What’s New With Facebook Audience Targeting

January 31, 2024

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With many social media platforms around, some businesses can struggle to know which would offer them the best results in terms of visibility and revenue potential.

Well, a well-designed Facebook ad campaign is hard to beat in the world of social media advertising.

Thanks to the platform’s targeting options, you can effectively get your product or service into the hands of the consumers most likely to want to buy. While the platform offers enhanced targeting, it has also recently announced a few changes to its targeting system.

Here’s how they can affect your ads.

How Is Facebook Changing Its Targeting Options?

A lot of the time, the conversion regarding how Facebook lets you target a specific audience revolves around the benefits it brings to the business.

But Facebook’s making new changes to its targeting that are designed to protect its user base from any attempt some Facebook Advertisers may have to abuse this advertising system.

As a result, starting April 2022, Facebook is removing the Detailed Targeting options that include certain sensitive user information, such as:

● Sexual orientation
● Religious practices and groups
● Political beliefs
● Interests that can reference race or ethnicity
● Matters connected to health

These detailed targeting options won’t necessarily reflect the characteristics of the users themselves. Rather, they take into account user interactions with content from the Facebook ecosystem that covers such topics.

For example, members of the LGBTQ+ community may interact more often with pages or Facebook content that covers such topics, giving advertisers a way to target mostly LGBTQ+ audiences even if Facebook doesn’t technically allow targeting based on sexual orientation.

The Detailed Targeting options essentially provide a workaround for some advertisers to create ad campaigns targeting (or excluding) people based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and other such personal qualities. This is what Facebook is changing.

How Will These Changes Impact Your Ads?

If you currently have saved audiences that include this type of targeting, or are running campaigns with detailed targeting, Facebook will essentially remove them from your targeting options.

However, it’s best to edit these audiences yourself to ensure your ad delivery and results aren’t negatively impacted. If you built your audiences with these topics in mind, it’s likely that removing them won’t allow your ads to be seen by relevant users.

You will have to go to your Ads Manager and review your current targeting options across all your campaigns, ad sets, or even the individual ads if you’re using multiple targeting methods or types of audiences.

When you set up your campaign, you can add detailed targeting options even with Custom or Lookalike Audiences. So it’s worth reviewing all saved audiences and currently running ads to make sure you comply with Facebook’s changes and tweak your targeting in your favour.

How Can You Still Target People Through Facebook Ads?

Though this change has good intentions at heart, many Facebook advertisers are worried whether their ad campaigns can still target their ideal customers as effectively without detailed targets.

And the good news is that you absolutely can. Facebook will still offer you many targeting options to find your ideal Facebook audience and get them to convert:

1. Location Targeting

Local businesses can create Facebook ad campaigns and target people near the area of their business. Even more than internet targeting, location targeting can help you drive more people to visit you and cross your threshold.

Businesses like restaurants, cafes, and salons all depend on a constant influx of local customers, and you can still do that through Facebook ads.

2. Website Audiences

If you install the Facebook Pixel on your site, you can effectively track Facebook users who click on your ads, visit your site and take or don’t take a particular action.

Then, you can create retargeting campaigns to reach those website visitors and get them to buy products they abandoned in their carts, or even give them complimentary offers, just for them.

3. Custom Audiences

Facebook Custom Audiences allow you to import your existing contact and target them with ads.

Let’s say you have a list of 5000 contacts from previous buyers. You can simply import this list to Facebook and create a custom audience from it, then target these previous customers through Facebook.

Again, you can also use website or app traffic, or even your own Facebook user base. The idea is that instead of trying to tap into new audiences who’ve never interacted with you, this time you’re delivering ads to users who already know your brand.

4. Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences are a way you can still reach new people on Facebook but in a more efficient way.

Let’s say you have a custom audience of previous buyers. You can create a Lookalike Audience based on them, and deliver your ads to people with similar characteristics to your existing buyers.

So instead of trying to determine yourself who your potential customers are, you’re going off of the people who’ve converted already.

5. Core Audiences

Though detailed targeting will be removed, advertisers can still greatly optimize which audiences to target in their ad campaigns.

Core Audiences, you can establish who to target based on the following criteria:

● Demographics: age, gender, education, etc.
● Behaviour: target previous buyers, people who download apps, or based on the device they use
● Interests: target people based on what they like, such as types of entertainment, books, food, etc.

Your Next Steps with Facebook Advertising

No matter what changes Facebook makes, the foundation of a good ad campaign lies in the strategy.

If you want to drive better results through Facebook advertising, Australian Internet Advertising is here to help!

Reach out to us today to find out more!

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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