Why do certain ads show up in your News Feed?

Ever wonder why some ads show up in your News Feed?

Or maybe you're just curious about the different targeting strategies someone is using when you see their ad. 

Well, there's an easy way to tell why you're seeing the ads that you do. 

Here's how you do it: 

The next time you see an ad in your News Feed, click the little down arrow at the top: 

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And then click 'Why am I seeing this ad?" 

And voila! There you go. 

So I'm seeing this ad because they created a Lookalike Audience based on their current customers and Facebook thinks I'm similar to the customers in their database. 

So here's how it works: 

Facebook keeps tabs on what we do on Facebook-- the pages we like, the links we click, articles we share-- all that fun stuff. And they use that data so advertisers can get their ads in front of the right people. 

The good news is, you have total control of these settings. If you click on 'Manage Your Ad Preferences' you can see all the different categories and things that Facebook thinks you care about. Here are a few of mine:  

And some more of the categories: 

You have total control here so you can edit all of your preferences. You're still going to see ads, but hopefully they will be ads that you're actually interested in. 

Now here's one of the major things people get wrong about Facebook Targeting and why they see ads when they're not a fan of that page: 

When you target by Interest -- Tony Robbins, Marie Forleo, Jack Canfield -- most people assume you're only targeting the fans of those pages. 

But that's not the case. 

You're targeting the fans of those pages but also anyone that's shown Interest in that person, business, website or blog. 

You show interest any time you click on an article, comment on a post, share a link or like a post. Even if you're not a fan of that page, you're showing interest. 

See what I mean....

And the actual number of Facebook fans: 

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This is why you'll see some ads show up in your News Feed that say something like, '{Insert Page Name} wants to reach people that are interested in {Insert Interest}.

You're not a fan of that page, but you're still seeing the ad. Because somewhere along the way you showed interest in that page. 

This is also why the numbers in Ads Manager for Interest never match up with the number of fans a page has. If you've never noticed it, check it out the next time you're setting up an ad. 

Keep an eye on the ads that pop up in your Feed and you might get a few good ideas for ways to target your own audience! :-)