FACEBOOK ADS BASICS – Targeting for SMEs (3/8)

This is the third issue of our educational series on Facebook marketing for small businesses, in which we will cover targeting.

Targeting is crucial and has to be handled carefully to avoid waste of budget! With almost 2 billion users in the world, Facebook targeting can be broad. Unless you have the budget of a large company (e.g. Coca-Cola, Nike), you will not be able to reach them all.
You’ll find useful tips for Facebook targeting in the 3 following sections:

  • Basic targeting
  • Interest targeting
  • Audience size.


1. Basic targeting.

On Facebook, you can target people using 4 basic demographics: location, language, gender, and age. This is nothing new for online advertising but Facebook has the most detailed and accurate information in the world and can perform demographic targeting like no other platform can.

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 11.36.45

A couple tips here:

  • The more locations you pick the bigger your audience will be, so for small budgets, we recommend targeting precise locations, for example: “Manhattan” rather than “New York City”.
  • Always pick the languages that your website or ad content offers. If everything is in Chinese, then you should probably target this language and not “English.”
  • Gender does matter if you are sure the buyer is in most cases either male or female.
  • To pick the right age, think about who will be using your product or services.

2. Interest targeting.

This is where Facebook did reinvent the wheel. Because users on Facebook like, share, comment a wide range of things from music to brands to articles, they are able to put users in buckets of interests & behaviours. So you can now ask yourselves “What are my customers’ lifestyle & interests?”

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 12.54.16

A couple tips here:

  • The number showed close to each interest is counting ALL users in the world, but depending on your location it will vary. For instance, there will be more “Ford” fans in the USA than in Hong Kong. But if you are Ford in Hong Kong this audience might be good quality.
  • Interests like “fashion”, “yoga”, “sports”, “travel” are very broad and will most likely show an imprecise audience. We are recommending to dig further and get very precise in order to focus on core audiences. For instance, targeting different types of yoga like “yoga Bikram” and “yoga Iyengar” vs. simply putting “yoga.”
  • If you are getting precise then you can add multiple very precise interests.

3. Audience size.


Bigger is NOT better! Targeting 1 million people will not be helpful with a small budget. Although Facebook will try to show your ads to as many people within your audience, your budget will have long been used up before your ads are shown to the same person more than once.

Indeed, you need to expose an audience multiple times to your ads before they can remember it / take action on it. It is a well-established advertising principle that repetition is key to making a customer buy or recall.

Based on a budget below HK$250 / day, we recommend keeping your audience size BELOW 100,000 PEOPLE.

Based on a budget over HK$250 / day, we recommend keeping your audience size BELOW 200,000 PEOPLE.

To reach an audience size over 200,000 people, you’ll need a budget above HK$1,000 per day.

In the upcoming segment “FACEBOOK ADS BASICS: Ad Creatives for SMEs (4/8)“, we will give tips on how to get the best ad banners and ad copies.

We’re always happy to chat! Contact us at team@designjar.com for any questions or to get started with your next Facebook Ad Campaign.

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