What’s up With Facebook Ads?

Facebook is locking down many ad targeting options, which has come at the cost of ease of use for digital marketers looking to reach certain audiences. Advertisers can no longer specifically hone in on cultural, lingual and health-related demographics, amongst others.

However, as professionals we should want to ensure that people are afforded dignity and privacy, while still finding creative ways to get our message out there. Here are some starting points.

Use your Owned Data

Owned data is still a great way to reach consumers! If you have a phone number, address or email list, you can create a Customer List Custom Audience. Additionally, you can use this data, along with the your follower data, to create a Lookalike Audience that shares their interests and affinity. You may also exclude these custom audiences from your campaign to ensure you don’t serve redundant ads. These custom audiences can help, for example, a professional society of healthcare practitioners reach non-members who share traits with its current membership.

Please note that if your ad falls under Facebook’s designated Special Ad Categories, lookalike audiences cannot be implemented.

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Consider Behavioral and Interest-based Categories

It’s against federal antidiscrimination laws for Facebook to provide targeting parameters that clearly allow advertisers to exclude people based on their race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Many of the demographic categories formerly available to advertisers have been removed.

In light of this, digital marketers will need to understand the interests, experiences and concerns of the people they want to reach. Who would’ve thought?

With some research and/or proper background knowledge, you will be armed with what you need to appropriately select behavioral and interest-based categories. These will target people who have displayed interest in or liked Facebook pages associated with certain topics like “Classical Guitar”, “Pottery” and “Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association”.

Make Use of the (Limited) Demographic Targeting, Along With Geographic Targeting

The demographics Facebook allows you to target are restricted, but still encompass some of the basics such as age, birthday, gender, number of and age of children in the household, job title, employer, etc.

Geographic targeting is also available based on zip code, city, state and country. This can be especially useful for smaller advertisers who need to reach a hyper-local audience, such as a parks department.

Hope this helps you reach your target audience in an ethical way! As always, if you’re receiving ads that you feel are discriminatory on Facebook, you can opt out of these targeted categories in your profile ad preference settings.

Want to talk more about Facebook advertising or other digital needs? Send us an email at lets_talk@pcipr.com.


Post by Emma Bruno