Facebook Ad Targeting Options For Franchise Owners

Anytime I meet with a small business or franchise owner (specifically in the B2C space) the first thing I tell them is, they need to be using Facebook ads. No lie. If you're not there, you need to be. Owners often tell me targeting users is the hardest for them so for this this post, I want to talk about facebook ad targeting options.


Despite and all the negative press for Facebook the last 3-4 months, users aren't going anywhere. Sure some users might be joining the #QuitFacebook push but the people who use it regularly know they can't quit it cold turkey. Based on their last quarterly report, Facebook reported 1.49 Billion (with a B) users login daily or check their feed daily. In addition to that, their advertising revenue was up 33% last quarter.

My point is, Facebook remains very relevant to users especially for advertisers. Why? They have the most DAUs online, they have a massive library of ad units and advertisers can mix and match their targeting to be whatever they would like. Anytime I meet with a small business or franchise owner specifically in the B2C space, the first thing I tell them is, they need to be using Facebook ads. No lie. If you're not there, you need to be. If you're not, maybe its because Facebook Ads Manager is intimidating to you. Most often then not, people tell me targeting users is the hardest for them so for this this post, I want to talk about facebook ad targeting options. Let's get started.


If you're a small business owner or a franchise owner, I suggest starting with your territory. If you don't have a territory, what's the drive time for your customers? Define that area and add city name and zip code into locations. Yes, depending on the location those two things are different. Personally, I start with zip codes since that provides a more specific target especially in larger markets. Below shows targeting by both for a single retail store in St. Louis Park, MN.

The example above is for a franchise owner and the targeting here represents their core area without stepping on the feet of neighboring stores. This is a great start.

One major thing to point out here is the drop down at the top. Facebook provides the option on who you want to reach in this area. For retailers and franchise owners, I see the best results using “People who live in this location”. Other options could target people who simply drive through the area making them NOT a relevant target for you.


I’m not going to talk a lot about demographics here since many people know what demos are. I will however use this space to talk about Facebook Audience Insights for your page. Many Page owners forget this this there but you should be checking this every once and a while to see who is liking your page. Go get there, when logged into Business Manager go under Plan and click on Audience Insights. Once here, scroll down on the left hand side and select your Page or Place. Looking at the same client from the targeting example we can see that 97% of my followers are women and of that 82% of the women are aged 25-44. Adding those demos to my targeting dials m

Within Facebook Analytics you can see the basics like gender, age, location and language. Depending on your Page or brand, this might be helpful for you. Also, keep this view open because I will refer back to it in a little bit.


I am still shocked advertisers don’t use this as frequently as they should. Facebook creates interests and let me tell you there are hundreds. HUNDREDS! What they do is group pages into interests or sometimes they allow you to basically target followers of other brands if they are big enough. Yes, I’m sure some of you were shocked to hear that but let’s take a look where that is.

From here you can type the interest you are looking for or click into the interests to show the sub-interests. Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Once you have a couple interest in there, Facebook shows another option at the bottom. Do you see that?

Exclude or Narrow. Ohhhhhh. This allows you to Group Interests with an AND or AND NOT. Meaning, I can target people who follow Target but NOT Walmart. Or, if I wanted, I could target people who follow both Target AND Walmart. For the client above, here’s another way to Narrow an Audience.

The example above looks at people who shop a lot and have kids. And notice, if I wanted, I can continue to dial in this audience by adding more Exclude or Narrow options. Yes, seriously, this is a killer tool when used properly.

Find More Interests

Remember in Demos I said to leave that Audience Insights page open? Well, here’s where you will want to reference that. Notice at the top there’s a tab called Page Likes? Click that.

I’m going to show a screenshot from this view since it shows a client’s makeup but hopefully when you click this a lightbulb will go off for you. Yes, this view shows what other pages your followers are following. If other pages have a high affinity to your page, using that other page or interest within your targeting is a great way to reach potential new customers.

Custom Audiences

The last of the low hanging fruit when it comes to Facebook target for franchise owners is, your past customers. If you have an email list or a customer list with email, you can load that into Facebook and they will find JUST those people. No kidding.

To find this option, while logged into Business Manager go to the full menu and under Assets select Audiences. Once there you will see a bright blu button titled Create Audience. Click that then Custom Audeince (we will cover Lookalike next). Once Custom Audience is clicked it will bring up:

Select Customer file then follow the steps to upload that list. Once that is done Facebook will go through their system and match users with the email addresses they have on file. Yeah, sick right? The great thing with this is, your list can be 1,000 people or it can be 1M people, they can take it. Once they’ve matched, you can use just that Audience as a target. This is great to reach people who have already shopped in your store or to reach people who already know you.

Lookalike Audiences

No need to over think this. Once you have an Audience, Facebook can find people who look just like that Audience so you can find more people who are already in an Audience. To do this, go back to the blue custom audience button and click on Lookalike Audience. That will bring up this.

To create a lookalike audience you need a source, location and desired size. A Source is an audience Facebook already knows. This could be a Custom Audience, Page, App, etc. Location, is just the country. Size tells facebook how precise does this group need to be? If you select 1-2 then Facebook is going to find as many people with a lot of matching attributes. If you select 9 or 10, then they might match on just a couple matching interests thus creating a massive audience. In the past, when I have done this the audience range from about 2 million to 25+ Million.

Personally, I would start small (1 -3) to see how it performs. If it does well, use it for a while knowing expanding it to 4-5 might be another option.

One additional comment here is, when FB creates a lookalike it will try to focus the audience to a location but I suggest adding city or zips as needed. Meaning, a lookalike could include people across the US too. If you know your target is in an area, use the Custom Audience AND geo-targeting to make sure you’re reaching people most likely to take action with your page.

Final Comments

As you can see, there are many Facebook ad targeting options for franchise owners. While they are straightforward they can get complex. My suggestion is, while there are a lot of options available, remember who your target is. The more you sway away from that target, the worse your results.

If you need help in this area, check out my Retail Promotion page for a full listing of services offered.

As always, please comment or get in touch with questions.

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