Our headline wasn’t a rhetorical question. Believe it or not, Facebook Audiences can be insanely targeted. Audience targeting options on Facebook are extensive. So extensive in fact, that it can be so intimidating and confusing that it dissuades many people from attempting to use this powerful tool.

Although Facebook’s ad platform can take some getting used to, one of the most common reasons cited for not advertising through Facebook is that not enough people actually use the social media network, especially the elderly.

To these believers, no matter how targeted you can get, many people are cut out of marketing because they don’t use Facebook. The only problem with this is that it’s not true.

There are a lot of people on Facebook. A lot. Like 1.13 billion active users visit the social network on a daily basis, a lot. So where do these false claims come from? Isolated, individual opinions. Just because your Grandpa and his friends in Los Angeles don’t use Facebook, does not mean that all people over the age of 65 are not on Facebook.

In order to benefit from a tool, you need to know how to use it. So, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

Audience Insights: Finding Your Target Demographic

Facebook’s Audience Insights offers a free platform that lets you break down the Facebook audience pool into demographic segments.

First, we applied two filters to the Facebook audience as a whole: users in Los Angeles and users ages 65+ (highlighted by the two red boxes on the left).

As you can see in the third highlighted section, there are 150,000-200,000 monthly active people who fit these two filters.

Facebook audiences, Facebook advertising, Social Media Marketing | Drive Social Media

So according to Facebook, individuals above the age of 65 – the group that is all too often incorrectly cited as not accessible through Facebook – has quite a large presence in the Los Angeles area. And let’s not forget about the other 2,000,000-2,500,000 people in Los Angeles ages 18-64.

facebook audiences, facebook advertising, social media marketing | Drive Social Media

Now that we see our targeted demographic is on Facebook, it’s time to look at how you can utilize that access to its maximum potential.

Custom Targeting: Creating Your Audience

In most cases, not every person in any given city is a target consumer of yours. You would want to take a small slice of that, one that contains people most likely to convert to current customers, and show your ads directly and only to them. This is where the real magic of the platform comes into play.

Let’s say you own a sports bar in Philadelphia and you want to advertise your new happy hour. Your ideal new consumer would be someone who is a Philly sports fan, interested in beer, lives within 5 miles of your bar, and is a 21-30 year-old single male.

(Yes! Facebook can be that specific!)

Facebook Audiences, Facebook Advertising, Social Media Marketing | Drive Social Media

Facebook Audiences, Facebook Advertising, Social Media Marketing | Drive Social Media

Boom! There are 32,000 people you self-described as a perfect fit for your bar. Now start directly targeting them with ads!

This level of specification only scrapes the surface of Facebook’s possibilities. Other audience targeting options include:

  • General data like certain interests, demographics and zip codes
  • Current or upcoming life events, such as birthdays, engagements, or expecting parents.
  • Current location, which allows you hit to people in the area instead of relying on permanent address data
  • Exclusion targeting, which allows you to exclude any of the aforementioned data from your audience


So if your argument against Facebook advertising relies on audience information, think again! Facebook Audiences give you the ability to consistently reach the exact people you want. Honestly, the options are nearly endless!