Building a target audience for Facebook advertising

Written on 29 August, 2016 by Julie Doubinski
Categories: Social Media

Before you start advertising on social media, you need to ask yourself: “how well do I know my customers?”

Whether you are selling apple pies, gum boots or dental equipment, it is important to understand your market and who you are selling to. This group of people, or market segment, that you are targeting with your product advertising is called your target audience.

Your target market usually refers to broader segment of consumers that are likely to buy your product, while your target audience refers to a more specific segment of consumers which will be defined by location, interest, and demographic data.

So what would be your main steps when defining your target audience?

First, define your business goals and your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). What problems are you trying to solve, or in other words, what value proposition do you offer and how will your product benefit people? Once you have answered these questions, think about the type of customer that will be the most likely to buy and benefit from your product.

Your next step is to build your target audience customer profile(s), also sometimes referred to as persona(s). Think about where your “ideal” customers live, how old they are, and what interests they might have.

Depending on your product, your target audience could be really broad, or if you offer a very specific product it could be quite narrow. For example, if you sell socks or tooth paste, it makes sense to target all Australians. But if, for example, you run an art supplies store, you would target art students, artists, painters and people whose interests include drawing and painting.

Social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter all have advertising tools where you can create your target audience based on people’s location, demographics, jobs and interests. But which one is the best? Overall the best one is Facebook’s advertising tool, because Facebook have a huge number of data points on all of their users, which means ad targeting on Facebook can be more accurate than other social media channels.

Targeted advertising means showing your ads to specific “targeted” people that you select as your target audience. When building your target audience in Facebook, it is up to you what parameters you choose. You can use only one or two or you can use all available targeting options.

Let’s look at some of the targeting options Facebook has available.

There are two main types of target audiences you can create when advertising on Facebook – saved audiences and custom audiences.

A saved audience is an audience that you create in Facebook’s ad manager tool using Facebook’s existing targeting parameters.

A custom audience is an audience you create using either a list of your existing customers that you upload to Facebook ad manager as an Excel file; or you that you build based on people’s interactions with your website, Facebook page or app.

Let’s look at saved audiences and how to create them.


Choose your audience based on their geographical location. You can choose just a country or be more specific and choose states, regions and cities.


Choose the gender of your target audience


In the targeting section, choose detailed targeting and choose the category.


Interests include a content people engage with and apps they use.


Behaviours include activities that people engage in on Facebook. These may include your shopping activities, travel preferences etc.


Using connections targeting you can target people who already have a connection with you on Facebook. For example, you can target people that have used your app or liked your page.

After you finished building your audience, you can save it and use it again for different Facebook adverting campaigns.

If you are considering Facebook advertising for your business but don’t have enough resources, check out our Social Media Marketing monthly solutions and choose the one that is right for your business.