Facebook Ad Targeting Best Practices: Creating the Audience that Will Convert

37 minutes spent on Facebook by the average US user, 12 adverts clicked per month, 7 million active advertisers… Business of Apps is sharing the preceding stats with us on Facebook usage. You already can guess that if so many advertisers prefer to invest their budget here, there should be a sound reason to do so. Thus, you also feel the need to learn Facebook targeting best practices to create high-converting audiences and consequently, ads.

Demographics, interests, behaviors, connections… Considering all the subcategories in these 4 categories, Facebook provides advertisers with around 40 targeting options.

Even if you don’t have a big customer base or have never run Facebook ads, knowing your buyer personas is enough to launch a successful, profitable campaign.

You probably know that there are two main ways of showing Facebook ads – through Facebook Ad Centre and Ads Manager. Though targeting options are the same in both cases, Ads Manager is more flexible in terms of choosing your ad type, objective, etc.

Acknowledging it, let’s switch to that tool and discover what targeting options Facebook ads offer.

Facebook Ad Targeting: Options to Reach Out Your Audience

Facebook ad is a great way to target an audience receptive to the message you want to convey. Utilizing Facebook ad targeting options, you can get laser-focused with your advertising efforts and reach your target audience with pinpoint accuracy.

If you have an in-depth understanding of your business, it is much easier to identify the best Facebook target audiences for your products or services. 

When you know your business, you can select specific demographics and other interests from Facebook’s hyper-targeting tool, ultimately leading you toward success in your marketing efforts

Facebook allows you to target 3 main audiences:

  1. Custom audience
  2. Lookalike audience
  3. Core audience

Let’s explore them one by one.

Facebook Custom Audience Strategies

facebook custom audience

A custom audience is your warm audience, aka users who have somehow shown interest in your company, product/service, or content. They might be users who have taken certain actions such as

  • watching your video,
  • following your page,
  • visiting your website,
  • interacting with your Instagram ad,
  • interacting with your product catalog, etc.

But that’s not the whole picture. For example, let’s take a closer look at the option “Website”. Facebook won’t be targeting everyone who visited your website. Instead, you can tell the system to show the ad only to visitors who

  1. visited 1 or more than 1 pages on your website,
  2. stayed more than X seconds on your website,
  3. visited specific pages on your website, etc.

Note: To retarget your website visitors, you need to create and add a Facebook pixel to your website. Follow these simple steps or contact the Andava team to get it done. Let’s continue with Facebook targeting best practices!

Targeting options Facebook ads offer, get more specific when you choose other sources as well. For example, when you choose “Video”, Facebook won’t show your ad to everyone who watched it.

The longer users watch your video, the more interested they are. And thus you can choose only users who have watched it at least for 10 seconds. The choice also depends on how long your video is.

target people who watched your video

If you want to choose the Customer list as a source, you should upload the phone numbers or email address of your customers/subscribers and Facebook will serve your ads to your target group.

The best part of this option is that you show ads to interested users who are ready to take action and move down through your sales funnel.

However, sometimes you need more than retargeting users and you want to create a lookalike audience.

Create a Lookalike Audience to Expand Your Reach

A lookalike audience is created based on your Custom audience. But here’s the difference. When choosing the Customer audience option, Facebook will retarget users who have already engaged with your brand.

However, when choosing the Lookalike audience, Facebook will find and target users who are similar to users in your Custom audience.

Facebook recommends using a Custom audience with between 1,000 to 50,000 users. The quantity is necessary so Facebook finds patterns that bring two audiences together and show your ads to the most relevant group.

The tips here are the same as for retargeting audiences: 

  • Stay Away From Website Audiences

Lookalike effectiveness will really depend on how well you can create source audiences for Facebook to model from, so our tips here are the same as for custom audiences. It may be worth taking a step away from the “all purchasers” or “website visitors” audiences to find a new source, as those website-based audiences are likely going to be less effective than they used to be.

  • Create a Lookalike Audience

If you see good results with people who engage with your page, create a lookalike of Page likers and target them in a new ad set or campaign. This way you can differentiate them from your actual Page likers.

Your Custom audience quality matters too. If your Custom audience consists of users who are your loyal customers, your ad results will be better.

lookalike audience

Facebook Core Audience

Facebook’s Core Audience targeting options are a great way of reaching people who are most likely to be interested in your campaign.

The Facebook core audience tool is great for businesses that have a more specific audience in mind. It also allows you to target every possible group of people you can think of, while Facebook does the trick by using its data and algorithm to find your ideal audience for you.

The Facebook core audience targeting options can be helpful if you’re looking for high-quality leads and want to put your money where it will do the best.

With the Facebook core audience targeting options, you can reach a specific type of audience on Facebook using the criteria below:

detailed targeting


The Facebook core audience targeting options allows you to define the demographic group of people your ads can reach. According to the best practices, you should target your campaign specifically at a particular Facebook audience. 

With Facebook demographic targeting options, you can choose your Facebook target audience based on the following criteria: age, gender, occupation, job title, and more.


Targeting people based on their location is an increasingly popular way to reach your ideal customers. Group them according to their city, region, or country, and you’ll have a population ready for your advert!


You can use Facebook’s core audience targeting to refine your ad’s reach and make it more relevant and well-targeted. For example, you could target people interested in a topic or hobby, so your ad is more relevant to them.


With this targeting option, you can set your ads to reach more relevant consumers by using their browsing history, purchase activity, device usage, and more.


The Facebook core audience targeting options allow you to find new prospects to target by excluding those connected to your page or event. 

When you exclude them, you’ll be targeting people who haven’t interacted with your company on Facebook before.

The core audience Facebook ads reach is enormous because you can reach almost everybody using Facebook ads.

Find more articles related to social media marketing below:

  1. 7 Myths of Social Media You Still Believe are True
  2. Social Media Statistics from 5 Major Platforms You Can’t Ignore
  3. Fight Against Ad Fatigue: List of 10 Practical Techniques

Start Creating Facebook Audiences With the Andava

Tips for targeting Facebook ads don’t end with this article. The Andava team is ready to provide industry-specific recommendations on Facebook targeting and help you build a high-converting audience.

Contact us for a free audit and we will share personalized, practical tips on how to improve your Facebook ad performance with more precise targeting.