Facebook users spend so much time and take so many actions online that the platform acquires hundreds of touch points and builds incredibly robust profiles that can be highly targeted.
While paid search marketing is mostly accomplished by targeting specific keywords that users are searching on, Facebook advertising is based on finding the audiences that are most likely to become your fan or your customer. These targeting options focus directly on users and profiling potential customers in order to get clicks and grow your business. Mary Lister, WordStream
Facebook ad targeting is broken down into the following options:
- Behaviors – Behaviors are activities that users do on or off Facebook that inform on which device they're using, purchase behaviors or intents, travel preferences and more.
- Demographics – Refine your ad's target audience based on content users have shared about themselves in their Facebook profiles, such as age, gender, relationship status, education and type of work they do.
- Interests – Interests are identified from information users have added to their Timeline, keywords associated with the Pages they like or apps they use, ads they’ve clicked on and other similar sources.
- Location – Location targeting allows you to reach customers in key locations by country, state/province, city and zip code. Location information comes from user's stated location on their Timeline and is validated by their IP (Internet Protocol) address. You can target by radius and also exclude locations.
- Advanced Targeting
- Custom Audiences – Target your current customers by securely uploading a contact list of people you'd like to reach.
- Lookalike Audiences – Build a lookalike audience from your Page fans, customer lists or website visitors.
- Custom Audiences from your website: – Remarket to people on Facebook who've already visited your website.
This really is an epic infographic from the team at WordStream: All of Facebook’s Ad Targeting Options (in One Epic Infographic):