How to Create Facebook Audiences To Reduce Wasted Ad Spend
Reduce wasted ad spend & reach the right audience every time with Facebook’s ad targeting tools. Boost your ad performance and save money!

Learn How to Create Facebook Audiences To Reduce Wasted Ad Spend

busines suite facebook app never boost posts again 1 - Stefanie Morris Co

Boosting posts?

Stop that right now!!! 

You’re wasting your ad spend!

Learn how to build Saved Audiences & exclude users to save money & target the right audience every time. 

If you want to run ads or boost posts, understanding Facebook’s target audiences and how to strategically exclude users who don’t fit your target demographic is vital.

Note: This article is going to say Facebook, not Instagram. This is meant for Facebook & Instagram. Meta – Business Facebook’s platform controls both in one convenient place. 

With its powerful targeting tools, Business Facebook’s platform is the key to unlocking success for your business. 

You’ll be able to create custom audiences that match your ideal customer profile. And if there are certain users who aren’t a good fit for your brand or messaging, you can easily exclude them from seeing your ads or content–which means you won’t pay for them to see your boosted posts & content that isn’t for them anyway.

Understanding Facebook’s Advertising Targeting Tools

If you’re logging into your Facebook page through, you’re missing out on a ton of great tools! MetaBusiness Facebook’s amazing targeting tools that can help take your ads to the next level.

Facebook (sic) has 2.93 billion users as of March 2022.

– Global Data

With a plethora of targeting options available, including demographics, interests, behaviors and more, these tools will allow you to hone in on the exact audience you want to reach.

And not only that, but with ad optimization features like edited ad placements, scheduling, and budget allocation, you can ensure that your ads are reaching the right people at the right time while also getting the most bang for your buck.

Log into the business side of Facebook by going to & logging in with your usual Facebook account information. 

Let’s dive into how you can start creating custom audiences for your business!

When to Use Boosted Posts vs Ads

When you boost a post, it’ll show up in your audience’s Facebook Feed as an ad.” Facebook also says that the Boost function is great for “audience engagement…or to develop your brand awareness”.Meta

Hot Take

Boosting posts is a great way for them to get unsuspecting business owners to waste ad spend. So when should you use boosted posts instead of ads?! You shouldn’t. 

They say never look a gift horse in the mouth… But here it is straight from Meta

Facebook Ads

  • Choose different ad placements: When you boost a post, you’ll be able to check or uncheck whether or not you want to place your ad in Instagram in addition to Facebook mobile and desktop Feed. With Facebook ads, you get the added benefit of choosing placements in Facebook Feed side ads, Messenger ads, Instagram stories, instant articles, and Audience Network.
  • Use specific ad objectives: Choosing an ad objective early on will help you to focus on which campaign type best aligns with your current business goals. Boosted posts allows you to focus on website clicks, Page engagement and local business promotions, but the full ads system in Ads Manager lets you choose objectives like leads, app promotion and sales. You can also create and manage ads through the Ads Manager mobile app. Note: We are gradually introducing a new set of 6 campaign objectives in Ads Manager. If you see more than 6 objectives when you create a new ad, you still can use our previous objectives in Ads Manager for a limited time.
  • Maintain creative control: With Facebook Ads created through Ads Manager, you can design an ad that fits your goals. Create carousel ads, add specific descriptions and add a call-to-action button that’ll drive more of your audience to take action. These are only a few of the creative and formatting options available in Ads Manager that aren’t available when boosting a post from your Page.
  • Use advanced targeting capabilities: Boosting posts let you decide on interests, age and gender for your ad targeting. This helps you reach people who most likely care about your business. With Facebook ads, you can use more advanced tools to create overlapping audience types, lookalike audiences and more.

Facebook Boosted Posts

When you boost a post, you’ll tell us 3 things:

  1. Who you want to reach: you’ll pick a target audience of the type of people you want to connect with
  2. Your max budget: you’ll tell us exactly how much you want to spend over the course of your entire campaign
  3. How long you want to run your ad: once you click Boost and your ad is approved, people in your target audience will see your ad in their Feed for the duration you’ve set

Note: boosted posts are still considered ads because they require a budget to be shared with a wider audience. This is the core similarity it shares with Facebook Ads. When you receive your bill, your boosted post will be identified as an ad.

Types of Facebook Advertising Audiences

There are three types of ad audiences available in Facebook advertising: Saved Audience, Custom Audience, Lookalike Audience. 

custom audience types business facebook ads 1 - Stefanie Morris Co

  • Saved Audiences are ready-made segments of people that can be targeted with Facebook ads. They are determined through demographics, interests, and behaviors.
  • Custom Audiences are created using user-provided data such as emails, phone numbers, website visitors, or app users and are useful for retargeting campaigns and reaching existing customers.
  • Lookalike Audiences are generated by taking an existing audience and finding others with similar characteristics and interests. Each type of audience can be used to achieve different goals.

Before You Run Ads or Boost Posts, Define Your Target Audience

Rather than attempting to reach everyone, it is more beneficial to hone in on those that are most likely to respond to your brand and eventually convert.

Understanding the traits that make up your ideal customer persona is a great way to hone in on those who are most likely to respond to and convert with your brand.

Consider characteristics such as age, gender, interests, behavior, and income to see who is already engaging with your product or service. With this knowledge, you can decide to either widen or narrow your target audience.

It would be wrong to assume that everyone would fit into your ICP. That would only be the case if you were selling something as essential as oxygen. For all other products/services, some additional effort is required.

Meta emphasizes the importance of considering characteristics that are common amongst your existing customers, such as demographics, location, and interests. Then, you can either widen or limit this audience, depending on the size of your population.

Identifying Users To Exclude From Your Target Audience

Now that you’ve identified your ideal target audience, it’s equally important to know who NOT to target. This is where negative targeting comes in – the process of filtering out undesired users from your intended audience based on certain criteria.

Negative targeting allows for more efficient ad spend and ensures that your message reaches only those who are most likely to engage with it. When filtering your audience, consider factors such as demographics, interests, behaviors, and location.

For example, if you run a wedding photography business and you want to increase engagement from couples who aren’t married yet, there’s no need to target married couples. There’s also advanced options to make sure you exclude other wedding photographers when establishing your Saved Audience.

Another example, if you run a local business in New York City, there’s no point advertising to people living outside the state or even outside the city limits.

By excluding these users from your target audience using Facebook’s exclusion tools, you can ensure that your ads reach only those within your desired geographical area who have shown interest in similar products or services before.

Remember that by defining an effective negative audience strategy early on, you’ll save time and money while maximizing conversions down the line.

Types of Facebook Ad Targeting Options

Targeting is a powerful tool for boosting your Facebook ad performance. Here are 14 Facebook Ad targeting options to use when creating your next audience:

  1. Hyper-local targeting: Get hyper-specific with your geographical areas to spark engagement.
  2. Life event targeting: Customize your ads to cater to people celebrating milestones.
  3. Excluding audiences: Avoid ad fatigue with smart audience exclusion.
  4. Device usage targeting: Reach users based on the type of device they are using.
  5. Video view targeting: Target users who have watched a good amount of your videos.
  6. ‘When connected to Wi-Fi’ targeting: Reach out to users only when they have access to Wi-Fi.
  7. Engaged shoppers targeting: Focus on those who have clicked on the ‘Shop Now’ button or shown interest in similar products.
  8. Travelers targeting: Appeal to the traveling crowd with your ads.
  9. Targeting sequences: Create a special campaign to further the relationship with users who have already interacted with your brand.
  10. Exclude recent buyers: Make sure you spend your ad budget on those who haven’t yet converted.
  11. Retention period targeting: Set different retention periods for fast-moving consumer goods and products that require a bigger commitment.
  12. Valuable user behavior targeting: Identify high-value user behavior and create custom audiences to target those individuals.
  13. Quality lookalike audiences: Generate lookalike audiences from high-quality custom audience groups.
  14. Custom audience overlap: Overlap custom audiences to find those with the highest engagement.

By leveraging these targeting options, you can better manage your ad budget and increase your conversion rates.

Using Facebook’s Advertising Exclusion Tools

Now that you know how to build audiences using MetaBusiness Facebook, it’s time to learn about the audience exclusion tools. These can be incredibly useful in maximizing reach and ensuring your ads are seen by the right people.

One way to use these tools is by excluding users who have already interacted with your brand or purchased from you. This not only saves money on advertising to an audience that is unlikely to convert again but also helps you avoid annoying customers with irrelevant ads.

Targeting competitors’ followers while excluding yours can help give your business a competitive edge. By showing up where potential customers are already engaging with similar businesses, you’ll increase opportunities for conversion and growth.

In the videos below, I‘ll walk you through setting up your own Saved Audience. Part of that process uses an exclusion list. Click the button below to get the template. 

Get the File

How to Build Your Saved Audience, Step-by-Step

 Watch me setup a Saved Audience & boost a post on desktop & mobile.

Building Your Saved Audience, Part I

Building Your Saved Audience, Part II – desktop

Building Your Saved Audience, Part II mobile

Step 1

custom audience types business facebook ads 1 - Stefanie Morris Co

Facebook Boost vs Ads – Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Exclude Users Based On Their Age Or Gender Using Meta – Business Facebook’s Targeting Tools?

So, can you exclude users based on their age or gender using MetaBusiness Facebook’s targeting tools?

Yes, using Facebook’s targeting tools, you can target potential customers based on interests and behaviors relevant to your product or service. This allows you to reach the most relevant people without excluding those based on age or gender.

Demographic exclusion is not ethical. Instead of leaving out potential customers due to characteristics they can’t change, focus on interests and behaviors pertinent to your product or service. 

How Can I Create A Custom Audience For Users Who Have Previously Interacted With My Business On Instagram?

Creating a custom audience for users who have previously interacted with your business on Instagram is an innovative way to build your brand’s following.

Lookalike audiences can be created from this list, leading to the expansion of your reach and helping you find new customers that share similarities with those already interested in what you offer.

Additionally, retargeting campaigns allow you to bring back potential customers who may have shown interest but did not convert into sales.

Is It Possible To Exclude Users Who Have Already Made A Purchase From My Business In The Past?

By leveraging Facebook’s targeting capabilities, you can easily exclude these users and focus on reaching new potential customers. This is perfect for businesses looking to expand their customer base while also keeping costs low.

Can I Use Meta – Business Facebook’s Exclusion Tools To Exclude Users Based On Their Location Or Language?

Yes, you can use Facebook’s exclusion tools to exclude users based on location & language. 

What are the three types of ad audiences available in Facebook advertising?

The three types of ad audiences available in Facebook advertising are Saved Audience, Custom Audience, and Lookalike Audience.

What is the difference between Boosted Posts and Ads on Facebook?

Boosted Posts are not recommended, as they are a way to waste ad spend. Ads are more strategic and can be customized using Facebook’s targeting tools.

Facebook & Instagram Ads in Review

Learn how to build Facebook audiences that reduce wasted ad spend by understanding Facebook’s target audiences and strategically excluding users who don’t fit your target demographic. 

With Facebook’s sophisticated ad platform and algorithms, you can create custom audiences that match your ideal customer profile and exclude users who are not a good fit for your brand or messaging–saving you money!

About The Author

Stefanie Morris

I’m a recovering wedding photographer turned Showit SEO expert & marketing consultant. 

Explore the blog to learn how to do keyword research, search engine optimization, and create blog content strategy to uplevel your marketing and drive leads.