Helpful Facebook Ad Targeting Strategies

If you have a Facebook account, I can guarantee you have seen a Facebook Ad. Do you ever wonder why that particular ad showed up in your Newsfeed? Why that necklace you “added to cart” numerous times but have yet to purchase is stalking you as you catch up on the lives of family and friends? Or despite the fact that you just updated your relationship status to “engaged” a few minutes ago, you are already seeing sponsored posts from wedding planning websites and magazines? As a user, you may be creeped out by the relevancy and timing of the ads you are served. As an advertiser, Facebook’s targeting criteria is the icing on the cake – helping marketers reach even the most specific of audiences.

Facebook offers a wide variety of ways for brands to connect with the people they want to reach based on an even wider variety of criteria. Looking to reach women between the ages of 32-37 who are married, live within 25 miles of San Diego, speak English, work in banking, consider themselves “fit moms” of preschool kids, graduated from the University of San Diego, love to shop, and have an upcoming anniversary? Facebook has you covered. The targeting options and combinations are endless; today, we are going to focus on five targeting methods hoteliers will find especially helpful.


Explanation: Targeting users by location on Facebook allows hotels to reach potential guests in specific areas – from countries to state/ provinces down to cities and zip codes. Not only are advertisers able to target definite locations, they can target cities within a selected mile radius (i.e. 25 miles around Chicago) or exclude locales you may be targeting in other campaigns as well.

Use to… boost local awareness for on-property events.

Example: Hosting Easter or Mother’s Day brunch and looking to spread the word among locales? Trying to attract nearby residents to your on-site restaurant? Does your property offer live music on the weekends that is open to the public? Location targeting can get your message in front of the right audience: users who live within X miles of your hotel and would are likely to be interested in your on-property event.

Facebook Location Targeting Example


Explanation: Facebook’s interest targeting allows digital advertisers to construct their audience by their hobbies, interests, and Facebook Pages they have liked. Facebook identifies users’ interests from “information they’ve added to their Timeline, keywords associated with the Pages they like or apps they use, ads they’ve clicked on and other similar sources.”

Use to… reach professional & college sport fanatics.

Example: Is your city hosting a College Bowl Game? Is your hometown NFL or MLB team playing an opposing team with a fan base that is likely to travel to an away game? Target users who are fans of the competing teams, that like ESPN, or who are interested in college football or sports in general.

Facebook Interest Targeting Example

Life Events

Explanation: Segment your campaign’s target audience based on what information users have listed in their Facebook profiles (for example age, gender, relationship status, and so on). One segment of this category that hotels may find particularly useful is Life Events. Digital marketers can get in front of users who are embarking on significant life milestones like getting a job, buying a house, and getting engaged or married – with specific intervals of time such as 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year.

Use to… advertise wedding venue space.

Example: If your hotel has event space, you should be targeting newly engaged couples looking to start planning their wedding. Whether you are big on hosting ceremonies and receptions, want to be listed as the prefered hotel on the couple’s wedding website, or have the capacity to offer room blocks, Facebook makes it easy to get in front those planning their forever.

Facebook Demographic Targeting Example


Explanation: Target users based on their on or off Facebook activities (for example purchase behavior or intent, travel preferences, device usage, and the like. Facebook works with third-party partners to collect this data, making niche targeting opportunities endless. These data sources include loyalty cards, the U.S. census, credit card data, and retailers – to name a few.

Use to… promote special offers & packages.

Example: Behavior targeting can aid in getting your hotel’s ads seen by frequent flyers, frequent travelers, business and/or leisure travelers, users who have recently returned from a trip, family vacationers, and the like. If your hotel offers a romance package or another special offer that would make for a great date night, you may want to target leisure travelers that have an upcoming anniversary. Need an extra push on your golf package? Target leisure travelers that are outdoor enthusiasts and, of course, enjoy golfing.

Facebook Behavior Targeting Example

Custom Audiences

Explanation: Custom audiences can be created through a variety of means. Facebook allows advertisers to upload contact lists, so users can be reached via phone number or email address. Or, opt for creating a lookalike audience and Facebook will show your ads to “people who are similar to your customers or prospects by building a lookalike audience from your Page fans, customer lists or website visitors.” You can even remarket to people on Facebook who have visited your website within a certain period of time.

Use to… connect with people already interested in your hotel on Facebook.

Example: Email lists are great for sending out newsletters about special offers or upcoming events; however, it would be beneficial to upload these databases to Facebook as well. Past, potential, or future guests have already expressed interest in your property by sharing their contact information with you, so they will be likely to engage with your Facebook content, click on your ads, or connecting with your hotel elsewhere on the web.

Getting Started

All you need to take advantage of Facebook advertising is a Facebook Page. If you have a Page but are not sure how to get started, the social media gurus at Blue Magnet Interactive can help your hotel achieve its objectives. Contact Us for assistance reaching your target market via Facebook and Instagram Ads.

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