Meta has made continuous adjustments to the targeting options available on Facebook. In January 2022, Facebook removed some targeting options for advertisers, including sexual orientation (e.g., “same-sex marriage” and “LGBT culture”). If you are trying to reach an LGBTQ+ audience on Facebook, this change limited your targeting options even more. Complicating things further, privacy changes have also led to decreased targeting accuracy based on demographics.
So how do we reach this audience? It won’t necessarily be easy, but here are some ways to get you there.
First, let’s shift your targeting mindset from demographics to interest-based targeting. Due to privacy changes, Facebook has shifted to interest-based audiences rather than building them based on demographic targeting. While Facebook now recommends broad targeting, when trying to reach a niche group such as the LGBTQ+ community, a broad approach doesn’t bring the best results. Interest-based targeting will not be easy; you must understand your target audience to find any available interests through Facebook. Some third-party tools, such as audiencer.io can help your brainstorming process by uncovering niche Facebook groups and interests, along with their audience sizes, to help with this process.
The best option for targeting the LGBTQ+ community will be any first-party data that you have through your CRM, email list, etc. If you are a newer company, you may not have this information, and that’s where digging into your audience’s interests will help. If you have this data, though, you must use it! First-party data will allow you to create custom and lookalike audiences on Facebook to use as warm and cold audiences, respectively. First-party data lists will be your holy grail regarding targeting in general, but specifically for reaching any groups of people who are no longer a targetable option on Facebook.
If you’ve built a community on Facebook through a group, business page, engagement, etc., then it is a good idea to use this data, or even if you do have access to any first-party data. You’ve put in the time and work building out your page and the community within it! Use it to your advantage when advertising. Target based on people who have liked your Facebook page or have engaged with your ads. Facebook offers a few options that allow you to target based on the community you’ve built within their platform, and it is best to use this to your advantage when trying to reach the LGBTQ+ community.
3 QUICK TIPS TO NARROW YOUR LGBT AUDIENCE ON FACEBOOK
- Consider targeting cities with larger or more active LGBT populations (such as those with annual Gay Pride parades).
- Include behaviors or key interests related to your ad’s call to action. For example, our LGBTQ+ tourism ads invite gay and lesbian individuals to travel to New Orleans, so we narrow our audience by limiting it to Leisure Travelers or Frequent Travelers.
- Limit the age range of your audience. The goal isn’t to target everyone who might be interested in your product or service, but to target those within that group who might be most likely to respond to your ad.