A COMPLETE Guide to Facebook Audience Targeting 🕮

What’s happened to Facebook Audience Targeting?

Facebook Audience Targeting has changed a lot over the past year.

What with iOS and all that fun stuff 🙄

What a lot of people have found (including us) is that their best audiences from pre-iOS, no longer work as well as they used to.

So we’ve looked into each audience targeting there is on Facebook, to give our take on what’s working and what’s not… post iOS14.


Lookalikes used to be gold dust for us. The gold standard of Facebook Audience Targeting.

Whack a 1% lookalike of all converters into a campaign and watch it hum. We literally used to print money with that audience type.

Then… iOS14.

Need I say more?

Lookalike performance fell through the floor.

Pre-iOS14 nine out of ten lookalikes would work for us. Post iOS14 it was around two out of ten.

Don’t get me wrong, Lookalikes still have a place in your Facebook Audience Targeting strategy…

BUT you need to be more clever about it.

Still test converters, but we have found some good performance with lookalike based on audiences that have been collected WITHIN the Facebook app.

For example, video view audiences (over 50%) have performed well for us when using them to create a lookalike. However, you need more data to get these to work than you did for the converters. 

So bear that in mind.


Interest-Based Audiences

We didn’t really use interesting audiences back in the day, however, they are making a HARD comeback into our Facebook Audience Targeting Strategy and we recommend you try more of them too.

Interest-Based audience targeting relies on a lot of data Facebook gathers INSIDE the app (are you catching a theme here? 🤔).

So, therefore, this type of Facebook Audience Targeting hasn’t been affected as badly as off app audiences.

We use a broad interest at first, but narrow it down with other similar audiences when we start out a campaign. 

As we get more data we can start to use more broad interests as the pixel gets seasoned.

P.S Don’t forget, in conversion campaigns the detailed targeting expansion is added automatically and can’t be taken off.

Custom Audiences

Again, how custom audiences perform really does depend on where the data has been collected.

Off app browser events have started to perform very poorly for us.

However, video view audiences are a good place to start retargeting as if they watch past 50% it shows they have a good interest in the topic. 

The longer the video, the better that audience will be as well. 

Finally, you could go old school and get a huge database of converters and upload that manually into Facebook (data laws permitting).

We are hoping that Facebook data processing will get better over time as we all start to adapt to iOS14 so still test your usual custom audiences periodically.

Conclusion on Facebook Audience Targeting

Conclusion on Facebook Audience Targeting

Facebook is still one of the best places for lead generation.

The cost per lead is still lower than most other traffic sources and they still have a huge number of active users.

However, targeting on Facebook has changed considerably, and it’s important that you are making decisions based on your data.

With cookies rumoured to be going away late 2022/2023 IN APP audiences are going to be a lot more reliable.

Interest-based audiences are performing the best for us at the moment, but lookalikes of video view audiences (50%+) are starting to really show us some good results.

It’s all about testing still, but don’t lose your head if audiences that used to work well for you suddenly stop.

There’s still gold in other Facebook targeting options.

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