Among the misinformation I see shared around the internet regularly, is the belief that through Facebook’s intricate targeting options you can target another Page’s Facebook Fans. I recently was working with a client who had targeted Pat Flynn. She targeted Pat because she wanted to show her ads to the people who Like his Business Page. But that is NOT how Facebook works.
How does Facebook Targeting work?
In addition to targeting based on location, age, and sex, there is a “Detailed Targeting” area. This is where you can find an abundance of interests, behaviors, and demographics to help you identify your target audience.
You can type what you want to search directly into the search bar, and it will populate a variety of related options for you. I will use the example from my client, and search for Pat Flynn.
You can see that it pulled up the name of his Page, which causes many people to incorrectly assume they are targeting another Page’s Facebook fans… but, let’s dig deeper.
You can see (above) that Pat’s Page has 148,000 likes and 144,000 follows. Which would mean that IF we were able to target Pat’s fans, we’d see somewhere between 140,000-150,000 people in that audience. But, that is not the case. When we hover our cursor over the Audience segment (below) you see that there are less than 90,000 people in that audience.
Furthermore, when you read the Description of that audience it reads: People who have expressed an interest in or like pages related to Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn. It may include people who have liked his Page. However, that audience also includes people who have demonstrated an interest in him in other (unmentioned) ways. This is not the same thing as targeting another Page’s Facebook fans.
What I learned from Facebook’s developers about Targeting Another Page’s Facebook Fans
The only Page you are able to target the fans of is your own! Facebook allows each Page a certain degree of ownership over the fan base they have build organically or through ads. All of the other targeting takes a variety of information into consideration. It’s not the same thing as simply targeting another Page’s Facebook fans. Facebook’s targetable audience segments are built by an algorithm. It looks at a users activity within a rolling 28-day period. Some of the things it takes into consideration include:
- Pages you and your friends like
- Information from your Facebook and Instagram profile
- Places you check in using Facebook
- Loyalty programs (for example, a supermarket “club card”)
- Information compiled by data providers
- Purchases at retail stores
- Viewed a web page that uses a Facebook pixel
- Downloaded their mobile app
- Made a purchase (or simply added a product to a shopping cart)
- And more…
For example, if today I go and Like the Target Facebook Page, I very well may be put in the audience of people interested in Target. Now, let’s imagine I never engage with any content they produce, share any links from their site, or otherwise engage with the brand. 28 days from now, I will likely drop out of that audience. People also have a level of control over what types of ads they want to see.Did you know that targeting another Page's Facebook fans with your Facebook Ads is impossible? Click To Tweet
What interests does Facebook attribute to you?
Want to see what interests Facebook has attributed to you based on your most recent behavior? And/or control the types of ads you want to see? You can review your Ad Preferences, here. When you hover over each interest, it will reveal why you have that interest connected with your profile! From this web page, you can also modify what ads will be shown to you.
Takeaways re: Targeting Another Page’s Facebook Fans
These audiences are algorithm built. So there very well may be intricacies that are not 100% understood regarding which activities group you into a given audience. One thing is for certain – targeting an interest that happens to also have a Facebook Page does NOT mean you are targeting another Page’s Facebook fans. The only Pages you are able to target the fans of are Pages in which you own (or have at least advertiser access).