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Facebook Targeting By Income Via ZIP Codes

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Facebook Targeting By Income
Facebook Targeting By Income

Editor's Note: This post has been updated with new links and content.
Original Publication Date: February 18, 2019

Back in October 2018, Facebook removed over 5,000 targeting options. This came shortly after a complaint against Facebook from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The complaint claimed that these targeting options could be misused for discriminatory targeting.  Now, they've brought back household income targeting options in the U.S. This time, they're based on the zip code's average household income. Get all the details below.

facebook targeting by income

Facebook is using public information to retrieve this data.

What You Need to Know

Facebook used publicly available data of average household income by US ZIP code to build these audiences.

However, these audiences will not be available for housing, employment, or credit ads. And they are only to be used for inclusion targeting for other categories.

They've broken down the options into four segments:

  • Top 5% of ZIP codes
  • Top 10% of ZIP codes
  • The top 10-25% of ZIP codes
  • Top 25-50% of ZIP codes

With this in mind, the top 10% audience represents the top 10% of US ZIP codes when ordered by average household income. It does not mean the top 10% of households in the US.

Where To Find Facebook Targeting By Income

You can find these four segments in the Detailed Targeting field under Demographics > Financial > Income.

Facebook targeting by income is back in the U.S. This time it's based on average household income by ZIP code. Get all the details in this post.
You can find these options under Detailed Targeting.


Benefits of Facebook Targeting by Income

Facebook targeting by income allows marketers to direct ads to those in certain income brackets. In other words, you can customize your ad creative to target the perceived needs of those in that income range.

To illustrate, here is an example from Facebook.

"For example, a national car manufacturer might be launching a new car model that will make it the most expensive of its category. If the average car is bought by the majority of the population, then this indicates to the car manufacturer that they should consider a more tailored audience that is different from the majority of car owners.

"This advertiser might launch a nationwide campaign targeting the top average household percentile and include a Custom Audience of people who recently visited their dealerships in order to raise awareness among prospective buyers."

Final Thoughts on Facebook Targeting By Income

Although this information isn't as precise as it was previously, this is a big step toward reintroducing some of the targeting options previously offered.

We also believe that there will be updates to come as they figure out ways to collect data that comply with their non-discrimination policy.

Update (3/9/19): As expected, Facebook has reintroduced professional targeting options as part of a larger overhaul of its advertising policy. Read our whole post on the topic here.

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About Tim Burd

Tim Burd is a public speaker, consultant, and serial entrepreneur who’s been called the “Godfather of Facebook Advertising” for his many years of supporting and empowering digital marketers.

Tim’s Facebook Ad Buyers Group is the largest community of online advertisers in the world. He is the co-founder of AdLeaks, an exclusive subscription-based community, and resource for digital marketing and business growth.

In addition to hosting Mastermind workshops and events, Tim has been featured on publications and platforms ranging from Forbes and Bloomberg to Buzzfeed and Bravo.

Tim Burd lives in Newport Beach, California, and works with clients worldwide as a high-end advertising consultant and business development expert.