Now you know what Facebook Ads are, but you still can’t find the reason why certain advertisements are showing on Facebook. How do Facebook Ads work? Let’s find out how advertisers can select to show ads to specific groups of Facebook users.
You are what you Like
Facebook Ads are targeted according to your Facebook Profile information: Your age, location, education, relationship status, interests like favorite movies, music and much more are available to advertisers that can access to aggregate data and reach the right audience for their ads.
Depending on their goals and the product that they are advertising, advertisers can set a targeting filter to select which group of people will see their ad. This makes it possible to focus on or target the people most likely to be interested in the product, amongst the 500 million worldwide Facebook users.
Let’s walk in an advertiser’s shoes for a moment, to see how Facebook Targeting works.
If we were to promote a cookbook sale in a bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, we would aim to show our ad to people living in the area, interested in cooking or cookbooks. Let’s assume that young adults (aged 20-40) would be interested in this kind of book because of its writing style.
Facebook targeting filters would give us all the targeting options we need:
Facebook tells us how many people our ad could reach, according to the filters we’ve set.
Advanced targeting options could narrow the reach. Let’s specify that we want to target only users who set ‘single’ in their relationship status, because the book we are selling is about cooking tips for singles.
This time the ‘Estimated Reach’ is narrowed to 5800 Facebook users, making our target smaller but hopefully our ads will be more effective!
Now you know which tools advertisers can use to target you and show you ads that they think you could be interested in, but most importantly you realize that every time you Like something on Facebook, you are adding personal data that will help advertisers deliver more targeted ads to Facebook.
Is this targeting system different from those used on other websites? When you search information on Google, you know that you’ll get sponsored results that are being triggered by the words you typed. On Facebook advertisements are triggered by your personal data and interests: read more about it in our Facebook Ads vs Google Ads article.