Facebook targeting tools and resources are so effective that it has brought the platform billions of dollars in ad revenue.

More than two billion people use Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or WhatsApp every day. This allows Facebook to collect a wealth of information about its users that advertisers can use to connect with their target audience.

For a look under the hood, see how Facebook uses your data to help marketers reach you.

But Facebook data is only part of the equation. Facebook defines target audience in three ways:

  • Core Audiences relying on Facebook data to target ads
  • Custom Audiences Use data from your client management system, website or mobile apps to target people you already know.
  • Lookalike Audiences Help advertisers find new audiences by combining Facebook data with your Custom Audience data.

Before you launch your next Facebook ad campaign, find out what targeting options you can choose from to ensure you reach the right people.

36 Ways to Target Customers with Facebook Ads

Finding your Facebook target market is easy, especially if you know what options are available to you. Here are all the Facebook ad targeting possibilities currently available.

Core Audiences

Location targeting

With location targeting, advertisers can run ads based on people’s zip code, city, region, or country. You can target up to 25 countries, 250 cities, or 50,000 postal codes at a time.

Option 1: Everyone in a location

Target anyone and everyone in a location within a specific time frame.

Option 2: Natives

Target Facebook members who list a location as their home.

Option 3: New residents

Reach people who recently changed or updated a particular location.

Option 4: Visitors to a location

Find travelers and those who have checked in or tagged in a location that isn’t their own.

Option 5: Within a radius

Enter an address to target people within a one to 50 mile radius.

Source: Facebook

Regional targeting

Marketers with broader goals may want to target Facebook ads to specific geographic regions.

Option 1: Free trade zones

Depending on your business deals and regional availability, it may make sense to target people in eligible trade areas. Options on Facebook include NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), European Economic Area, and APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation).

Option 2: App Store countries

Marketers with app-specific targets may want to target audiences in iTunes app store countries or Android app countries. For Android app countries, advertisers can select countries or all countries where purchases are available.

Option 3: Emerging markets

Emerging markets for Facebook are: Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

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Option 4: Eurozone

The Euro field for Facebook represents the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

Learn how to use Facebook Audience Insights to target the right market for your next campaign.

demographic targeting

Demographic targeting allows marketers to direct ads to people based on details they share publicly on Facebook.

Option 1: Age

Target people in a specific age range. Note that Facebook prohibits certain content directed at those under the age of 18.

Option 2: Language

Target people who speak a specific language. Facebook recommends doing this only if the targeted language is not the primary language in your chosen location.

Option 3: Gender

Target ads to people who identify as male or female, or of any gender.

Option 4: Education

University graduate, currently attending high school, etc. Show ads to people.

Option 5: Political views

Facebook uses interest and behavioral data to help advertisers target people based on their political views. For obvious reasons, Facebook has curtailed political ads. Advertisers who want to post political, election, or issue-specific content must complete an authorization process.

Option 6: Relationship status

Target ads to people who list their relationship status as single, in a relationship, engaged, or married. Or, if you’re advertising single trips, you can choose to exclude otherwise busy ones.

Option 7: Family Status

Reach out to parents, families of certain sizes, and even those with children of a certain age.

Option 8: Life events

Find people who have recently moved, started a new job, recently married, or share another significant milestone.

Option 9: Career

Connect with people with specific job titles, working in specific industries, and even office types.

Interest targeting

Knowing what hobbies and interests people have in your branding can help you target Facebook members based on what they like. Facebook also calls it “granular targeting.”

Option 1: Interests

Facebook targets interests based on consumer and lifestyle categories such as culture, fashion, fitness or sports. When you add an interest or behavior, Facebook may suggest a few more ideas.

Option 2: Activities

Target people based on the activities they attend on Facebook.

Option 3: Pages they interact with

Target ads based on pages people interact with and like.

Option 4: Posts they liked

Show people contextual ads they’ve liked in the past.

Option 5: Their posts and comments

Find your Facebook audience based on posts and comments people share on the platform.

behavioral targeting

Option 1: Mobile device

Include or exclude contacts based on the mobile device they use. You can also target those who have recently made a mobile network or device change.

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Option 2: Desktop browser and operating system

You can include or exclude browsers and operating systems under Digital Events.

Option 3: Ads people click on

Target people based on ads that have generated clicks in the past.

Option 4: Network speed

If you plan to run video ads, you may want to target people with network speeds that support video content. Otherwise, consider slideshow ads as a lightweight alternative.

Option 5: Wi-Fi users

Target people using Wi-Fi.

multicultural affinity

This Facebook ad targeting option is only available in the United States. It is not based on ethnicity, but on the culture with which people express affinity based on their interactions.

Housing, employment, and credit ads are not suitable for multicultural affinity targeting.

Facebook also allows brands to connect with people who have connected with them in the past.

Option 1: Facebook Page links

Target people connected to your Facebook Page or their friends. You can also target their friends.

Option 2: Facebook Event interactions

Target people who interact with one of your Facebook Events.

Option 3: Application activity

Target or exclude people who use your apps.

Custom Audiences

Create custom audiences using your own data to find your customers on Facebook. Once you’ve decided which custom audience is right for your campaign, follow our step-by-step guide on how to create one.

Option 1: Contact lists

Upload phone numbers or email addresses from any client list you have so you can target them on Facebook.

Option 2: App users

Build an audience of people who use your app. To do this you need to register your app and install the Facebook SDK in your app.

Option 3: Site visitors

Grab the attention of people who have visited your website in the past. You can be specific by showing people on your site the content they are interacting with. You will need to install the Facebook Pixel for this to work.

Similar viewers

Lookalike audiences rely on your customer data to help you find new audiences that have a lot in common with your existing customers. Lookalike audience options are the same as custom audiences (contact lists, app users, and site visitors), only targeting new people based on those sources.

facebook targets similar audiences
Source: Facebook

Learn more about Facebook Lookalike Audiences.

Now that you know all your Facebook ad targeting options, discover all the Facebook ad types to help you connect with the right people.

Manage your Facebook presence along with your other social media channels using Moyens I/O. From a single dashboard, you can schedule posts, share videos, engage your audience, and measure the impact of your efforts. Try it for free today.