Core Audiences: How to Target Facebook Ads Using More Demographics

Facebook Core Audiences More Demographics Targeting

[AUDIO VERSION: I also recorded an audio version of this blog post. Click below to listen. Let me know if this is something you find helpful!]

The power of Facebook ads is found within the targeting. Success and failure will be determined by how well you are able to zero in on the audience that will respond to your messaging.

It’s why I say that Facebook ads don’t fail, but advertisers do. The tools are available for you to do some amazing things when utilized properly.

Back in February, Facebook announced Core Audiences, which are new and revamped targeting options based on the following:

  • Location
  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Behaviors

Today I am going to focus on the demographics enhancement that allows advertisers to target Facebook users in new and powerful ways.

More Demographics

Facebook More Demographics

Whether you create your ads in Power Editor or the ad create tool (I recommend Power Editor), advertisers will see the “More Demographics” drop-down in audience targeting. When clicked, you’ll see these options:

  • Relationship
  • Education
  • Work
  • Financial
  • Home
  • Ethnic Affinity
  • Generation
  • Parents
  • Politics (US)
  • Life Events

Once you start clicking around, a world of options will open up to you…


Facebook Core Audiences More Demographics: Relationship

There was a time when you could only target users based on a select number of relationship options. Now you can get far more specific…

Interested In:

  • All
  • Men
  • Women
  • Men and Women
  • Unspecified

Relationship Status:

  • Single
  • In a Relationship
  • Married
  • Engaged
  • Unspecified
  • Civil Union
  • Domestic Partnership
  • Open Relationship
  • Complicated
  • Separated
  • Divorced
  • Widowed

These statuses are all pulled from Facebook user profiles.


Facebook Core Audiences More Demographics: Education

Facebook allows advertisers to target users based on the type of degree, field of study, school and year of graduation.

Education Level:

  • College Grad
  • Doctorate Degree
  • High School Grad
  • In College
  • In Grad School
  • In High School
  • Master’s Degree
  • Professional Degree
  • Some College

Advertisers can also target the following by entering targets manually in the associated text fields:

  • Fields of Study
  • Schools
  • Undergrad Years

All of this information is pulled from Facebook user profiles.


Facebook Core Audiences More Demographics: Work

Targeting based on career just got a whole lot more powerful. You can manually target Employer and Job Title. But you can also use Facebook Categories to target users based on the industries they work in.


  • Administrative
  • Architecture and Engineering
  • Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Media
  • Business and Financial Operations
  • Cleaning and Maintenance
  • Community and Social Services
  • Computer and Mathematics
  • Construction and Extraction
  • Education and Library
  • Farming, Fishing and Forestry
  • Food Preparation and Services
  • Healthcare and Medical
  • IT and Technical
  • Installation and Repair
  • Legal
  • Management
  • Military
  • Personal Care
  • Production
  • Protective Service
  • Retail
  • Sales
  • Science
  • Temporary and Seasonal
  • Transportation and Moving

Amazingly, you can even target by office type…

Office Type:

  • Corporation
  • Home Office
  • Small Office

This is one of the Partner Categories from Epsilon. Some of this data was moved from Partner Categories and into More Demographics.

Facebook indicates that this specific data is “sourced from purchase transaction data and compiled sources.”


Facebook Core Audiences More Demographics: Financial

Can you believe that you can target users based on income and net worth? Yep, entirely possible…


  • $40,000 – $50,000
  • $50,000 – $75,000
  • $75,000 – $100,000
  • $100,000 – $125,000
  • Over $125,000

Net Worth:

  • $1 – $100,000
  • $100,000 – $1,000,000
  • $1,000,000 – $2,000,000
  • Over $2,000,000

This comes from Axciom’s partner data. Per Facebook:

Income is either consumer self-reported through a survey or estimated based on a variety of demographic data such as age, occupation, home ownership, and median income for the local area.

And regarding net worth…

Modeled based on age, income, presence of children, occupation, property data, vehicle data, investment interest and census median data.


Facebook Core Audiences More Demographics: Home

When you visualize your ideal customer, where do they live? Do they own or rent a home? How much is that home worth? And who lives in it?

You bet, you can target based on this demographic data.

Home Type:

  • Multi-Family Home
  • Single-Family Home

Home Ownership:

  • Homeowners
  • Renters

Home Value:

  • Less than $50,000
  • $50,000 – $99,999
  • $100,000 – $149,999
  • $150,000 – $199,999
  • $200,000 – $249,999
  • $250,000 – $299,999
  • $300,000 – $349,999
  • $350,000 – $399,999
  • $400,000 – $449,999
  • $450,000 – $499,999
  • $500,000 – $599,999
  • $600,000 – $699,999
  • $700,000 – $799,999
  • $800,000 – $999,999
  • $1,000,000 – $1,499,999
  • $1,500,000 – $1,999,999
  • Over $1,999,999

All of this data comes from Axciom.

You can also target based on household composition. This data is sourced by data mining partner Epsilon.

Household Composition:

  • Children in Home
  • Empty Nesters
  • Grandparents
  • New Teen Drivers
  • No Children in Home
  • Veterans in Home
  • Working Women
  • Young Adults in Home

Ethnic Affinity

Facebook Core Audiences More Demographics: Ethnic Affinity

There isn’t much available here now, but Facebook allows you to target users who define themselves as Hispanic. We can assume this will be expanded in the future.

  • Hispanic (US – All)
  • Hispanic (US – Bilingual)
  • Hispanic (US – English Dominant)
  • Hispanic (US – Spanish Dominant)


Facebook Core Audiences More Demographics: Generation

Right now, you can only target based on the Facebook Category of “Baby Boomers.” These options will undoubtedly grow, though I question the value since you can otherwise target based on age.


Facebook Core Audiences More Demographics: Parents

If your product or service focuses on children or their parents, this could be an incredibly valuable option for you.

Facebook asks users to share names and ages of their family members, regardless of whether they are on Facebook. Advertisers can then target ads based on this information.

All Parents:

  • Expectant Parents
  • Parents (All)
  • Parents (Child: 0-3 yrs)
  • Parents (Child: 4-12 yrs)
  • Parents (Child: 13-15 yrs)
  • Parents (Child: 16-19 yrs)

Target users who are moms thanks to DLX partner data. This is sourced from “U.S consumer data on where consumers shop, how they shop, what products and brands they purchase, the publications they read, and their demographic and psychographic attributes.”


  • Big-City Moms
  • Corporate Moms
  • Fit Moms
  • Green Moms
  • Soccer Moms
  • Stay-at-Home Moms
  • Trendy Moms


Facebook Core Audiences More Demographics: Politics

Data partner Epsilon allows Facebook advertisers to target users based on political affiliation thanks to completed surveys and records of donations made.

  • Donate to Conservative Political Causes
  • Donate to Liberal Political Causes
  • Politics (US Active)
  • Politics (US Conservative)
  • Politics (US Liberal)
  • Politics (US Non-Partisans)
  • Registered Voters (Democrat)
  • Registered Voters (Independent)
  • Registered Voters (Republican)

Life Events

Facebook Core Audiences More Demographics: Life Events

Finally, advertisers can target users based on recent changes they’ve made to their profiles.

  • Away From Family
  • Away From Hometown
  • Long Distance Relationship
  • New Job
  • New Relationship
  • Newly Engaged (1 Year)
  • Newly Engaged (3 Months)
  • Newly Engaged (6 Months)
  • Newlywed (1 Year)
  • Newlywed (3 Months)
  • Newlywed (6 Months)
  • Recently Moved
  • Upcoming Birthday

Where Does Facebook Get This Data?

It will undoubtedly sound creepy to some that you can target based on some of this information. But if you get past the creepiness, this data can be used to generate incredibly relevant — and useful — advertising.

Demographic targeting is based on data from one of two sources:

  • Information users provide to Facebook
  • Information mined by data partners

The first is easy to explain. If you’ve recently moved, changed jobs or got engaged, advertisers can target you based on this information.

The second has actually been around for more than a year in the US via Partner Categories, but some of this targeting has been moved to the More Demograhpics area.

Facebook partnered with data mining companies to collect additional information on users for targeting purposes. Whenever you fill out an application or survey or make a large purchase, data mining companies often get access to this information.

As always, advertisers have no access to the names associated with this data. For more on how this data is used, make sure you read this message from Facebook.

How Can Advertisers Use This Data?

Facebook gives the following examples of ways you can target with this information…

Relationship status expansion and time overlay:

If you’re seeking to reach newly engaged couples, you can select ‘Newly Engaged’ as a target audience and overlay a timeframe of 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year+.


If you represent a school, you can select an audience with ‘Some College’ to promote returning to college to finish a degree.

Workplace and job title:

If you’re a recruiter, you can find people with specific job titles based on the role they’re seeking to fill.

If you’re a B2B Technology or Telecom advertiser, you can find the right job title, even at the right companies, to connect directly with decision makers for IT purchases.

Note that Core Audiences also allow advertisers to target using “and” statements rather than “or” statements.

Facebook Ads Targeting Before

Facebook Ads Targeting Now

From Facebook:

The new structure based on targeting type enables a more precise target audience to be constructed. In the past, many audiences could only be connected via an ‘or’ statement, but
different targeting types are now connected via an ‘and’ statement.

For example: an advertiser trying to acquire customers for a new digital camera can target: ‘People who are parents and who are interested in photography and who upload photos frequently.’

On Targeting

Note that as powerful as this is, I recommend that you start first with users most closely connected to you.

My Facebook targeting priority goes in this order:

  1. Facebook Fans
  2. Email Subscribers Who Aren’t Fans
  3. Website Visitors Who Aren’t Fans
  4. Lookalike Audiences
  5. Partner Categories (Including Core Audiences)
  6. Interests

You can certainly have success with this demographic targeting, but if you have a strong customer list you should have the most success first with those who already know who you are. Depending on budget and the sizes of your audiences (Fans, Subscribers, Website Visitors), you may or may not need to move beyond these groups.

Your Turn

Have you experimented with Core Audiences and the More Demographics targeting? What results are you seeing?

Let me know in the comments below!

  • Gord Brown

    Great breakdown. Thanks for sharing the insights Jon!

    Funny though that “advertising” or “marketing” were not in the list of industries.

  • [email protected]

    Jon – great topic as I love the specific targeting tools that are being released by Facebook. On the flip side, can the insights tool provide the resulting metrics from your ads based on these same type of targeting strategies. In another words, if you run an ad based on a certain position opening, like a Nurse Practitioner, and you specifically target the Nurse Practitioner audience with your ad, will the resulting engagement levels, likes, etc from the ad provide the specific audience metrics detailing the percent of nurse practitioners who engaged or “acted” on the ad — depending on the type of ad that you run? Does that make sense?

  • John Schuster

    Thanks Jon! I saw a bunch of these show up recently but it’s very helpful to see them all laid out.
    The UI is not so user friendly, perhaps I need to get a really big screen ;)

  • Ian Brodie

    The more advanced data isn’t available to non-US advertisers – even if we want to advertise in the US. Bah! We’re looking on in envy!

    • osterude

      Hey Ian, you can use a proxy like: to simulate you’re in the US if it’s a matter of your profile location change your location ;)

      • Justin Kozuch

        Would this method work if I wanted to create ads targeting Canadians? Or is that not possible at this time.

        • Mark H

          Nope – the data is US specific for now. But like most things that take for ages to come across the pond into Canada – this might take time as well :(

          • Justin Kozuch

            Thanks Mark.

      • Ian Brodie

        Thanks osterude. facebook knows my account is UK based though. So I’d have to create a new account, breaking their terms, etc.

      • Mark Bradley

        Osterude, presumably the data is only US based, so not so useful if targeting audiences in the UK… Does anyone have any idea when all the ‘juicy’ stuff will be available to UK user?!

    • Kenneth

      Hi Ian, I’m based in Australia and can get most of these (some aren’t available, eg. Financial).

      • Ian Brodie

        Yep – it’s the juicy useful stuff that’s not available!

  • John Reh

    I thought I heard somewhere that you could target people who facebook thought were likely to move/sell their home. Would that be included here in the new demographics or is that more of a graph search function? (or is that not available?)

    • Darrell Merrick

      There is a “Likely to move” targeting option, in Behaviors. I just started using it for a campaign for a real estate company. You’ll want to combine that with Home Ownership = Homeowners (since you don’t want to target renters).

      • John Reh

        awesome, thanks!

  • Roger P

    Hi Jon, I want to run traffic to my website from Facebook. When I publish a post, I can run the Ad the usual way. But if I want to do an Unpublished post ONLY and run an Ad for it, can I do it? OR I have to always have a published post first and then create Unpublished posts? Thanks.

    • Jon Loomer

      Of course, Roger. Just create an unpublished post when you’re creating your ad.

      • Roger P

        Thanks for the reply Jon. My goal is when facebook readers click on my Ad, they should go to my website NOT my facebook page. When I created the objective, “Clicks to website” it gives two options. Snap shot included.
        Do either option helps with my goal which is when someone clicks on my Ad, they should go straight to my Website off-facebook?

        What is the difference between those two options?

        Do you prefer CPC or oCPM or CPM bidding for Clicks to Website?

        Thank you.

  • Darrell Merrick

    Great post Jon. I recently subscribed to your list and am very glad I did.

    Been experimenting with some of these different options. For example, just started a small test for a client, targeting higher net worth people in NYC. In other campaigns I’ve tried higher income levels. Guess that’s worth a split-test in his case: go for high income or high net worth.

    Sometimes it’s like being a kid in a candy store, with the different options.

    • Jon Loomer

      Exactly, Darrell! Sometimes it’s tough to know where to start. But just start and experiment!

  • Sibi

    Thank you Jon for the info. Tough luck, it’s not available in my country. Are there any suggested workarounds?

    • Jon Loomer

      Sorry Sibi!

  • Aaron Zakowski

    These targeting options are just another reason that FB ads have become the best marketing option for most small and medium businesses. I’ve been using these new audience segmentation tools for B2B lead generation for a client the past few weeks and results are fantastic.

  • Vish

    Jon this is great. I have 2 quick questions. Would really appreciate you answering it

    1) I get all the other core audience sections except ” The income”. one. Where do i find that. I cannot find it in power editor and in demographics. I am not able to see the partner categories. I have in power editor Broad catogeries where there are online spenders list…

    2) Power Editor should only be used if you are running ads for facebook pages. For those who dont have facebook pages power editor is of not much use because without pages it only allows you to post to right hand side column. It does not allow you newsfeed ads Is this statement right

    • Jon Loomer

      1) You probably don’t have it yet.

      2) I don’t use self-serve ad tool. I can confirm that domain ads only go on sidebar. Power Editor has many advantages, including saving audiences, creating lookalike audiences, bulk editing/creation…

  • Simon Stebbing

    The one I’m waiting for, as I’m sure you’d probably love as well, is targeting page admins & editors.

  • Yassin Shaar

    How come i still don’t have these targeting options in my account ?

    • Jon Loomer

      Don’t know, Yassin. I was told it was fully rolled out, but not looking like this is the case.

  • Carlin Stanton

    Great post, Jon. Thank you for helping us keep up to date with the latest Facebook changes. Your info is invaluable!

  • Dan Kelly

    Holy [bleep]!!!

    Jon, I was thinking about asking you this question before this article but new would a good time…

    How can we track our advertising back to individual interests or demographic items?

    Do we have to create individual ads for each interest, and then track each to the action your tracking? Or is there a way to knew which interests/demographics that are clicking and converting?

    Thanks, Jon! You rock!!

    • Jon Loomer

      Hey, Dan. Not clear if this will do exactly what you ask up front, but Facebook is launching Audience Insights this week. Should help with some of this.

      • Dan Kelly

        Do you know if Audience insights works with the conversion pixel and ads to show which audience converts?

        I’ve read in a couple of places that you should just create an ad for every audience, and use tracking links (sub-ids to be exact) to track which audiences are converting and which ones are not… like you can do in AdWords… tracking down to which keywords are converting ROI and which are not.

        Would that work? If someone likes three of your total target interests, would they see potentially see the ad three times – once from each interest they’ve liked? Or, can you prevent showing to certain interests? (Show to ‘people who like MMA, but not Anderson Silva’)

        I’ve also heard (on a salespage, so take it with a gallon of salt) that there is software that can automatically grab the interest when the user clicks to one of the software’s redirect links… but I’m VERY skeptical.

  • Alan Li

    This is really helpful. Thank you Jon! Would appreciate if you can follow up another blog with more indepth targeting examples.

  • junaid ahmed

    Really informative post! Targeting audiences let you hit the specific audience but what about the facebook’s new algorithms that already limited the post reach and engagement with it’s news feed algorithm changes. Does targeting the specific or we can say the core audiences with different demographics will work for post reach? Kindly let me understand this point that may let me set the best social media mareting strategy. Thanks.

  • Sam Parker

    Killer article John, I love how you make topics like these so easy to understand. It is a true sign of competence when someone can present a complicated theme in a way that is actually accessible! No hiding behind jargon or ten dollar words.

  • Mike Wilson

    Great post Jon, apart from demographics is there any way to target user who have engaged with a specific post / add? Similar to a WCA based on visitors to a specific page we’d like to create a custom audience based on people who have liked, shared or commented on a post. We’re hoping we can take users through a funnel moving from one add to another based on engagement. Similar to an email series but within the newsfeed and tailored to each user based on the engagement they may or may not have with us ? We have both your previous courses which have been great but can’t see anything on this. Thanks for any help?

  • Siddesh Rane ت

    Booming Social media helping to Advertisers as well leading to evolution for youth views in the world

  • Gracious Store

    These information Facebook has about people are really amazing and if advertisers use them prudently they will surely make good “catches”

  • Ces

    Hi Jon. First time Power Editor user here. Potential audience estimate takes a while to load. I’ve already refreshed a couple of times, and I still don’t see any numbers. Is that normal, or am I missing a step? :( Thanks!

  • Leo

    hi Jon.
    I’m from Vietnam and in my fb ad section is missing some part of behavior and more demographic. (purchase behavior, financial,…) how can i have fully function?

  • Nicholas Lanphear


    Have you tried more demographics of net worth, income or home value? If so, how accurate are they? I believe Facebook tries to guess who is wealthy from 3rd parties. I just wonder if that actually works as 3rd parties can only make guesses for someone that lives in say Las Vegas, single, and has no kids.

  • Stephanie Stacey

    Thank your for all of your wonderful information.
    How would you go about targeting local business owners?

  • Neetu

    Hi Jon! This was great insight. Do you know if there is a way to target job seekers on FB?

  • Portlight

    Thank you for such a informative article!

  • Lisa

    Great article Jon. Why is it that I can’t see the Home or Income options in the drop down from more demographics?

  • Bosse Banan

    I’m a little confused. Are these options available worldwide or just the US?

  • Hattan

    Hi, I need to target new audience who might want to download software. May you advice me somehow I can utilize my users’ data? Mostly, currently i use list of people visiting the sites only to exclude people who have already download only.