When it comes to setting up your social media ads, making sure that you’ve got the right targeting is crucial to ensure they deliver results. With so many options it can be hard to figure out which audience best suits your campaign and how to use the tools on Meta’s ads manager effectively.

Here we’ve got some key tips and advice to help you get the most out of your targeting.


Building your audience for your social media ads campaign

Once completing your campaign settings, you will then be able to go in and create your audience. On Meta’s Ads Manager, audiences are in the ‘Ad Set’ section, here is where you will be able to fill in your detailed targeting options.

A good place to start is by inputting the location, age, and gender of your target audience – this will help you to see the estimated audience size before you narrow your targeting. The location setting can be used to target a country/city/town/village, you can select the radius of the area you want to target around a set location up to 90km.

Once you have those first audience settings completed, you can then move on to the detailed targeting section – where the majority of the audience building takes place. Here, you will be able to add demographics, interests, and behaviours using the search bar or the browse option. Unfortunately, in a post-IoS 14.5 world, the targeting options aren’t quite as effective as they used to be. For more insight on the impact of this, you can read our blog post here. 

When filling in your detailed targeting, you will see the ‘suggestions’ button on the search bar become available. We’d advise you use this when building your audience, it does a great job of suggesting relevant targeting options based on what you have already inputted and can even show you targeting options you did not know existed.

You can also exclude targeting options using the ‘exclude’ button, which can be a useful tool when building persona audiences. Meta will only target people who fit under the targeting options you have selected, however, these users may have specific traits that makes them irrelevant to your target audience. Excluding works the exact same way as the demographics, interests or behaviours section – you can exclude any targeting options that are available through Meta.

How to use custom audiences for social media targeting

Custom audiences are another tool you can use when building your campaign. These audiences use sources linked to your account such as your Instagram page or a website (only if a pixel has been set-up correctly – which is another story all together!). Custom audiences allow you to target people in a different way from the usual detailed targeting that you may be used to.

If you select your Instagram or Facebook page, you can chose from many different options, such as those already following your page or those who engage with your page. Or, you can go even more targeted with this and use the video source to target people who have watched a specific video on one of your channels.

How many audiences should you build for your social media ads?

It can be tricky to know how many audiences will prove most effective for your social media ads campaign and the answer isn’t straight forward. A test and learn approach is usually most effective. Of course, it is all dependent on the campaign itself and the budget. For example, you wouldn’t want to create five audiences with a small budget as then the budget will be split too far, but on the other hand, you wouldn’t want a campaign that has hundreds of audiences either – it can be tricky to get this right, which is working with experts in all things social media marketing can help.

Each campaign should be seen as an opportunity to test and learn, starting with some solid audiences that are different than each other. This allows room for you to optimise your campaign to better your results.

Meta also suggests that it’s good to keep one audience broad. By using a broad audience, you are essentially entrusting Meta to deliver your ad to the right people by using its AI.


For more interesting articles from us check out these posts:

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising
  2. Six Tips To Get Better Investment On Your Facebook Ads
  3. Why Have My Social Media Ads Stopped Working?


At Prohibition, we work with a range of B2B and B2C brands across all sectors to create engaging social media marketing strategies that allow brands to stay up to date with the latest trends and updates. Get in contact today to find out how we could help you.





About Tyler Smith

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