Jennifer Slegg, February 21, 2014
Facebook is making some changes to the way advertisers can target their ads to Facebook users. They are introducing multiple new targeting features, which will help advertisers drill down the audience for their ads, by four primary targeting types, location, demographic, interests and behavior.
Facebook has received some criticism about how advertisers can target ads and the types of users their ads are displayed to, particularly due to the fact that advertisers are limited in the audience their ad reaches on Facebook. This is resulting in a lot of likes on paid Facebook ads made by fraudulent spam users.
Facebook’s new targeting options should help advertisers narrow down their Facebook ad campaigns and impose greater restrictions on exactly which Facebook users are seeing and engaging with their advertisements.
Advertisers now have a lot more control over how they target their ads based on location. Advertisers can target campaigns to combinations of geographical locations now, such as country and city, country and state, state and city, and for U.S. targeted advertisements, state and ZIP Code.
There are many new demographic options added, where advertisers can target based on specific types of education, or even if the job or workplace title that Facebook user holds. For example, you could target CEOs or managers, based on their work title. The only downside is it requires people to actually include that information on the Facebook profile, and the wide variety of titles people use when describing their roles in companies can make it difficult to determine what job titles to target
One really interesting addition is that advertisers can target specific people based on changing life events, such as a new relationship status or a newlywed, based on a Facebook user making that change to the profile relationship status within a set specific period of time. For instance, an advertiser can target someone who is either newly engaged or newlywed within the past six months.
Facebook has also expanded how you can target Facebook users based on their interests. Instead of simply having the ability of targeting based on broad categories and keywords, advertisers can drill down to specific topics, such as all people who liked hockey on Facebook can now be targeted as group.
Advertisers can also target based on behaviors, which target campaigns to people based on the types of off-line activities they are doing, such as website visits, purchases, or device usage. This behavior advertising is done through their Partner Categories, which is now also been added for U.S. advertisers through the Ads Create Tool.
This should help encourage some advertisers to try Facebook advertising once again, with these new controls over where their ads are appearing. However, like any targeting on any advertising platform, it remains to be seen how accurate Facebook’s targeting is, and this accuracy will definitely influence the amount of advertising users do on Facebook.