3 Facebook Ad Targeting Mistakes You’re Probably Making

3 Facebook Ad Targeting Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Are you reaching the audience your products are meant for? Learn how to avoid these common mistakes in Facebook ad targeting.


We’ve all seen that ad on our Facebook news feed that completely misses the mark. We’ve all had that moment thinking “Really?? Who actually clicks on ads for dinosaur-themed cat costumes?” (…No? Just us?) Don’t make the mistake of advertising Tyrannosaurus Kitty costumes to the people who really wanted a unicorn costume for their pug Theodore. In other words, make sure you’re reaching your target audience!

Are you making any of these mistakes?

Mistake #1: Unknown target audience

How can you target an audience if you don’t know who they are?

An easy way to define your audience is to think of them as what they are: a group of real, live humans.

Imagine your ideal customer. Then ask yourself:

  • Where do they live?
  • What language(s) do they speak?
  • How old are they?
  • What is their job? What about their income level?
  • What is their family status? Is that relevant to my product?
  • What other unique interests, hobbies or online behaviors do they have? (For example: are you targeting customers who already visited your Shop once or abandoned a shopping cart?)

Depending on your Shop’s focus and theme, your target audience could be quite niche or very broad. So be sure to define it first and adjust your Facebook ad targeting settings accordingly.

Mistake #2: Tiny target audience

Targeting is a great tool. But it’s also a great balancing act. To target your perfect audience, you need to strike a balance between being too specific and too vague.

If you specify that your target group must be students age 18-23 who belong to the Facebook group “Pugs are Life” AND the Facebook group “Unicorns Forever,” your target group will become very small very quickly. Better to leave a bit of wiggle room and say that members of EITHER group or any age group could be potential customers.

Same goes for other criteria such as “People with upcoming anniversaries”, “New parents” or “Expats who used to live in Brazil”  (all visible under Audiences > Demographics).

On the other hand, creating a target audience that includes any demographic between ages 1-99 located in the Northern Hemisphere who is interested in “Pets” could be too broad.

Make sure that your estimated reach on Facebook is at least several thousand people, and up to one million people.

Mistake #3: Overlapping target audiences

When you run multiple ad campaigns targeted at the same target audience, you actually compete with yourself and drive your own advertising costs up! Use the Business Manager to check the overlap between your saved target audiences and adjust your parameters to keep the overlap as small as possible!

If you can avoid these three common mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to running a successful Facebook ad campaign.

Do you use Facebook ad targeting? How large is your current target audience? Share your questions, tips and tricks in the comments below!

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