Facebook has powerful targeting options. While many people pigeon-hole Facebook Advertising as a tool to promote your posts or buy “likes”, Facebook has quietly been adding more and more options to their targeting. And I’m talking about more than just interests.

However, Facebook has not been doing a great job of publicizing their targeting capabilities. You could say they’re in between a rock and a hard place. Promote it too much, and the privacy advocates will cry foul and whip up the masses to rebel. Don’t promote it enough, and leave money on the table as advertisers spend their budgets on AdWords (and BingAds, if they’re smart.)

Let’s go on a journey into the deep, dark underbelly of Facebook demographic targeting to see what treasures can be found. (These screenshots show features in Power Editor, which is only available in the Chrome browser.)

Standard Demographics

Here is the obvious stuff: Location, Age, Gender.

Facebook-Basic-Demographics

More Demographics

And here is where the fun begins. Click the drop-down menu for “More Demographics,” and behold the treasure trove of advanced targeting.

Facebook-More-Demographics

That’s right, you can target people by how much money they make, what level of education they have, life events (e.g. Newlywed, Anniversary within 30 days, New job, etc.), and much, much more. To illustrate how deep you can go, let’s take a peek at the “Work” targeting options.

Facebook-Work-Demographics

The screenshot shows that I selected all four options: Employers, Job Titles, Industries, and Office Type. I expanded the Industries section to show you that there is a whole list of available industries. I selected Retail, which Facebook tells me contains 8.6 million people. Look at the list of Industries you have to pick from:

-Administrative
-Architecture and Engineering
-Arts, entertainment, sports and media
-Business and financial operations
-Cleaning and maintenance
-Community and social services
-Computer and mathematics
-Construction and extraction
-Education and library
-Food preparation and services
-Government Employees
-Healthcare and medical
-IT and technical
-Installation and repair
-Legal
-Management
-Military
-Nurses
-Personal Care
-Production
-Retail
-Sales
-Science
-Temporary and seasonal
-Transportation and Moving
-Veterans (US)

Potential Applications

Say you’re a recruiter. You could use Facebook demographic targeting to cherry-pick people from a target company, with the appropriate college education and the desired job title.

Say you’re a bank providing VA loans. You can target homeowners for refinancing and renters for loans, with the Veterans (US) industry selected to ensure you’re getting military members.

Conclusion

If you’re not using Facebook Advertising, or you’re using it but not to its fullest, then I recommend taking a long, hard look at the More Demographics area. There are gold nuggets all over the place that will allow you to target your perfect customer. Get to it!

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Robert Brady
Robert Brady is the Senior Manager: Software, SMB & Strategy at Clix Marketing, a company that provides PPC management for SMBs. He currently resides in Idaho Falls, ID, and can often be found skiing , mountain biking, or playing ultimate Frisbee at the park on a Saturday morning. The best way to say hello is through Twitter, where you can find him @robert_brady.