3 Rules to Targeting the RIGHT Audience with Facebook Ads

For those of you who have been living under a rock, there are a TON of people on Facebook. That perks up the ears for marketers who are obviously aiming to reach the most people possible with their efforts.

The downside here is that while there are literally millions of people on Facebook, that means you could also be paying to reach millions of the wrong people with your advertising.

But how can that be? Is there really a wrong type of person to reach?

Facebook ads have become a pivotal part of social media marketing, helping marketers to focus their advertising budgets on specific demographics and audiences to help stretch marketing dollars further.

Where things go wrong is when marketers push their advertisements out on Facebook to, say, everyone in the English-speaking world in a certain industry. Sure, your advertisement might get a lot of engagement (maybe because it’s useful information, maybe because it’s clever, or maybe just because it’s an effective ad), and you’ll get a lot of clicks as a result —


See, more clicks isn’t always a good thing, especially if you’re paying for those clicks and the clicks are from people who really can’t even benefit from your product. The result is a less-than-stellar conversion rate, and you’ll be lucky to make back the money you invested in Facebook ads due to the low buy rate.

But all Facebook advertising isn’t bad! In fact, it’s nearly essential to furthering your marketing. So follow a few of these rules when creating your targeted Facebook audiences.

Rule #1: Exclude Most People

Yes, you read that right. Targeted Facebook ads aren’t ‘targeted’ if you’re pushing it out to a huge group of people. Actively restrict your Facebook ads in order to reach those who are most likely to invest in your product! Keep these exclusion tips in mind:

  1. Age: Just because your product can be useful for anyone aged 20 and up doesn’t mean that every age will see the most benefit. For instance, your product/solution might be most beneficial and may see the most profit when sold to business owners at the zenith of their careers. That means a targeted age group from, say, 30-50. You’re not making your ad unavailable to other ages, but you’re not going to dump your ad budget into it.
  2. Location: If you’re selling a digital product, for instance, then you’re able to market to the entire digital world. Literally. Don’t cast too wide of a net though — keep in mind that if your product is designed with English as the language, then don’t advertise to Facebook users in France. It just doesn’t make sense.
  3. Gender: You may think your product is gender-neutral, but it may not be as neutral as you think. Just know that you can target based on gender.

Rule #2: Use Facebook’s Tools to Your Own Advantage

Facebook has evolved in a way that people can connect with more pertinent networks by follow certain figureheads, joining certain groups, and connecting with specific niches. Fortunately, you can use your targeted ads to tap into these networks of people, helping to further focus your ad budget on effective parties.

When people and businesses like Pages, Facebook automatically pushes these users into certain ‘interest’ groups. Keep a few of these tips in mind:

  1. Choose interest groups related to people who are leaders in your industry. If you’re selling a chocolate dessert product, for instance, then you might want to include people who have liked a famous pastry chef’s page or who have liked Hershey’s Facebook page, for instance.
  2. Focus your ad spotlight on Broad Categories. Using broad categories can help you filter out the people you don’t want to advertise to. For instance, you may have an employee who likes Hershey’s Facebook page, but you don’t want to market to them. The Broad Category option allows you to focus on, say, small business owners (that’s the category) who like Hershey’s Chocolate (their interest group).venn
  3. Filter by Connections. Do you want to target your fans? Your fans’ friends? Friends of friends of your fans? If you’re trying to simply sell your product, then it’s probably best to just target your fans. But if you’re trying to extend your brand awareness and grow your reach, then you may want to broaden this category more.
  4. Use Lookalike Audiences. By using the list of contacts you uploaded to create a Custom Audience, Facebook generates a new audience for your ad based on details like interests and location to identify other Facebook users who are similar to your existing email contacts. Cool, right?


Facebook tools are designed to help users see only the information they want to see. That’s what makes it such a great tool for YOU to use when pushing out your ads!

Rule #3: Export Your Email List

Don’t just try to make a Facebook ad by targeting Facebook users. Instead, export your email list and use it to create your Facebook ad. Constant Contact is one of the most widely-used ways for businesses to create email lists, so we’ll show you the steps to exporting from Constant Contact here via the Constant Contact Support Team:

  1. Click Contacts.
  2. In your left-hand menu, click the group of contacts you want to export or search for your contacts.
  3. Select all of the email addresses that displayed by clicking the check box. Then click Export.
  4. Choose the fields you want to include in your export. Then click Export Contacts.
  5. Click “Activity.”
  6. Click “Download CSV” or “Download Excel” for the export you just completed.
    Note: It may take a few moments for that link to be available. Click the refresh icon in the gray bar for the most updated  information. Depending on your browser, a pop-up message will give you the choice to save or open the file.
  7. Click Save and choose your desktop as the location for the file.

In this way, you can then start with baseline of known customers for your Facebook ad creation.

You tell us: Do you use Facebook ads? What kinds of things worked well for you?