Interest-Based Targeting on Facebook Ads

Until March 2010, the section in Facebook Ads now called “Likes and Interests” was called “Keywords.” The new term is more accurate, but the old one was helpful for marketers more accustomed to search engine marketing: if social media advertising and Facebook Ads had any equivalent to SEM “Keywords,” it would be “Interests.”

The “Likes and Interests” section of Facebook Ads encompasses nearly every free-form field in that users can modify in their profiles. This is an important point that many advertisers often miss. “Likes and Interests” allows you to target things users enter into the “Activities and Interests” or “Arts and Entertainment” sections of their profiles, but also their “Philosophies” – such as religious or political beliefs – and their jobs and positions.

Pages as “Interests”

In fact, the “Likes and Interests” section is even broader than that. Facebook doesn’t only look at users’ profiles to determine their interests; it looks at the pages they “Like.” For instance, a user may not have listed the Cincinnati Bengals as a “Favorite Team” in the “Sports” section of their profile, but they might have “Liked” the “Cincinnati Bengals” page. Either way, Facebook will include “Cincinnati Bengals” among the user’s “Likes and Interests,” and your ads will appear to them if you list the team as one of your targeting parameters.

Targeting Interests with Demographic Parameters

Because the “Likes and Interests” field is so broad, it is important that you use it in tandem with other targeting options. To continue with our example above, you may be a retailer of Bengals paraphernalia, trying to target Bengals fans. However, not every Bengals fan is going to make their “Interest” explicit by including “Cincinnati Bengals” in their profile, or by “Liking” the team’s page. To target that user, you may need to use something broader, like the term “football.” The danger, of course, is that “football” is too broad a category; you’ll show your ads to Bengals fans, but also to fans of any other NFL (or, in the case of non-U.S. users, soccer) team. An alternative would be to create a target that includes both the “Interest” “football” and the Location “Cincinnati.”

Using Clickable Pro’s Target Libraries to Simplify Interest-Based Advertising on Facebook

Targeting Facebook users will precision can be complex, especially if you get down to the level of “Likes and Interests.” Clickable simplifies Interest-based advertising on Facebook with the “Target Libraries” included in the Pro Tool’s Facebook Advertising Suite. Rather than creating your targets on an ad hoc basis every time you create a new ad, you can create a target once within Clickable Pro, and use it across your ads and campaigns. For instance, you may want to target 18-35 year old males who like football and live in Cincinnati. In Facebook, you would need to recreate that target every time you built a new ad. With the Pro Tool’s Target Library, you can create that target once and use it as often as you’d like. Interest-based targeting doesn’t get any simpler.