Facebook Ads targeting: How to choose the right target?

One of the most important issues in running successful advertising campaigns is undoubtedly Facebook Ads targeting. Facebook Ads offers one of the most sophisticated targeting systems available. They enable advertisers to segment and target audiences according to demographic, geographic, behavioral and interest criteria.

But while Facebook advertising offers a wide range of targeting possibilities, it can sometimes be confusing. What’s more, recommended targeting strategies are constantly evolving.

Just a few months ago, maximum audience segmentation was considered best practice. But we’ll see that this approach is no longer relevant today. In this article, we share with you our proven strategies for improving your results with a good Facebook Ads targeting strategy.

Successful Facebook Ads targeting in several steps :

Understanding Facebook Ads targeting

Thanks to the vast amount of data collected daily by the platform, Facebook advertising enables companies to broadcast their messages to specific segments of the population. Relevant targeting will increase your chances of conversion and the overall effectiveness of your advertising campaign.

First of all, we can divide your global target on Facebook Ads into 2 categories:

  • Audience that corresponds to your persona but has never heard of your company.
  • An audience that matches your persona and already knows about your company. Or a personalized audience that has already interacted with you in some way.

It’s essential to distinguish between these two categories in order to target your Facebook Ads effectively, as these individuals have different levels of purchase intent.

Facebook Ads targeting for your acquisition audiences

First, we’ll look at the targeting options for your Facebook Ads acquisition campaigns. In other words, your ads targeting an audience outside your company. There are three main options.

“Affinity” interest-based targeting

The Facebook Ads platform lets you target via thousands of centers of interest organized into categories or sub-categories. Facebook Ads regularly updates the centers of interest based on user activity. By analyzing page views, comments and likes, the algorithm will be able to detect an audience with an interest in the requested themes. You can filter your audience by more or less specific interests: sports, fashion, coffee. This ensures that you target visitors who are bound to have a certain interest in your company.

Facebook Ads interest center targeting
Affinity” interest-based targeting

“Lookalike” targeting

This targeting option on Facebook Ads involves importing a database onto the platform. It includes your current customers, your most loyal buyers, or the most active users on your social networks. The aim is to generate a similar audience. Indeed, the algorithm is able to identify individuals whose buying or engagement behaviors resemble those in your database.

Lookalike targeting Facebook Ads
Lookalike targeting

“Broad” targeting

With this targeting on Facebook Ads you enter as few criteria and data as possible. You focus on age, gender or language spoken. In this way, you maximize the reach of your ads. And you let the algorithm do the rest.

Facebook Ads Advantage + targeting

With Facebook Ads Advantage + targeting, you give the algorithm maximum freedom. You allow Facebook to automatically select an audience to target based on a multitude of signals and data. These include behavior on the platform, interests, location, and many other criteria. This is done with the aim of maximizing campaign performance, whether for conversions, video views, app installs, or any other defined objective. This type of targeting on Facebook Ads allows you to adjust targeting dynamically and automatically. The aim is to reach the most relevant users who might not otherwise have been targeted.

Our recommendation for your acquisition campaign

For years, the recommendation was to refine audiences as much as possible. These last two types of targeting are now those recommended by Facebook itself. The Facebook Ads algorithm is constantly being refined. It is now capable of recognizing the visitors most likely to be interested in your product or service among a large target audience, and is now more effective in this type of audience.

Each type of targeting has its own advantages. Each type of targeting will be more or less effective, depending on your campaign objectives and the nature of your product. If your budget allows, the ideal is to combine these different approaches. This will enable you to optimize the reach and effectiveness of your advertising campaign on the Facebook Ads platform.

The importance of your personalized Retargeting audiences

Let’s move on to Facebook Ads Retargeting campaigns. The principle is simple: you target a personalized audience that has already shown an interest in your company. Depending on your budget and your product, there are a number of retargeting options available to you. Separate your personalized retargeting audiences according to their level of purchase intent. In addition, it’s best to tailor your Facebook Ads creative strategy for each audience and each ad. This type of targeting generally gives you better acquisition costs and conversion rates. Some of the most successful personalized retargeting audiences are :

  • Targeting your website audiences: all visitors who have visited your website during the period of your choice. We recommend the 180-day period, which gives you an audience large enough to display your ads properly.
  • Targeting users who have already interacted with a company’s content or online presence on Meta platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. This could be a like, a comment, a video view, etc.
  • Targeting personalized audiences who have already purchased one of your products: depending on your sector, a former buyer may renew his purchase quite regularly.
  • Targeting personalized audiences who have begun filling a shopping cart on your site, or who have started the checkout process.
Targeting for Retargeting campaigns Facebook Ads
Targeting for Retargeting campaigns

Once again, the ideal solution is to combine these personalized retargeting audiences with Facebook Ads. The aim is to maximize the reach of your ads and not miss out on a potential customer.

A final tip for optimal targeting. Don’t forget to exclude your personalized audiences from each other to avoid any overlap.


In conclusion, mastering the art of targeting on Facebook Ads, in particular by judiciously combining acquisition and retargeting audiences, is essential to optimizing the effectiveness of your advertising. Acquisition enables you to extend your reach and capture the interests of new users potentially attracted to your products or services. Retargeting, on the other hand, strengthens this link by re-engaging users who have already shown an interest in your company. This maximizes your ads’ chances of conversion.

This Facebook Ads strategy not only ensures complete coverage of your conversion funnel, but also increases the ROAS of your advertising. In this way, Facebook will target users at different stages of their customer journey. By continually fine-tuning your audiences based on results and harnessing the power of behavioral data, you can create ads on Facebook Ads that truly resonate with your target audience and lead to tangible results.

If you’ve read this article through to the end, targeting on Facebook Ads is no longer a secret to you! If you’d like to find out more, check out the other articles on our blog. And if you need a helping hand on Facebook Ads topics, call on a Facebook Ads agency 😉

Astrid Charrier

Réservez votre audit avec nos experts growth

You liked this post?

Claim your marketing plan!
Turn your data into profit. Let's talk >