Find interests to target on Facebook Ads

1. Identify a warm target audience - followers, people that visited your website, email lists, or lists of previous buyers - that you can use to create an audience on Facebook ads.

If you have a bigger audience, Facebook will do a better job of finding people with similar interests. This is called a lookalike audience. You need a minimum of 100 to create an audience on Facebook. If you’re starting from scratch, begin with interests and behavior targeting.

2. List potential interests that might grab the attention of the ideal customer that you want to target with Facebook ads.

Include competitors, influencers in your market, services, publications, and organizations. Don’t bother with right or wrong ideas in this phase, just brainstorm the ideas and write them down.

3. Input audience ideas into the detailed targeting section on the ad set level of your campaign and see how large the audience is.

Input an interest to see the size of that audience on Facebook. Facebook will give you ideas for expanding your list of targeting interests.

4. Run all your suggestions through the detailed targeting section until you start seeing the same targeting audiences or until they start to repeat.

When you see that Facebook is giving you the same suggestions as in previous searches, you know that you have exhausted the targeting interests in Facebook.

5. Navigate to Business Tools > Audience Insights in Ads Manager, choose the location that you want to target and start adding your brainstormed audiences.

Facebook will start giving you suggestions. Once you confirm a specific interest, the stats will show on the screen. Click on Page Likes on the top menu bar to see other interests relevant to your audience.

6. Input the ideas from Audience Insights into the detailed targeting section on the ad set level in Ads Manager.

Some ideas may not exist as a targeted interest, but they will provide some inspiration. Add all the targeting interests to your list of interests. Repeat this process until you find enough targeting audiences for your ads.

7. Search for interest ideas on Google by entering a question or topic in the search bar, and recording the suggestions that Google gives on what to search for as you type.

These suggestions are based on what other users have entered in search queries on similar topics. Check if these interests exist as targeting options within Facebook Ads Manager.