The Ultimate Facebook Targeting Quick Guide!

The Ultimate Facebook Targeting Quick Guide!

written by Houston Golden
Founder & CEO, BAMF Media
November 2nd, 2021
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Facebook Ads are an essential part of any lead generation or nurturing campaign.

If you’re not running anything on Facebook, then there’s something seriously wrong with your campaign.

But, before you can get into the specifics of the types of ads you should be running, let’s look at one area that can make or break your campaign.

Facebook targeting.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at which audiences you should be targeting, how you can use the different types of targeting, and we’ll even give you the best tips to make sure your ads go to the right people.

Let’s jump right in and boost your omnichannel lead generation!

The 4 Different Types of Facebook Targeting Audiences

To keep things simple, we’ll focus on only four different types of Facebook targeting audiences:

  1. Custom Audiences
  2. Lookalike Audiences (LLA)
  3. Interest-Based Audiences
  4. Smart Audiences (Facebook-defined Audiences)

When you go on Facebook audiences, you might be confused, but don’t worry we’re here to guide you.

facebook targeting

Let’s get into them in more detail.

Custom Audiences

Custom audiences are our favorite when it comes to lead nurturing because there’s nothing quite like them.

They are designed primarily to use with warm leads or people who have had prior interaction with your brand or solutions in the past.

You can use your own audience list or grab a list of people that have interacted with either your Facebook or Instagram accounts.

But, they don’t just end with lead nurturing.

You can use custom audiences for lead generation as well.

Here’s how we use them.

Lead Generation

Since you can use your own custom list of emails, it’s easy for you to get a prospect list that you haven’t contacted yet and hit them with Facebook Ads to bring in leads for your business.

These could be a series of brand awareness ads combined with ads that invited a prospect to actually make a move and transact with your organization.


Whether it’s people that have been recorded visiting your website via Facebook Pixel or people who have watched your videos in the past, you can retarget all of these prospects using custom audiences.

This is a blast for lead nurturing, especially if you’re trying to hit up people that have already landed on the stuff that you’ve put out in the past. It makes it easy for you to reach out to them again and slowly guide them into your funnel.

Use Pre-Suasion

Another technique that custom audiences are great for is a concept called pre-suasion, coined by Robert Cialdini in his book of the same name.

The gist of the concept is that before you even approach a prospect to get them to do what you want, you should already have started the convincing part of the negotiation.

Here’s an example of its use with digital marketing.

Say you want to target decision-makers of a particular industry, you have their personal details and their emails, but instead of contacting them directly, you start warming them up with brand awareness ads, and getting them used to your presence on Facebook before the cold call.

By doing this, you don’t only create familiarity with your prospect, but you’ve already started convincing them to buy from you before they even get on a call with you/

How to Use It

You can create custom audiences by accessing Facebook Ads Manager and heading over to audiences.

facebook targeting, The Ultimate Facebook Targeting Quick Guide!

Here’s how to create the ultimate appointment setting script.

Lookalike Audiences (LLA)

LLAs are one of the most powerful features of Facebook targeting, and here’s why.

It allows you to leverage Facebook’s algorithm.

What it does is that it takes an existing custom audience that you created in the past, and tries to look for new prospects using that particular set of data.

Say you’re targeting a particular industry with a customer profile that is hyper-specific when it comes to a couple of details on their personalities, Facebook harnesses this data and builds you a new list to work with.

It’s awesome if you want to explore a new market or have had previous success with a custom audience in the past.

Interest-Based Audiences

These are audiences that you allow Facebook to create based on custom fields, and they’re especially helpful when you don’t have a primary custom list as in the case of custom audiences.

Now, before you can launch an ad using interest-based audiences you need to define the audience, and this will depend on what type of ideal customer profile you’re using.

facebook targeting, The Ultimate Facebook Targeting Quick Guide!
Here’s an example of an ideal customer profile.

Now here are the fields that you have to take note of:

Job Titles

Be specific with job titles.

If I were you I’d avoid titles like “founder”.

They’re too general and they might elicit prospects that are not worth the effort.


Here’s an important note with education, make sure you target schools attended instead of what they’ve “liked”.

What you like on Facebook doesn’t affiliate with having been educated by that institution. I might like MIT’s page, but it doesn’t mean I work in the jet propulsion lab.

So, say you want to hit up a particular profession, instead of targeting job titles, you can target specific schools that turn up those types of professions.


These are the groups that your target audience will have joined, it could be anything from Toastmasters, a homeowner association, marketing and trade groups, and everything else under the sun.


No, not every high-level C-suite executive making decisions will be playing golf.

But, there are some interests that could be common between members of your ideal customer profile.

You have a choice to narrow down interests if it applies to the solutions that you’re selling, but if you want to make it more general you can feel free to leave this area blank.

Smart Audiences (Facebook-defined Audiences)

A smart audience is an audience that Facebook determines you want to target depending on where you’re launching the ad from.

Say, you’re using your group or page and you want to launch a general ad, you can hop onto Facebook’s Business Suite and go to Ads, there’ll be an option for you to choose a smart audience.

facebook targeting, The Ultimate Facebook Targeting Quick Guide!

You can still edit certain parameters so that you don’t have to waste money targeting everyone.

Personally, we don’t use smart audiences a lot because it helps to be extra specific with the things that you put out on the platform.

It allows you to customize your material and make sure that your content properly resonates with the people you’re targeting.

Facebook Targeting Tip 1: Be Extra Specific With Post Keywords

Remember we said that Facebook’s algorithm is good?

facebook targeting, The Ultimate Facebook Targeting Quick Guide!

They wouldn’t be the largest social media platform AND the second-largest online ad provider if it wasn’t.

Plus, they have data on everyone on their platform …and a lot of it.

Here’s the thing.

When you’re crafting content for your Facebook Ad, it can tell if the copy is for the intended audience. So, the only way to make your copy comes up on specific prospects’ feeds is to make sure that you’re using the right keywords.

Skip the general keywords in your copy and go after hyper-specific ones that your intended target audience knows about.

Don’t be afraid of using technical jargon that your audience uses, it will make sure that your posts go right in front of the right eyeballs.

Facebook Targeting Tip 2: Check Your Insights

You can’t growth hack if you don’t track.

We’ve said this time and time again.

And, this is especially true for social media platforms.

You need to be able to stay on top of things so that you can determine if you’ve identified the right audience or if the content is working well.

This allows you to be more flexible with your campaigns creating efficiencies and it also opens the doors to more efficient and effective campaigns.


Facebook is powerful if you use it well.

But, it’s so easy to get distracted when choosing your audience.

Remember, it’s powerful, but it’s not magic.

You still need to define your parameters well.

That’s the only way you can create custom messages for targeted audiences.

That’s the only way to grow on Facebook.

By keeping these Facebook targeting strategies in mind, you can make sure that you’re making the right moves with your Facebook ad campaigns.

About the Author

The name's Houston Golden. I'm the Founder & CEO of BAMF — a company I've grown from $0 (yes, really) to well over $5M+ in revenue over a span of 5 years.

How did I do it? Well, it's quite simple, really. I've helped hundreds of business owners and executives get major traction (because when they win, we win), I tell all on this blog.

Growth hacking is a state of mind. Follow along as I explore and expose the unknown growth strategies and tactics that will change the way you think about marketing.
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