Here’s how Advantage expansion targeting works with When turned on, Meta can expand your audience to reach people beyond the Detailed Targeting (interests and behaviors) that you selected, but only if that expansion is expected to lead to better results. Location, age, gender, and exclusions are hard constraints, and the expanded audience will continue to follow those rules. More, When turned on, Meta can expand your audience if it believes you can get better results by doing so. That expansion will be achieved by increasing the percentage of your lookalike audience, using the original custom audience for training. More, and When turned on, Meta has the ability to expand targeting beyond your selected custom audience. The location, age, gender, and exclusions that you input will continue to be used as hard constraints. More.
If you enter detailed targeting in your An ad set is a Facebook ads grouping where settings like targeting, scheduling, optimization, and placement are determined. More, you may see this message…
“Advantage Detailed Targeting: Reach measures the number of Accounts Center Accounts (formerly users) that saw your ads at least once. You can have one account reached with multiple impressions. More people beyond your detailed targeting selections when it’s likely to improve performance.”
If you turn this on, Meta can expand your This is the group of people who can potentially see your ads. You help influence this by adjusting age, gender, location, detailed targeting (interests and behaviors), custom audiences, and more. More to reach people you didn’t target if it’s believed it can help you get better results. Depending on the When you create a campaign, one of the first things you'll do is select an objective. The campaign objective is your ultimate goal. Your selection will impact options, including optimization and delivery. Options include Awareness, Traffic, Engagement, Leads, App Promotion, and Sales. More, you may not be able to turn it off.
If you enter a Lookalike audiences allow advertisers to reach people who are similar to an audience of people already close to you. Lookalike audiences are based on custom Audiences, which tend to include your current customers or people who have engaged with your business. More, you may see this message…
“Advantage Lookalike: Reach people beyond your lookalike audiences when it is likely to improve performance.”
If you turn this on, Meta can expand your lookalike audience beyond the percentage you selected. Once again, depending on the objective, you may not be able to turn this off.
Finally, if you enter a custom audience, you may see this message…
“Advantage Custom Audience: Reach people beyond your custom audience when it is likely to improve performance.”
Luckily, you will always have the option of turning Advantage Custom Audience on or off.
What do we think about Meta expanding our targeting in this way? In theory, it’s only supposed to expand if it will help us get better results. And just because it’s on doesn’t mean that your audience will be expanded significantly.
The problem: We never know how much your audience is expanded, how much of your A budget is an amount you're willing to spend on your Facebook campaigns or ad sets on a daily or lifetime basis. More is spent on reaching the expanded audience, or how the expanded audience performed compared to your targeted audience.
It’s a complete unknown. Transparency would help.