Everything Firms Need to Know About the New Facebook Ad Targeting Update 

Smartphone displaying facebooks new ad targeting updates for law firms on a dark background.

In today’s competitive field, platforms like Facebook go past being a place of social connection. For many, firms included, this is a marketplace. One of the most significant advantages of running your ad campaigns on this platform is the extensive ad targeting options. 

For the longest time, Facebook’s targeting options have been the super tool for all advertisers. According to Bloomberg, “Meta has been criticized for years over some of its ad-targeting options.” For example, back in 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development accused Facebook because it allowed limiting housing ads from appearing to certain users based on their gender and race – this practice is barred by law. 

To change this narrative, Meta announced that by 19 January 2022, they’re removing some detailed targeting options. The advertisement option was either redundant or associated with sensitive causes like health, race, ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, and sexual orientation. 

This is relevant because the affected ads have been paused or automatically removed. However, these updates have a more significant impact than you might think. By understanding the new rules, you can create a positive domino effect. If you know who you need and want to target, you can then better allocate your campaign investments to people that need you and vice versa, the people you need. 

Stay with us as we uncover why and how you can invest your ad dollars in the smartest possible way. Let’s start with… 


Why Facebook ads matter beyond your firm’s campaign 

Facebook ads importance banner

In a perfect world, all the users viewing your epic campaigns would convert, but the truth is, it takes time. Today, as high as 96% of visitors coming to your website are not ready to buy as of yet. This is especially the case for high-ticket purchases like hiring an attorney. Despite that, there’s a silver lining to it all. Although 96% of visitors are not ready to buy, they may be willing to exchange, e.g., contact information for a piece of valuable content! This is where campaigns on platforms like Instagram or Facebook play a crucial role. 

Today, law firms spend money on modern marketplaces like Facebook to make more money. By leveraging campaign strategies, firms can actively gain momentum, attract more leads and improve the bottom-line ROI. To get more leads to convert into calls and cases, you must nurture them as they go through their buyer’s journey.

With that said, how can you get the most of every dollar you spend on your campaigns after this update? Let’s dive in. 


The Best Facebook Alternative Ad Targeting Options

Before we get started, here’s a pro tip for your legal campaign strategies: All your ads should link to a goal in mind, e.g., increasing brand awareness or gaining more leads. Try to pair the targeting options with your campaign’s goal(s) as a rule of thumb. 

1. Broad targeting 

Is your goal related to reach or brand awareness? Then broad targeting is your best bet. Here you can build the biggest audience. In other words, expand your net to get the most fish. 

Go to your Facebook Ads Manager > Audiences. Then you should be able to create a saved audience: Audience creation interface
The great part about it is that you can create different targeting options based on:

  • People living in or recently in the location
  • People living in the location
  • People recently in the location
  • People traveling to the location


Check this example out: 

Digital marketing audience setup tablet

2. Engagement-based custom audiences

Let’s say you don’t want a big net; you want to reel in quality rather than quantity. For this, focus on ad options like engagement-based custom audiences. It targets people who’ve already interacted with your business. 


You can target people that interacted with your posts, any event you created, and videos. Here’s an example of what the audience targeting options look like for videos:

Video engagement audience setup



3. Ad-based custom audiences

Are you running, or plan to run, campaigns targeting the consideration level of the sales funnel? Or have you added any forms in your ads? If this is the case and you find yourself with a lot of engagement but few forms submitted, you can retarget them. 

Remember when we said 96% are not ready to buy?. If a user isn’t prepared when they see your ad the first time, don’t lose hope. With more convincing, they might be ready this second time around! This is where ad-based custom audiences with retargeting works. 

Digital marketing tool interface


4. Lookalike audiences

Ad fatigue is when your audience sees your ads so often that they stop paying attention. One way to counterattack this is through lookalike audiences. It means targeting similar Facebook targets. 

Lookalike audience creation ui

Pro-tip for lookalike targeting: The smaller the audience size percentage, the closer it should resemble the lookalike source. Try testing out with the 1% to start because the higher the percentage, the less similar they are, which means the results might differ.


5. Customer List-based custom audiences 

Do you have to 100% rely on Facebook’s data? Not necessarily. We’ve previously covered some of the best practices firms can implement to build their data, AKA – first-party data.

For example, if you have a list of customers from your CRM tool, you can use it to build on your Facebook audiences.

Tablet selecting audience source

6. Dynamic Formats and Creative 

Last but not least, this is not an audience targeting option, but if you are open to A/B testing your ad’s format, Dynamic Formats and Creative can help. It would look like this: 

Tablet selecting audience source

If you toggle the ‘dynamic formats and creative,’ you’re allowing Facebook to automatically show your copy and media in what they consider to be the most effective placement. 


Changes to targeting options like such can happen, and it does have a tremendous impact on your firm’s campaigns and overall conversions. Whether you’re spending big bucks or have a more considerable budget, any investment in a campaign is still an investment you’ll want to safeguard. 

In the end, law firms are spending money on modern marketplaces like Facebook to make more money. To secure your peace of mind and fully capitalize your advertising dollars, it’s best to have your investment closely monitored by legal PPC experts