Facebook Targeting by Age & Gender

I hesitated to even cover this topic in a post, because really, it’s pretty self-explanatory: Facebook lets you target by age and gender. The End.

But after looking through my notes, I think I may be able to offer something of value on the topic after all. Here are a few tidbits you may not already know.

Birthday Targeting

Now, if you regularly advertise on Facebook, this won’t come as news to you. But if you just googled ‘Can I target someone on their birthday on Facebook’, I have an answer for you:

Why YES, you can icon smile Facebook Targeting by Age & Gender

When you create an ad, you have the choice to switch from Precise Interest Targeting to Broad Interest Targeting.

Switch to Broad Interest Targeting and you’ll see an ‘Events’ option in the left-hand box. Once you click on that, you’ll see ‘Has birthday in < one week’.

If you select this option and you’re running the ad for more than one day, it will deliver your ad to users in the days preceding their actual birthday (don’t worry, they won’t show your ad to users after their birthday).

If you’re interested in trying out birthday targeting, why not offer a free treat or bonus to users around their birthday? Everyone loves being remembered on their birthday!

Exact Age Match or Broad Age Match?

Chances are you have an ‘ideal client’ in mind when you’re writing your ads. Age targeting on Facebook lets you select the age range you want your ads served to. As long as your target market is between the ages of 13 and 64, Facebook lets you target them.

When you’re creating your ad, you’ll be given the option to check ‘require exact age match’ (by default, it uses a broad age match). Selecting exact age match means your ad is only delivered to those in the age range specified. Broad age match means the ad is delivered to those  slightly outside the age range specified.

Generally speaking, I’d recommend using broad age match, as you are charged less for impressions outside your specified age range (can’t beat cheap exposure!). Unless you have a really good reason to target a precise age, go with broad.

Gender Targeting

Online advertising is, generally speaking, pretty bad at gender-targeting.

It’s rare in online advertising or search marketing to have the option to target by gender - Some keyword tools have, in the past, attempted to predict gender based on keyword choices, but this was always sketchy at best.

And you can, of course, attempt to target by gender by advertising exclusively on stereotypically ‘male’ or ‘female’ websites.

But of course, with Facebook, all things are possible.

As with many of their targeting features, Facebook pulls their information from the information users fill in when they complete their profile. As a user, you may balk at the fact that you’re required to give any personal info at all. But as an advertiser, I bet you’re pretty darn happy about it.

If the product or service you want to advertise is completely gender-neutral, you can still take advantage of gender targeting. Here’s how:

Try creating a unique ad for men and for women, for the same offering.  Keep in mind, in both tone and content, how men and women react to certain messages, images, features, and benefits. One size doesn’t always fit all, so be smart and market to each gender in the way they can best receive your message.

4d566de7d71dfa46508cfc2cccc28f3c Facebook Targeting by Age & Gender

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