How Facebook Ads Target You (And How You Can Target Others)

Facebook’s ad targeting is almost infinitely customisable that you can tailor an ad to a specific user out of billions.

With all that’s been going on with Facebook and Google regarding data breaches and privacy, people are now aware of ads more than ever.

So lets’s take a look at the ways Facebook utilises user data for ads and how brands use it for Facebook ads targeting. And we’re not talking about just specifying locations and age groups or gender. Its more like targeting a single dad who goes bowling on Sundays and whose eldest daughter loves Kpop and is having her birthday next week. That kind of targeting.

If you own a business and want more exposure, this could also be helpful for you.

1. Monitoring User’s Facebook Activity

There’s a lot to be covered with your activity on the social media website. And it’s not just the pages you like, the places you’ve checked in or your age that advertisers look at. What your friends do on Facebook also affects the ads that you see. Controversially, even someone’s ethnicity can be classified and targetted. Late last year however, the social media giant temporarily blocked advertisers’ ability to target audiences (by exclusion) based on ethnic affinity, religious or LGBT affinity.

2. User Activities Outside Facebook

Businesses can choose “Custom Audiences” when creating ads, including those who have already bought stuff from them or visited their sites. Those who have downloaded their apps and registered their email address are also included. For example, if you’ve put in your email address when you shopped for clothes on website ABC, there’s a high chance you will see an ad about a sale from website ABC on Facebook too. That’s because Facebook would have a copy of your email based on the advertiser’s targeting.

3. Dynamic Ads

Last but not the least are dynamic ads. These are the most annoying ones for me in my opinion. Like when you’re browsing Amazon for bags and suddenly you’ll be seeing an ad from Amazon for that exact bag on other websites you browse. Dynamic Ads takes it one step further by knowing if you’ve actually bought the item or not. If you haven’t, chances are, you’ll see a discount coupon ad for that bag to help convince you to get it.

All these are pretty clever, but also quite scary. Don’t you think?