Ad Targeting: Reasons NOT to Target Current Connections of Facebook Pages


When you’re creating an ad on Facebook, there are many different targeting options. One important option to understand it when to and when not to target your Page connections on Facebook, especially when creating ads linked to Facebook pages. Read on to learn when you shouldn’t target your current connections. (Note: to minimize confusion, we still reference connections as fans even though ‘fans’ is being phased out)

Targeting Connections on Facebook

As a self-serve Facebook advertiser, you can target users who are either:

  • Connected to your Facebook Page (Current “connections” or what used to be known as “fans”)
  • Not Connected to your Facebook Page (Everyone who isn’t connected to your page)
  • Friends of Connections of your Facebook Page

Each one of these can strategically be used to make a very effective advertising campaign. For this blog post, I’d like to focus on why you shouldn’t target ads to current connections/fans. Remember, you can also target or not target connections of pages you are an admin on.

Reasons NOT to Target Current Connections of Facebook Pages

  • Don’t Pay for More Ad Clicks when Growing Page Connections

If you are using Facebook ads to grow your connections, then don’t show your ads to current connections. The reason is simple:  don’t pay for additional clicks (in the CPC option) for someone who’s already been acquired as a connection. It’s a waste of money.

  • Stay As Relevant as Possible to Who You’re Targeting on Facebook

The key to success for Facebook advertising is relevancy to the user you are targeting. If you are using a Facebook ad to grow your connections, then that ad isn’t relevant to your current connections and a poor use of Facebook advertising because you can and should tailor messaging specific to who you’re targeting.  For example, if your ad copy reads ‘Connect with us to learn more about XYZ’ then this isn’t relevant to current connections because they’ve already connected with you. Current connections require different messaging in ads.

How to Target Non-Connections

To create your ad so that current page connections won’t see, add your Facebook page to the field titled “Target users who are not already connected to” so that after a user converts to a connection of your page or is already a connection of your page then that user will no longer see your ad.

Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts on reasons WHY TO target your current connections and what to do with friends of current connections. Have any questions about Facebook ad targeting? Ask us here!

Post written by Helen Todd aka @helenstravels. To learn more from, connect with us on Facebook!

Written By:

Helen Todd

Helen Todd is the co-founder and CEO of Sociality Squared, a full service social media agency based in New York City since 2010 who understands the magic of people coming together around what they value and love. Helen is an award-winning marketer, international speaker, and also an advisor and speaker for SXSW Interactive. Helen holds a Master's degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Emerson College.