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Why Are Facebook’s Targeted Ads So Appealing?

billboard-1089869_54286982 2Put up a billboard along the highway. You know a certain amount of people will see it. They have to travel that way to get to work everyday. You have their undivided attention during that time period. Perfect, right?

If you’re a marketer in the contemporary sense of that word, you know this is a flawed scenario. Smart social media marketers today aren’t casting a massive net over one diverse audience and hoping to pull in a few folks with a solo message or piece of content. They know they can do better than that with resources available to them. They’re hypertargeting. To continue the road analogy, they’re erecting personalized billboards in every neighborhood, using behavioral data and personal information they’ve acquired about the people who tend to live there. Except, you know, on the internet instead of a highway.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the four different “Core Audience” targeting options offered by Facebook, and the types of analysis you can do to optimize your ads for each.

Facebook Ads & Specific Personas

You shouldn’t be using Facebook ads without specific personas in mind. The two go together like eggs and bacon, like summer days and sunglasses, like corgis and queens. Facebook ads can be hyper targeted based on specific persona thanks to the new Core Audiences options. There are four main categories:


Get as granular as a city to target users in a specific metro area. You can even exclude specific zip codes.

How to identify opportunities: By using Facebook Insights data, you can get an idea of which geographical audiences are engaging with you already, what they’re saying, and how to segment them as individual personas. I like to do this with a Simply Measured Facebook Page Insights Report. You can also set up Lookalike Audience ads that resemble your existing audiences using this information.

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Using geographic information on your current fanbase, you can start creating personas for each city, then drilling even deeper into the date to discover which area codes are relevant to your campaign’s goal and which aren’t.


Focus your efforts on anything from job titles to  ”change of life” events like recent engagements, marriages, new jobs, etc.

How to identify opportunities: On the same Facebook Page Insights report, you can find information on gender and age of your fans, engaged users, and users you’re reaching directly and indirectly.

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This data can shed a lot of light on which stages of life your audiences are experiencing, making educated guesses on their “change of life” events and allowing you to better target each of those audiences.


Increased precision in the methodology allows you to target users based on their specific interests.

How to identify opportunities: A Simply Measured Conversation Driver Analysis report is one way to identify these interests. This report can help you identify areas of interest, volume of conversation, and specific subtopics, allowing you to get as granular as you’d like.

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Clicking over to the Data tab gives you detailed information about every single post using those terms, and related terms–making it a lot easier to discover what users’ interests are.


Target users based on the products they purchase and the device they use.

How to identify opportunities: Make sure you’re creating different Core Audiences with identical profiles but different user devices to direct your ads as narrowly as possible.


At first it seems like hyper-targeting based on very specific traits just creates more work, but you reap greater rewards when you build efficient audience structures. And the good news is, once you’ve built your Core Audiences, you can keep ’em and modify ’em to your heart’s content, depending on the timely social media data you’re pulling regularly. Need help getting this data? Get started with a FREE trial of Simply Measured today.

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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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