How to Discover the "Right Audience" For Your Facebook Ads

By Eric Carlson On Sep 10, 2015

The answer is simple, it's who you are targeting. If you're ad isn't getting to the right target audience nothing else you do matters.

In this cheat sheet, I’m going to show you how to find new targets for your business by using Facebook’s Audience Insights (located inside of your Facebook ad account).

This is the same method I’ve used to find new targets for campaigns that have generated millions for my clients.


Step 1: Open Up Facebook’s Audience Insights

In this step, I’m going to show you how to open Facebook’s Audience Insights from your Facebook account.

Note: if you already know how to access Facebook’s Audience Insights from your ad account, skip to step 2.

First, you need to access your Facebook Ad Account. You can do this by clicking on the down arrow in the upper right hand corner of your Facebook account and clicking on “Manage Ads”.



Once inside of your Facebook ad account, go to Tools and then select “Audience Insights”.



Once there, your screen should look a lot like this:



Step 2: Find Your “Right Audience”

In this step, I’m going to show you three methods in which you can use Audience Insights to find the “right audience” for your next ad campaign.

Method #1: Use People Connected To Your Page

With this method, you are going to click on the text box labeled “People Connected to” and then fill in the name of your fan page. Once done, you will see the data in the center of the screen change. See an example of what the page should look like below.



Note:If you have less than 1,000+ people who have liked your page, you probably won’t see any data display. If this is the case, you’ll need to use Method #2 or #3 to find the “right audience” to target. However, it is still important that you read this section, so you can get insights into the type of data that you can gather from the Audience Insights interface.

What you’ll notice above is that this particular page skews towards women and skews towards people older than 45%. Based on this data, I would set up a new Facebook campaign that targeted women 55 and older (where the skew is even stronger).

Note: the gray bars in the image represent Facebook’s normal population, while the blue bars represents the population of the audience you’re looking at (i.e. people who liked your fan page).

Next, you’ll click over to the Page Likes tab. On this tab, you are going to discover the pages that have a high affinity (likeness) to your own page. This is a great way to find new interest targets.




Above you’ll see that “Madam President” has an affinity of 12.3x with this page. What this means is people who’ve shown an interest in “Madam President” are 12.3x more likely than the average Facebook user to like this page.

Therefore, based on this data, you might want to set up an ad that targets people who’ve shown an interest in “Madam President”.

Next, you’ll click on over to the Location tab. On this tab, you can identify the top cities, top countries and top languages for a page. See an example of the “Top Languages” below.



Based on the information above, the person running this page probably only wasn’t to target people who speak English (US).

Next, you’ll jump on over to the “Activity” tab. On this tab, you will discover the activities of the people who have liked your page and what devices they use. This section is especially helpful when determining what type of ads to run on Facebook (i.e. Desktop News Feed, Mobile News Feed) and type of devices to targets (i.e. iPhone, Android).



What you’ll notice in the screenshot above is that the people who have liked this page skew towards desktop users and there is a heavy skew against Android users. Based on this data, this page should focus on desktop ads and if they were going to run a mobile campaign, they should exclude Android users. 

Next, you’ll move on over to Household tab. On this tab, you’ll discover information such as how much your audience makes, whether they are home owners, and what their average household size is. Below you’ll see an example of the data you can see from the Household tab.



Based on the data above, this page should focus on Households with 2 or less people.

Finally, you’ll move over to the Purchase tab. On this tab, you’ll get data where your audience is where spending money and what they are spending money on. Below see an example of the type of data you’ll see on this tab.



Based on the data above, this page is unlikely to gather any meaningful targets from this tab for multiple reasons.

First, the largest skew on this page is 17% which is relatively small compared to other skews we’ve found.

Secondly, his tab relies on third-party data (data not gathered by Facebook by looking at Facebook profiles); therefore, it was only able to match a small percentage of the audience.

In the case of “Retail Spending”, it was only able to match the data to 42% of the audience; and in the case of “Online Purchases”, it was only able to match 66% of the audience.

So, based on ALL of the information we gathered from this page, it would be safe to say that the best targets for this page are women 55 and older, who liked “Madam President”, who live in a house with 2 or less people and are viewing Facebook from their Desktop.

Method #2: Use Your Top Competitor’s Pages

With this method, you are going to type your top competitor’s page into the “interests” text box located on left hand side of the Audience Insights interface. That said, I usually like to type in one competitor at a time.

Note: it is important to focus on large competitors, because largely competitors will provide you more statistically significant data on Facebook and smaller competitors / pages may not be available as an option when typing in the “interests” text box.


Once you type in your competitor’s page as an interest, the data in the center of the screen should appear. If it doesn’t, this means your competitor’s page is too small, and you’ll need to try another competitor.

Once the data loads onto the screen, repeat the steps found in method #1 going from tab to tab to discover more information about your “right audience.”

Method #3: Use a Facebook Custom Audience

In this method, you’ll be leveraging data that you’ve already uploaded to Facebook (i.e. a list of customer emails) or data that you’ve gathered on your website (i.e. a Facebook tracking pixel).

Using this method, you’ll simply type in your custom audience into the text box labeled “Custom Audience” located on the left hand side of your screen.



Note: if no data appears on your screen after selecting a Custom Audience, it is likely that the audience is too small. Typically Facebook requires a minimum of 1,000 people to display data.

Once the data appears on your screen, repeat the steps found in method #1, going from tab to tab to find more information about your “right audience.”

Step 3: Target Your Right Audience with Your Next Ad

Now since you’ve found your “right audience”, the next time Facebook asks you, “who do you want your ads to reach?”, you’ll have an answer.

Below I’m going to show you how I used the data collected in Step 2: Method #1 to define an audience.



In the above screenshot, you’ll notice that I defined the following targets:

  • Location: United States
  • Interest: Madame President
  • Home Composition: Empty Nesters, Grandparents, or No Children in Home (note: this was my way of trying to target households with 2 or less people in them, since Facebook didn’t provide a more discrete option for this)
  • Age: 55 – 65+
  • Gender: Female
  • Language: English (US)

Also, what you don’t see above is that I ONLY created Desktop News Feed ads to target to make sure I was getting in front of people who were on their computer rather than their cell phone, based on the data collected in method #1. 



Audience Insights is a great way to find your “right audience”. Using Audience Insights, you can find ALL kinds of targeting information about your audience, from what they like to how old they are.

Now since you know how to find your “right audience”, it’s your turn to give it a try.

Time Requirements:

From beginning to end, this powerful “cheat” will only take 30 to 60 minutes of your time, but could save you A LOT of money and will help you find the right audience for your business to create a more profitable and effective Facebook campaign.

Resources Required:

  • Facebook Ad Account
  • List of 3 Large Competitors
  • Facebook Fan Page w/ 1,000+ Fans (optional)
  • Facebook Custom Audience of 1,000+ Customers (optional)

If you'd like to ask any questions or how Facebook ads can growt for your business, contact me on my Geek Page



Trying to grow your business? I can help. Shoot me a message over at my Geek Page.

Click here to contact Eric



Topics: paid traffic, facebook

Eric Carlson

Written by Eric Carlson

Struggling with growth? I will personally help you scale your marketing & bring in an avalanche of leads & sales.