Beyond Geography: 3 Effective Ways to Use Facebook Ad Targeting for Your Small Business

Facebook Ad Targeting

As a small business owner, you’ve probably used Facebook ads as a way to attract new customers. In fact, Facebook recently announced that they have more than 2 million active advertisers (up 33% from July of 2014), and most of them are small businesses.

While big brands spend millions annually on Facebook advertising, the average spend for a small business is just $5-$50 per day. With a limited budget, and little time, it’s important your Facebook ads reach the right people. After all, a bad targeting scheme could mean hundreds, even thousands, of dollars wasted on ads shown to people who aren’t likely to buy.

For a local business, the first and most obvious strategy is geographical targeting: showing ads to people in your store’s area, and rightly so! Geographical or location targeting, is a great way to narrow down the vast 1.44 billion monthly Facebook users to a group of people reasonably close to your shop.

However, your work as a Facebook advertiser doesn’t end here. There are further ways you should narrow down this list of local people to get the biggest return on your advertising buck. Here are three effective and easy targeting strategies you should try, in addition to location, to advertise on Facebook like a pro:

1. Interests

In the Facebook ad creation tool, under the section “Who do you want your ads to reach?,” you’ll find a handful of targeting options including Interests. Interests offers an effective and easy way to utilize the information people provide about themselves and what they like. How does it work? First, you choose from a variety of topics, brands, or businesses (including competitors) related to your business. Facebook will then show your ad to people who have expressed an interest in these topics or have liked related pages

Example: Say you own a women’s boutique clothing store. You can select from a variety of Interests such as relevant store items, brands that you carry, and businesses similar to your own.

Interest: Shopping and fashion > women’s clothing > dresses
Brand: Lush
Business: H&M

Interests make it easy to advertise to potential customers because these customers have hinted at a slight interest in your products. Even if you carry your own line of clothing, you can still utilize this tool by selecting existing brands or businesses.

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2. Behaviors

Don’t want to spend millions of dollars on marketing intelligence? No problem. Make use of Facebook’s Behaviors ad targeting. Using data collected by market research agencies, you can target people on Facebook based on their behavior and interests beyond the pages they’ve “liked.”

Behavior data includes anything from purchase behavior, job role, travel habits, charitable donations, device usage and more. There are endless behaviors to choose from, and you’re bound to to find something relevant for your business, whether it be “Foodies” or “Trendy Homemakers.”

At Fivestars, we use a combination of interests and behavioral targeting on our own Facebook ads, and it’s helped us scale our reach ten fold!

3. Connections

Connections are important. This is why Facebook gives you the option to target your ads towards people who have a connection to your business page in some way or another. These connections include people who currently like your page, friends of people who like your page, or people who are attending your store’s event on Facebook.

Not only are Facebook users more likely to pay attention to ads from businesses endorsed by someone they know, but they’re also likely to have similar preferences and interests as their friends. Plus, people who’ve liked your page are likely to be regular customers and may have even mentioned your business to some of their friends. Use a Facebook ad targeted towards friends of people who like your page to boost interest among these potential new customers.

With these simple, yet powerful Facebook ad targeting options, you should be well on your way to building sophisticated and effective Facebook ads.

Have any additional targeting tips that work for your business? Share away.

Kristina Shapotina
About the Author
Kristina Shapotina

Kristina is a Marketing Campaign Analyst at Fivestars. When she isn’t optimizing online ad campaigns and ensuring we're getting the most bang from our marketing bucks, she loves snuggling with the Fivestars office dogs.

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