A guide on Facebook and Instagram ads targeting.

Hi there

Facebook and Instagram adverts is a wonderful means of getting exposure and client for your business. Last year, I wrote on how to run facebook adverts.

Complete guide to Instagram and Facebook ads targeting

So today we will be looking at how we can leverage targeting options on both Facebook and Instagram.

Using targeting option on Facebook and Instagram is the best way to ensure that your money is not spent unwisely on ads and your products appear to the right audience.

However, what is the targeting options available and how can you use them...

We will take a look, but first, why should you use Facebook and Instagram ads anyway?

  • Over 1.94 billion monthly active users are on Facebook and 700 million monthly active users on Instagram.
  • Facebook ads reach is 89% accurate compared to other online ads.
  • There ar3 1 million active advertisers on Instagram 
  • Facebook and Instagram ads let you target a specific audience, thus increasing the effectiveness of your ads 
So now back to the targeting options. There are many ways you can target your potential customers through Facebook and Instagram ads...


With location, you can target your ads to people  in a particular country, state, province, city or zip code.
  • Ads can be targeted to cover the area of major cities, though this is available for few countries only.
  • You can also exclude some areas from your ads, especially when you are running multiple ads and you don't want users to see versions of the same ads
  • Advert can also be targeted to people who have visited a certain location, planning to visit and live within an area.


Fb and Instagram let you use information people share on their profile to target potential customers.
  • Age: you can set age range from 13years to 65+
  • Generation: you can target audience based on generation identities such as Baby boomers, Gen X, and Millennials
  • Gender
  • Languages
  • Educational level: you can target people who are still in schools, graduated, be doing master's program, master's degree holders and more. You can also target their subject of study, school name and the time they graduated.
  • Relationship Status: Facebook and Instagram allow you to target people based on their relationship status. From divorce to singles, married, complicated, widowed, engaged and much more.
  • Work: you can also target people based on their specific companies where they work and also by industry.
  • Kind of relationship: you can target based on the type of their relationship. New relationships , long distance relationship e.t.c.
  • Income and finance: you can target based on what people earn, net worth, liquid asset.
  • Parenting Status: you can target people based on the age of their kids. For example, we have recent parents, parents of infants, dad and mom of preschoolers, parents of teenagers and so on. You can also target moms based on demographic records such as; corporate mothers, fit mothers, trendy mothers, stay at home moms and so on.
  • Politics: target people based on where they fall on the political spectrum. Conservative, liberal, moderate, political party and more.


You could target people based on their behavior on Facebook and Instagram. What kind of content they liked and commented on, what they do online and offline.

  • Purchases: people can be targeted based on their buying habits. Target people who have regularly buy certain categories such as dress, foodstuff, and beverage, fitness and style e.t.c.
  • Travel Habits: you can target your adverts to people who have traveled to particular countries or people planning on traveling.
  • Transportation used: Your ads can be targeted to people based on how they transport themselves around. Examples are people who own a car, planning on getting a car, own a motorcycle e.t.c.
  • Devices: ads can be targeted to people by the type of device they use.
  • Online activities: your ads can be targeted to people based on the online habits and behavior. For example, gamers, email domains, event creators, web browsers, Facebook page admins, OS used e.t.c.
  • Job role: ads can be targeted to people based on types of jobs they do.
  • Media Habits: ads can be directed to people with certain media habits. Example; people who love watching movies, tv, or listen to the radio.
  • Financial habits: target ads to people who are interested in banking, investment, spending methods.
  • B2B: ads can be targeted to connect with other businesses based on company size, industry, seniority.
  • Residential Profiles: you can target ads to people based on house type such as; mortgage, new home buyer, new mover, flats, bungalows e.t.c.
  • Seasonal events: target ads to people based on seasonal sports.


You can fine-tune your ads to people interested in specific hobbies, activities, and topics. This information is gotten from what people share on their profiles and the type of ads they clicked on.
Under this target category, we have
  • Business and industry: Advertising, agriculture, architecture, aviation, banking, e.t.c.
  • Entertainment: games, movies, live event, music, tv, and reading.
  • Family and relationship: fatherhood, motherhood, parenting, dating, marriage, wedding, friendship e.t.c.
  • Shopping and Fashion: clothing, fashion, beauty, toys, shopping.
  • Food and drinks: 
  • Hobbies and activities: home and garden, pets, political and social issues, arts and music, travel, vehicles e.t.c.
  • Fitness and wellness: Dieting, gyms, meditation, nutrition, physical exercise, bodybuilding, weight training, yoga, e.t.c.
  • Sports and outdoors
  • Technology: consumer electronics, computers e.t.c.


You can target ads toward people who have experienced particular life events.
  • Anniversary
  • Away from home
  • Away from family
  • Graduated
  • Got married
  • New relationship
  • Long-distance relationship
  • Got engaged
  • Had a baby
  • New job
  • Bought a house
  • Moved recently
  • Birthdays
  • Became friends with or liked.


Don't also forget that you can customise your audience to reach certain kind of people such as;
  • People who like your page
  • People who are friends with people who liked your page
  • People who downloaded your app
  • Friends of people who downloaded your app,
  • People who visited your website
  • People who RSVPed your event
  • Friends of event attendees
You can also exclude
  • People who already liked your page
  • People who already downloaded your app
  • People who already RSVPed your event.
Also, don't forget that target your ads to reach mobile users only.


The first step before running targeted ads on Facebook and Instagram is to first understand who your customers are before using any targeting options.