How To Create a Facebook Ads Audience

When running Facebook Ad campaigns, it is crucial to target those ads only to people who would be interested in them. Audiences that have no interest in those ads are not likely to convert, making it a waste of advertising dollars. There are more than 2 billion active users on the social media platform. It is doubtful that all those users have an interest in all the Facebook Ads that they come across. Luckily, Facebook offers a wide range of targeting options to help find the perfect audience for ads. To create and manage your Facebook target audiences, you’ll have to use the Audience Manager tool.

There are three audience types that Facebook works with:

  • Saved Audiences
  • Custom Audiences
  • Lookalike Audiences

Each of these audience types offer different options that help to create the perfect target for ads.

To begin, navigate to your Facebook audiences page in Ads Manager. (or you can also create an audience in the setup phase of your ads.)

There are three types of audiences:

  • Saved
  • Custom
  • Lookalike

Saved Audiences

Saved Audiences are the audiences that you can define by choosing people’s interests, location, demographics, or behavior. Again, you can create Saved Audiences both in the campaign setup phase or in the Audience Manager.

Interest-based Targeting

Interest-based targeting is one of the best options to choose from. It allows the ad to be directed specifically to people who are interested in a subject that could have to do with your product.

Should you decide to use interest-based targeting, focus on the detailed targeting portion of the page. There is a menu with hundreds of interests that can be browsed, or you can also type in interest, and Facebook will show related items.

The interests shown are based on the likes and interests Facebook users have shown interest in through page likes and apps they have used. You can choose more than one interest to expand your reach.

Location-based Targeting

Facebook allows you to target people in specific locations, including:

  • Country
  • State/Region
  • Counties
  • DMA (Designated Market Area)
  • City
  • Postal Code
  • Specific Address Radius

This option is best if you are a small local business owner. For example, if you own a bakery in Houston, then it would be best to target people in Houston and possibly the surrounding area, instead of the entire state of Texas.

On the flip side, larger companies may thinker more significantly and choose to target specific states or maybe even decide to only target people in the US rather than worldwide.

Should you decide to target users by their location, focus on the portion of the location of the page, and type in your intended area(s).

There is also a more in-depth option to location-based targeting that includes people:

  • Who live in this location.
  • Recently in this location.
  • Traveling to this location.
  • Everyone in the location (the default targeting option).

Demographics-based Targeting

Demographic options include three basics:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language

The detailed targeting portion of the page allows you to go into further detail with user demographics, including their political views, job, ethnicity, etc.

Behavior-based Targeting

Behaviors allow you to target people by purchase history, events they like, personal anniversaries, etc. Facebook gathers this data, analyzing many factors, and also using external data sets.

This type of targeting can be beneficial for business owners depending on the industry. For example, bridal shops may find this option handy because it can target people who have an upcoming wedding.

Use the detailed targeting portion of the page to use this option.

Custom Audiences

Facebook Custom Audiences are probably your most high-value target audiences. They allow retargeting to people who already have a relationship with your business, such as past customers. Facebook options include:

  • Customer Files
  • Website Traffic
  • App Activity
  • Engagement


Customer File

The Customer File is based on your already existing customer file that can come from email accounts and phone numbers, for example. This process involves uploading that data that your business already has. Keep in mind that the information you upload can only include customers that have permitted you to market to them. This means that if you have an email list and someone has opted out, you also need to remove them from the Custom Audience,

To create a Facebook Custom Audience, follow these steps:

  1. Create a Facebook Custom Audience
  2. Select the “Customer File” option
  3. Select whether you wish to add a customer file or import contacts from MailChimp.
  4. Import your customer data to create a new Custom Audience
  5. Select the identifiers
  6. Upload a customer file
  7. Give your Custom Audience a name

Website Traffic

This option allows you to target people who have engaged with your website. These users are of high value because they have already shown an interest in your business.

Keep in mind that this option requires for you to have installed the Facebook Pixel on your website.

You have different options when it comes to creating an audience by using website traffic.

  • Target everyone who visited your website
  • Target people who visited specific web pages
  • Target people who haven’t visited your website for a certain amount of time
  • Other custom combinations

App Activity

If you have an app for your business, you can use the activity that happens on there to create an audience. You must have the app registered and set up app events.


The engagement option allows you to create an audience based on users who have interacted with your Facebook page. This includes people who have:

  • Visited your Facebook Page
  • Clicked on any call-to-action buttons
  • Engaged with your Facebook Page posts or ads


Lookalike Audience

Lookalike Audiences let you reach the people who are similar to your already existing customers. To create this type of audience, you need first to build an audience that will let Facebook know what kind of people you want to reach.

Select the “Lookalike Audience” from the audience creation menu and select a target country and a percentage (1%-10%) of the targeted country’s Facebook users. The percentage signifies the people most similar to your selected Custom Audience.

Lookalike audiences help to reach people who are more likely to be interested in your business.


Facebook offers many different options to create audiences for your ads. It’s essential to understand what your end goal is so that you make the correct choice when creating your audience.


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