How does Microtargeting Work in Advertising on Facebook?

How does Micro Targeting Works in Advertising for Facebook?
Published By - Kelsey Taylor

Microtargeting, (also known as micro-niche targeting), is a marketing strategy that is often used by political parties in election campaigns.

It uses customer data about what they like, what their demographics are, about their purchase history, and more, to divide them into smaller groups or segments.

The goal of microtargeting is to know about the target audience so that the message can be delivered to them according to their interest.

Facebook is one of the powerful tools in motivating action in politics. During the elections of 2012 and 2016, Facebook boosted articles and ad campaigns on Election Day and turned out voters by 3%.

Why Facebook Advertising is a Great Tool for Microtargeting?

Every company’s end goal is the conversion of leads and advertising through social media platforms is one of the most effective ways to promote the product or services.

By finding the insights of the audience

A company has the option to choose its audience to which it wants to target its ads.

It can be the overall audience on Facebook or people who are connected to the page of the company, or for that matter, the company can create its own custom audience for an ad campaign.

Getting insights about the audience will certainly help the marketers to target their ads more effectively.

Facebook collects so much of the personal data of the audience that it’s a jackpot for marketers. Facebook helps marketers to select the right audience for ads or campaigns.

A marketer can customize the visibility of the ads on the following basis:

Facebook Age Targeting

The needs and wants of people change with their age. Say, a need for younger and earning professionals if certainly going to be different from that of an older and retired person.

Having age-based data, organizations can altercate their services and products to better suit their audience’s needs.

Facebook Location Targeting

Facebook is one of the best platforms through which a marketer can reach a large audience at once in any city, country, region, and communities where a marketer can expand his business.

A local organization will need to segment the audience on the basis of what city or state does its business cater to.

Facebook Behavior Targeting

Marketers can divide their customers on the basis of buying patterns, purchase history, purchase behavior, device usage, and many other activities. And then accordingly, they show them the ads related to their prior purchase.

Facebook Interests Targeting

According to the various interest mentioned by the audience in their profile, marketers can show them different ads. It may vary according to the pages they like, their hobbies, and many more such factors.

Facebook Device Targeting

A marketer can analyze the devices which the audience is using to operate Facebook. According to the device, it is easy to design the size, font, and style of the ad for the audience for a specific device.

At last, the marketer can promote the campaigns or ads through the collected data.

Some examples of Microtargeting being used effectively for Facebook Advertising Campaigns

Obama in 2008 US elections

Voter database was used to understand their behavioral patterns and interests based on their social network profile which was obtained by a technical staff and database engineers which devised the marketing strategy to target the voters in a better manner.

Obama’s team convinced the segmented group of people to vote for them along with their acquaintances by achieving a type of personalization on a massive scale by tapping into the habits, opinions, preferences, and interests of the voters.

They influenced the voters about specific topics like party-oriented messages and interacted with them on an individual basis.

Microtargeting has made it possible to track the user’s activities and segment them according to their taste and preferences.

It customizes a campaign using predictive analysis and delivers the message through the users’ preferred communication channel.

2016 Presidential Elections

Microtargeting was pretty evident in the 2016 U.S. presidential election as well, where Donald Trump spent millions of dollars on the voter database to understand their behavioral pattern and influence them.

It finally had an impact on the final results in November 2016. The technical team of Donald Trump engineered compelling services to grab the user’s attention by organizing updated news feeds and messaging apps with push notifications.

Various data were collected using digital services and social media platforms of the individual user to construct a tracking profile of the behavior of the voters.

The voter base was targeted on the basis of their gender location and political inclination’s which were obtained by Facebook.

As many people relied on Facebook as the main source of their news it was the most intensive and effective online campaign.

Various algorithms were developed to understand and predict how much clicks and scrolling time each person is spending on what type of political content.

Trump’s team mastered microtargeting and content curation over social media and that’s how tweaked voters out of Hilary Clinton’s base to his side.

Cambridge Analytica ran the Trump campaign in the general elections of the U.S. in 2016 and helped him cross the line. However, the company hacked Facebook data to harvest millions of people profiles to target voters in favor of trump.


We can say that microtargeting is one of the most important and influential ways of reaching to the target audience via running advertisements on Facebook.

It is one of the tools available to a political campaign to get the message across the audience just like other campaigning tools.

Microtargeting is the perfect tool for a multitude of possibilities, due to its versatility and effectiveness, we can look forward to its increasing adoption across many industry areas.

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