Refining Your Audience With Interest Targeting

Interest targeting is the backbone of Facebook advertisements. Facebook collects data on its users based on information they've added to their timeline, topics related to pages they like, keywords in their status updates, apps they use, and any ads they've clicked.

They then assign these users to groups of high-level interests, which you'll use to target people most likely to click your advertisement. We will begin indicating the interests we want to target in the box next to the label Interests.

To search for an interest, you'll type a word or phrase into the field and see a list of relevant options. You can also browse by category by clicking in this box. Doing so will bring up a new list, and you can continue searching under each category to get subcategories. Once you've found something you're interested in, select it. You'll also notice that when I hover over the right-hand side, we get a number, and this number is telling us how many people are in this category, along with a description detailing exactly what the category is about.

For example, if I wanted to add real estate, I would select it. To remove it, we'll click the X.

You may be thinking, "Why would I want to remove real estate?" Because you know who puts real estate as an interest? Other real estate agents. I do not think you want to spend money marketing to them. (There will be times you may want to market people who put real estate as an interest, such as with people who look for income properties. You will decide this based on your personal business objectives. Just be sure to adjust your advertising copy accordingly.)

This brings me to my next point.

Let's talk a little bit more about strategy as it applies to you as a real estate agent. If you are working in a small community, you may not want to use the interest feature, as it may shrink your reach too much. However, if you are marketing in a big community like New York City, something like this can really help narrow things down. One thing we learn as a real estate agent is that it is easier to market to people who have a similar mindset to you and shared interests. It makes it easier for you and your client to relate to each other and have fluid conversations, which then builds trust, which results in a sale.

Understanding this concept, along with the knowledge that I need to focus my advertising a bit more, will lead me to target people that have a shared interest with me. For example, I love sports. I am very active, and I like to have a presence in my local sporting community, as I regularly participate in sporting events.

So I am going to type in sports as a way to market to people who share my interest. Facebook gives me a list of options. It is suggesting the closest match to sports in addition to the word sports. I'll go ahead and select that option. After we do so, Facebook is going to give me additional suggestions. These suggestions are interests related to the one that we have just chosen.

You'll see here that it's showing me half marathon, basketball, baseball, and so on. These are interests related to the one that you've chosen. If you select these, the user does not have to fit all of the interests, so adding more interests will increase the reach of your advertisement.

You can keep an eye on your potential reach down here in the bottom right-hand corner. This number will take into account all of the targeting that you've already applied.