Some businesses are killing it on Facebook Advertising. Others … Not so much.

Our clients trust us to stay on top of Facebook’s “best practices,” but I’ll admit it can be challenging to build the perfect audiences that will be positively influenced by our clients’ ads and content. You can target audiences on Facebook with a dozen different ad formats and thousands of possible ad targeting parameters. With so many targeting capabilities available, the process can be confusing.

And many of the accounts we handle started when businesses we work with handled Facebook advertising “in house,” sinking a lot of money into the platform without seeing the ROI they needed to justify the trouble.

If we take it back to the basics, and build upon fundamentals, we can efficiently target audiences in a way that drives response without burning through your advertising budget.

Mastering your Facebook audience strategy means putting your brand in front of very specific and often motivated people, on the network where Americans religiously spend an average of 40 minutes every single day.

After you’ve checked out our article on Advanced Facebook Marketing Tactics for 2020, check out the info below. If anything is unclear, give us a call at  +1 866-669-3969. Or you can contact our Facebook Advertising team online and we’ll get in touch. We’re happy to point you in the right direction, whether you become a Symphonic client or not.

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The Paid Social Marketing Funnel

The paid social marketing funnel illustrates the consumer’s journey to your brand through social marketing. Consumers enter the funnel through prospecting and move further down the more we retarget them. The funnel shows how consumers come to know your brand and how paid social can make prospecting customers into clientele.

paid search marketing funnel


Prospecting vs Retargeting

There are two overarching ways to target your customers on Facebook: Prospecting and retargeting.

Within those lie our more specific targeting methods:

  • Interest audience: Based off audience personas, have had no interaction with the brand
  • Lookalike audience: Facebook finds people who are similar to a seed audience (website custom audiences or customer remarketing lists)
  • Retargeting: People who are familiar with the brand by interacting with the website (WCA – website custom audiences) or are part of the customer retargeting list (CRM list).
  • Dynamic retargeting: Show customers products/services they have already seen through dynamic product ads based off-site pixel.

Prospecting Audiences

Prospecting audiences are interest or lookalike audiences and are comprised of people who have never interacted with your brand before. They are leveraged to coax people into the top of the funnel so that they can then be retargeted.

Interest audiences are based on consumer insights from audience insights and Facebook analytics.

We recommend prospecting targeting when you need to drive traffic to your site with low CPCs. Think of it as a great first step to getting possible consumers into the funnel!

Facebook Audience Insights

Facebook Audience Insights helps you better understand your target audience by providing aggregate information on people who are using Facebook. With this tool, you can get a more detailed idea about Facebook users, their demographic characteristics, and their interests or activities.

How to get here: Drop down menuPlanAudience insights

Audience Insights

Once you’re on the Facebook Audience Insights page, you are able to gain demographic and activity insights with three types of users:

  • People who are already connected to your Facebook page
  • Your Custom Audiences
  • Everyone else using Facebook

Pro Tip: Try breaking down your audience by gender, age or location to see how interests may change. This could help you tailor your prospecting audiences and make them more specific.

Does Facebook have analytics?

With Facebook analytics, you’re able to find information on location, gender and language that is presented in a very visually pleasing way that’s also great to share with your team.

Facebook Analytics

Pro Tip: Create an event source group through FB analytics. This will allow you to measure how page engagement plays a part in conversions (info on how to create this is found in Facebook analytics settings).

Creating Interest Audiences

Now that you know what your brand persona is, it’s time for you to build your audiences. Our approach at Symphonic usually involves creating these audiences through assets-audiences for easy organization.

Creating Interest Audiences

Here you will have access to all your audiences and can make saved audiences (below). Within saved audiences, you will be able to create audiences based on interests.

Creating Interest Audiences

How to Narrow Your Facebook Ad Audience

You can make your audiences more specific and relevant to your brand by layering and narrowing your audience. It’s important to take in consideration your goals and budget when creating audience targeting. Too narrow and your CPCs will likely be very high and you may limit your potential conversion volume, too broad and you may pay for undesirable site traffic. 

For example, if you’re trying to reach an audience of male outdoor enthusiasts who live in the city, you can use interest layering in your detailed targeting options to include people who are interested in outdoor activities and outdoor sports or recreation.  You can then layer the city or urban area interest to make sure that your audience is further narrowed down to the specific audience that you want.      

Audience Name: Male Outdoor Enthusiast In City

Pro Tips For Interest Audiences

How to Create a Lookalike Audience

Lookalike audiences are built upon seed audiences (people who have already interacted with the brand) and are then used to find people in the general population who are similar to the seed audiences. These seed audiences are created from pixel audiences (i.e. past purchasers, site visitors, etc) or email lists.

To create a lookalike audience, go to: Audience tab > Create audience > Lookalike audience

Once you select the seed audience, you will select which percentage of the population you want to target. The population amount will increase as the percentage targeted increases.

We recommend prospecting targeting if you need to drive traffic to your site with low CPCs. Think of it as a great first step to getting possible consumers into the funnel.

How to Speak to Prospecting Audiences

To distinguish between audiences, it’s important to cater your message to each audience. For interest-based audiences, we’ve found that the following perform best:

  • Shorter and direct copy.
  • Convey value where possible and align to brand voice.
  • Promos and sales are great tools to entice first-time customers.
  • Align messaging to specific ad set targeting so you can speak to the specific pain points/interests of your audience.

How to Speak to Prospecting Audiences

Pro Tips:

  • Use your best performing first party audience as your seed audience
  • Layer on additional targeting or group together lookalike audiences to broaden the scope
  • The larger the seed audience, the more data points Facebook has to build the lookalike audience

Aligning the Campaign Type With the Audience

There are several options available when it comes to the type of campaign to run on Facebook. Below are a few options.

Brand Awareness

  • More reach and impressions
  • Bigger audience reach
  • Options to optimize towards:
    • Ad recall lift (maximize total number of people who will remember seeing your ads)
  • When to use: When the focus of the campaign is branding

Brand Awareness


  • More reach and impressions
  • Bigger audience reach
  • Options to optimize towards:
    • Reach (ad gets served to the maximum number of people)
    • Impressions (deliver ads to people as many times as possible)
  • When to use: When the focus of the campaign is to get your ad in front of as many people as possible


  • Choose where you want to drive traffic
    • Website, app, messenger
  • Less expensive CPCs than conversion campaigns
  • Options to optimize towards:
    • Link clicks (deliver the ad to people who are most likely to click)
    • Landing page views (recommended): Deliver ad to people who are most likely to click on them and wait for website to load
    • Impressions (deliver ad to as many people as many times)
    • Daily unique reach (deliver ad to people up to once a day)

When to use: When the focus is for the audience to click on the ad, load the landing page, or be exposed to the brand

Brand Awareness


  • Choose conversions event based off pixel data (i.e. view content, add to cart, purchase, etc)
    • The pixel represents the stages in the funnel and the farther down you go, the more expensive the audience becomes due to likelihood to purchase)
  • Options to optimize towards:
    • Conversions (recommended): deliver ad to the right people
    • Link clicks (deliver ad to people most likely to click)
    • Landing page views (deliver ad to people who are most likely to click on them and wait for website to load)
    • Daily unique reach (deliver ad to people up to once a day)
  • When to use: You have a conversion event in mind that you want Facebook to optimize towards (purchase, view content, etc)


It’s important to align your campaign type for prospecting audiences based on goals. Below are some examples of goals and KPIs to keep in mind when targeting interest or lookalike audiences.

  • Goal: Get your brand/product in front of everyone you possibly can
    • Run a brand awareness or reach campaign
      • KPIs: CPM
  • Goal: Target a slightly smaller group that is more likely to click on an ad
    • Run a traffic campaign
      • KPIs: CPCs, CTR
  • Goal: Target a very narrow group that is most likely to convert on the website
    • Run a conversions campaign
      • KPIs: Conversions, CPA

Audience Retargeting on Facebook

Retargeting on Facebook consists of re-engaging people who are already familiar with a brand by interacting with the website. Through Facebook’s pixel, you are able to engage with people who have been to your site, your brand page, or interacted with your ads.

To create a first-party retargeting audience, go to the audience tab within Facebook and select custom audience:

Retargeting Audiences

Here, you’re able to upload email lists, retarget website traffic and activity, retarget app activity, and retarget offline activity and engagement.

How to Re-engage Customers

You have the ability to re-engage your desired audiences in a couple of different ways. The first is through email.

Upload your email list manually or create automatic imports from your email marketing service if supported by Facebook. Some example email lists are:

  • Highly scored sales leads from Salesforce, Marketo, Pardot, etc.
  • Webinar or event attendees
  • Newsletter subscribers
  • Email subscribers who have not responded recently to an email marketing campaign

The second way to re-engage your audience is through engagement. The engagement tab of Facebook’s custom audiences section allows us to retarget people who have interacted with our Facebook/Instagram brand pages, video ads, leads, and events.

If you’re looking to engage current customers, try targeting those who follow or like your brand on Facebook. If you are more focused on lead gen campaigns, the lead form targeting is a great way to capture all your leads in a retargeting campaign.

How to Speak to Retargeting Audiences

  • Be memorable, friendly, and have personality!
  • This audience is already familiar with your brand, so keep this in mind when creating messaging and ad creative
  • Leverage different forms of content, CTAs, and messaging to test how you can further guide your audience down the funnel

Retargeting Audiences

Retargeting Audiences

Dynamic Retargeting

With dynamic retargeting, you’re able to show customers products and services they have already seen through dynamic product ads based off the site pixel. This targeting method is at the very bottom of the funnel because you’re showing people products they have already viewed. Note that this type of campaign is only available for e-commerce clients because you’ll need a product catalog.

With dynamic retargeting, it’s best practice to target product viewers and cart abandoners. In addition, Facebook recommends that each DPA ad set receive at least 50 conversions per week so that the engine can best optimize. This will play a big part in the date ranges that are being retargeted.

  If your business has repeat purchasers, include a past purchaser segment targeting past purchasers from 30-90 days ago.

Who Should I Re-target?

If you have an extremely low conversion rate (>10 conversions/week) break out ad sets like this:

Product Viewers 1-30 Days
Cart Abandoners 1-30 Days

If you have a low conversion rate (10-50 conversions/week), break out ad sets like this:

Product Viewers 1-10 Days; 11-30 Days
Cart  Abandoners 1-10 Days; 11-30 Days

If you have a higher conversion rate (50+ conversions/week), break out ad sets like this:

Product Viewers 1-3 Days; 4-10 Days, 11-30 Days
Cart Abandoners 1-3 Days; 4-10 Days, 11-30 Days

How to Set Up Facebook Dynamic Product Ads

As mentioned above, dynamic product ads allow us to retarget people based on products they have viewed, products they have added to cart, products they have purchased, and much more! To create these ad sets in a DPA campaign, you will need to use logical statements. Here are some examples of how the ad sets should be set up. You’ll just need to change the time frame per ad set!

Product Viewers: 1-10 days

How to Build DPA Ad Sets

Cart Abandoners: 1-10 days

How to Build DPA Ad Sets

Product Viewers: 11-30 days

How to Build DPA Ad Sets

Cart Abandoners: 11-30 days

How to Build DPA Ad Sets


An additional function of dynamic ads is showing products to people who have purchased certain products. This function is called cross-selling and is at the ad set level where you figure out your audiences. In order to create this, you will need to have two product sets:

  • One will need to be products that people have bought
  • The second needs to be products that you want people to see since they bought the first product

Wondering when to use upselling? When you have products that are usually bought together and are related! For example, when a customer buys a toothbrush, show them replacement toothbrush heads.

Be sure to tailor your ad copy for this feature!


How to Speak to Consumers in Dynamic Product Ads

There’s no need to make your dynamic product ads heavily branded. Direct messaging works great. The consumers know that you’re showing them what they’ve already looked at, so why not call that out and have some fun with it? Some examples of this are:

  • “See something you like? Shop all the latest and greatest at …”
  • Plays on words

How to Speak to Consumers in Dynamic Product Ads


A Facebook Audience Strategy That Works

Having a solid strategy is key to ensuring that your company will get the most from Facebook advertising. 

Creating ads that are highly targeted based on the demographic characteristics, interests, and online behavior of your ideal customers is a sure-fire way to engage and convert them.

If you want to learn more about how Symphonic Digital can help you implement Facebook advertising best practices, please contact us.