Facebook Ads: Interests, Demographics and Behaviors

The Facebook Ad is what turned Facebook from a community site of “like” minded users into the global site that has become an incubator, lead generator and major outreach tool for millions of businesses.


The most common forms of Facebook ads are:

  • Engagement – Boost Post – what you use to make an existing post reach beyond your normal Facebook reach
  • Engagement – Page Likes – how to enhance your page growth with paid reach and exposure
  • Traffic – Web Traffic – when you need to send users to your website. This ad form can also easily be extended to Instagram.

Boosting, likes and web may be the most common, but there are many ad types for you to build your campaign around.

Facebook Ad Types

Facebook Ad Types

#protip – no matter what ad type you select, it’s the targeting that will make it work. Targeting allows you to talk directly to the Facebook users that are most motivated to engage with your product or service.

Example 1:
You’re in the wedding gift industry. Facebook targeting will let you target users that are recently engaged, or even friends of the recently engaged.

Example 2:
You’re in the tourism industry and want to share upcoming events with people that might be interested in coming to your festival. You can target Facebook users that have used a travel app in the last 2 weeks! This allows you direct contact with users that are planning a trip and looking for options of things to do.

When setting your targeting here are the 3 main categories you will be able to choose from:

  1. Interest Targeting
    • Reach specific audiences by looking at their interests, activities, the Pages they have liked and closely related topics.
  2. Demographic Targeting
    • Reach people based on education, employment, household and lifestyle details.
  3. Behavioral Targeting
    • Reach people based on purchase behaviors or intents, device usage and more.

Keys to Interest Targeting

When designing your interest audience, you want to be as specific as possible. Let’s look at our example 1 about about the wedding industry. If you want to target users about you bakery, you’ll need to add interests to wedding cakes, The Knot, and as many other categories as are important to the user you are trying to connect with. Interest targeting is the broadest section of the ad targeting formula. We’ll narrow down our audience with the next two components.

Keys to Demographic Targeting

The first path to narrow your audience for the wedding example is to select Demographics → Life Events and then you’ll see several options specifically designed to reach the newly engaged, or friends of the engaged. In the Tourism industry, demographics can give you information specific to the users like – Life Events → Anniversary 30-60 days. You could target your B&B to people planning an anniversary getaway or target people in their birthday month for a chef’s table dinner at your restaurant.

Keys to Behavioral Targeting

Behaviors allow you to target spending habits of Facebook users. Being able to identify users through where they spend their dollars gives you a unique opportunity to change or reinforce spending habits. For our traveler audiences you can identify the difference between business and leisure travelers, users using travel apps and websites, or users that have a history of casino travel versus a user with a history of family travel.  When used with planning, behaviors is the tool that makes Facebook marketing the most powerful tool in your digital arsenal.


Remember when you create your ads, start with a large interest group, narrow it down through the demographic attributes, and identify the users already spending money on the products you’re trying to share with them.

It’s exact messaging and targeting that makes digital ads through Facebook an excellent tool that companies of every size utilize everyday.



See Our Work