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Facebook introduces broad interest targeting for ads

June 18, 2011
Author of Facebook introduces broad interest targeting for ads

Facebook introduces broad interest targeting for ads

June 17th, 2011 by Lauren Fisher in facebook

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Anyone who has ever run ads on Facebook will be extremely pleased with the new ad option they’ve introduced, called Broad Category Targeting. While this may sound familiar, as you could already select individual interests to target your ad by, such as ‘fashion’ or ‘celebrity’, the way these ads were targeted was dependent on those keywords being listed as actual Likes or Interests on a users profile. broad category targeting is slightly different, as it allows you to target people by broader categories, letting Facebook decide what might determine a particular interest, family status and even categories such as birthdays and business types including small business :

This is an incredibly useful product, because as well as interests it also lets you select different filters automatically, that before you would have had to determine manually with a fair amount of guess work. For example, in the Family Status section, you can choose to target baby boomers, newlyweds and even parents with children of differing ages. While the category options alone are an excellent addition and allow for some really targeted ads for brand new audiences, it’s also significantly increasing the target audience for particular interest. If you take ‘cars’ for example, previously you might have targeted this by relevant keywords such as ‘cars’ and ‘auto’. As you can see in the screenshot below, when I select these keywords for 18-35 y/o in Ireland, it gives me a potential target audience of 15,300

When I switch to broad category targeting however and select ‘Auto’s, it gives me a potential target audience of 138,800

This is giving me a huge target audience that I potentially would have missed out on before and this is because Facebook is going through all the information in a users profile that may be relevant to that category, as opposed to the advertiser having to rely on manually adding keywords that may be listed as interest. While this is an excellent addition, you would hope that Facebook retain the option, as they currently have, to switch to precise interest targeting, as this is still suitable for advanced targeting options, or if you want to target fans of competitors for example, by entering a particular brand as an interest. The ad center will work best if you can decide which targeting option you want to use, as different clients/campaigns will call for different targeting options. You can access broad catoegory targeting within the self-serve section on Facebook ads and this should now be rolled out for most advertisers.

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