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Targeting Your Audience via Social Media Ads

Audience Targeting via Social Media Ads

With large platforms such as Facebook and Instagram offering advertising options, reaching your target audience has never been easier. But how do you know if you are optimizing your ads to reach your biggest target audience? Keep reading to learn more about defining your target audience and how doing so will help make your social media advertising efforts more effective. 

What is a Target Audience?

It’s important to have an idea of who you are targeting with your marketing campaigns. Your target audience is composed of the group, or groups, of people who are most likely to need the services your practice offers. These are the people who should be seeing your marketing campaigns. 

The target audience is dictated by age, gender, location, interests, income, behavior, connections, and other demographics.

The Benefits of Knowing Your Target Audience

From a marketing standpoint, knowing your practice’s target audience is vital for successfully executing your marketing efforts.

You could produce a whole campaign around teeth whitening but if you’re showing the ads to everyone without any rhyme or reason, then you are going to end up wasting your advertising dollars. However, if you are creating your target audience specifically for a teeth whitening campaign, your ads may be seen by fewer people, but they will be the right people. 

In addition to increasing your return on investment, understanding your target market allows for better communication and trustworthy relationships with prospective patients. Because your campaigns will be more personalized, they are more likely to resonate with your target audience, meaning that group is more likely to take the action you desire.

What Facebook Audiences are Available?

Facebook has gone further than any other platform when it comes to social media advertising. In doing so, they allow businesses to create different audience types and targeting options. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Saved Audiences

Saved audiences target users based on their location, interests, demographics, and behavior. If you are running multiple ads within the same campaign, you can create your audience within Facebook Ads Manager and then save it to utilize in your next ad. Detailed targeting allows you to go one step further by narrowing your saved audience and including (or excluding) people based on demographics, interests, and behavior. Adjusting for these factors will guarantee the best possible audience.

Custom Audiences

Custom audiences are audiences you can make based on data collected on your website or Facebook page. These audiences are made from people who have already interacted with your practice. They are especially good if you are looking to target previous website visitors who have already engaged with your online presence.

Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences look to find people who are similar to your existing audience or customers. By creating a lookalike audience, you can tell Facebook to find similar people to your already created custom audience. However, if you are looking to create a lookalike audience, you will need to have a previously established custom audience created.

How to Define Your Audience?

One of the easiest ways to determine your target audience is to look at your existing customers. What is their typical age, where are they located, what are their interests? You can collect customer surveys or review this information on your social media accounts if you’re not sure. 

Another way to define your audience is by looking at the available information. Through market research and analyzing your competitors, you can determine what other practices are focusing their efforts on.

Another important step in defining your audience is to create personas. Personas allow a business to determine the demographics, personalities, and needs of its target audience. They can be created based on data, surveys, engagements, and other information that can be pulled. Ideally, you want to develop 3-5 personas to get an all-encompassing idea of who meets the criteria in your target audience. 

It’s also important to understand which demographics don’t fit into your target audience. Going back to our teeth-whitening example, those who typically care about the appearance of their teeth are people in the age range of 20-45. So, do you think teenagers would be the best fit for your campaign? Probably not.

It’s very important to continuously reevaluate your target audience. As you collect data from your campaigns, start looking for trends and understand the accuracy of your audience. From there you can constantly optimize and improve your personas to achieve the best possible results. 


You get to set the rules of who sees your ads and when. With that much freedom, you will be able to deliver the ad to be seen by the right people. If you’re still struggling on defining your target audience and with social media advertising in general, we invite you to learn more about Sesame Social!


—Marie Dubray, Social Media Specialist, Sesame Communications

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Sesame is an industry leader in integrated, cloud-based marketing and patient-engagement solution designed exclusively for your practice. We know that effective patient communication is vital to the success of your practice and the efficiency of your team. With Sesame, you can take your practice to the next level, allowing you to concentrate on what’s really important – your patients!