Large audiences or narrow targeting on Facebook. Which works best?

To run any Facebook ad, you need to define the audience of users who will see the ad. Audiences can be created based on gender, age, location, demographic data, interests of users, their behavior on your site (provided that the Pixel Facebook code is installed and configured on the site), actions in the application using Facebook sources (video, Instagram business profile, Facebook page, etc.), or using an existing list of your customers and much more.

When building an audience, think about what your customers might have in common? What are they interested in? What set of user characteristics do they have? Audiences can be created in Classrooms or directly when creating Ad groups… If you plan to use the same audience across different campaigns and ad groups, I recommend creating one and saving to Auditoriums.

In terms of reach, Facebook defines three options for audiences: narrow, wide and the so-called “golden mean”. To understand what kind of audience you are getting, Facebook has a scale called “Audience Definition”.


Knowing your target audience, you can set up the most accurate audience by interests, diluting it with demographic data, geo-targeting the location you are interested in, and also exclude other audiences or narrow an existing one with other interests. Thus, you can really recreate the portrait of the ideal customer and Facebook will select those users who meet the given criteria.

The disadvantage of such an audience is that it absolutely does not guarantee the sale of a product / service, or at least interest in your advertising from the user from the audience received (sorry, but I really wanted to).

Another disadvantage is the sometimes very small audience size. This can lead to low impressions, higher cost per click / lead and high frequency of impressions per user, resulting in ad burnout.


A large number of users in the audience will allow you to reach even those users who were not initially included in your client’s portrait. This does not mean that there are no potential customers among the general audience, but it will not save you from more empty clicks that do not lead to conversions. Therefore, I recommend making ad creatives and ad texts in such a way that looking at them the user can understand: what you offer, is it interesting to him or you can just scroll further.

It is good to do a wide audience when you are just entering the market with your proposal, and no one (or few) knows about your company. Thus, you will announce your brand to a large number of users, and in the future you will be able to segment audiences for more detailed targeting. CPC for a wide audience is usually significantly lower than for a very narrow one, but it will also take more budget to cover a significant part of it.


Alas, there is no single correct answer which audience to use. Everything needs to be tested, analyzed the results obtained, adjusted existing audiences and tried new ones. Expand narrow audiences with related interests and narrow down too wide. Look for different variations, thankfully, Facebook allows. For example, if you have a flower delivery service, set up displaying ads to the friends of those who have a birthday soon and to those who are in a “new relationship.” Don’t just limit yourself to those interested in flowers.

Over time, you will be able to determine the most appropriate targeting criteria for your business, but always try to leave time and budget for experimentation.

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Lane Derrick

My name is Lane Derrick, back in 2014, he began to take an interest in SEO and webmastering, and started real projects six months later. For 6 years of practice, skills were formed that I use to this day. The main activity is website promotion and contextual advertising.

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