Facebook Ads Targeting 101 for Handmade Shop Owners

Dec 19, 2017 | Marketing Tactics

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More and more of you show interest in Facebook Ads – they are a great way to bring traffic to your shop and to convert that traffic to sales. That’s why I want to talk about it with you today. It’s a veeeery broad topic, so I’m not going to cover everything today, but I want to focus on targeting the ads as it’s the very first step for a successful Facebook ad and yet many people get it wrong or don’t understand what the options are. That’s why I want to give you the 3 main options you can use when creating your ad. Ready? Let’s dive in!

You can watch the video, or read the post below. The audio is a bit low on this one, so push your volume up!

Before you start

What I mean by targeting is telling Facebook who they should show your ad to. When you have the creative part of your ad done, meaning the graphic/video and copy, you need to tell Facebook to show it to *that* group of people. Choosing that group is targeting. It’s a very, very important part because a great ad, with a beautiful image/video/creative and fantastic copy will still FAIL if the targeting isn’t right.

One more thing before you dive into Facebook ads is to be sure that you are ready for it. Don’t go spending money on ads unless you know your shop converts, and you know your numbers so you know exactly how much you can afford to pay for your ad while still making money from them. If you don’t know your numbers, it’s really easy to spend a lot of money on Facebook ads and not get much in return. Hence the targeting options we’re going to jump right into.


Facebook has data on absolutely everyone that uses the platform. It’s kind of scary, but it also means that you can target your ad to people depending on:

  • Location – e.g. you can show your ad to people only in Canada;
  • Demographics – e.g. you know your ideal customer is a male between 25-35, so you want to target those people;
  • Interest – e.g. in Etsy, cars or whatever you sell;
  • Behavior.

You can also just mix and match. I am not going to dive deep into this because honestly, it’s probably the least efficient way to target your ads. The reason for that is that it is too broad most of the time, meaning you’re not targeting the right people, and you will end up paying more for ads and not get many sales from it…if at all. There are exceptions of course but my tip on that one is to try to stay away. 


This is where Facebook ads get REALLY interesting.

Custom audiences allow you to show your ads ONLY to people who have visited your shop in the past or people who have engaged with your brand and business in one way or another. What does that mean? 

  • You can upload a list of email subscribers to show your ads to people who signed up for your newsletter;
  • You can use your Facebook pixel to show your ad to people who have visited your shop;
  • You can show your ad to people who have engaged with your Facebook page.

This is great because these are TARGETED, WARM audiences (see the 3 building blocks video if you don’t know what cold/warm/hot audiences are). Therefore, those people are much more likely to convert into sales, which also means it will cost you less in the end to run your ads.


This is another Facebook magic trick. With lookalike audiences, you can ask FB to create an audience of FB users that “looks like” one of your custom audiences. Let me give you an example: You upload a list of email subscribers (people who are obviously interested in your products because they signed up for your list) and tell Facebook: go find people who behave in the same way. 

So this time, you are targeting COLD traffic (people who have never heard of you) but it’s much more likely to be highly targeted because it’s based on people who interacted with your shop/brand rather than just on “interests” or “demographics”. Careful though, I wouldn’t recommend using lookalike for an audience of LESS than 1000 as a bare minimum. It’s just not enough data for Facebook to work its magic below that – and of course, the more the better.


There are 3 main ways to target ads on Facebook:

  • Basic targeting – uses demographics, locations, behaviors, and interest, and is targeting COLD traffic;
  • Custom audiences – targeting to WARM or even HOT audiences of people that have already interacted with your brand or shop in the past;
  • Lookalike audiences – targeting COLD traffic, but people that behave like the ones that already like you.


So, what can you do today with what we’ve learned?

First, ask yourself again if you’re ready for Facebook ads. I know that a lot of people say that they are easy and they made $100 000 overnight just by running some Facebook ads, but in reality, it’s much more complex.

Even if you don’t want to start right now, you have to start getting data so that the day you are ready to run the ads, you have the best chances at finding low-cost, highly targeted audiences. To do that, you can:

  • Instal the FB pixel on your website;
  • Start an email list. An email list is very important – not only for ads! There are tutorials and workshops on that if you want to learn more about it here.

Have you run Facebook ads already? How did it go? Let me know!

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Welcome! Want to learn how to build a profitable and successful handmade business and sell your handmade products to the world? You're in the right place! Read more ...
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