Ads

As Melbourne’s premier boutique digital marketing agency, SIXGUN specialises in crafting bespoke marketing campaigns that leave a lasting positive impression on your target audience. 

We aren’t just another digital marketing agency – we are an extension of your business. Expand your brand awareness and reach your ideal customer, with SIXGUN’s tailored social media marketing, search engine marketing (Google Ads) and SEO solutions.


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