Facebook Audience Insights : The Complete Guide

published on 23 June 2022

Facebook Audience Insights, is a tool that allows you to learn more about an audience such as :

  • age distribution
  • gender
  • major cities
  • and the most liked Facebook pages within an audience.

This tool is totally free and you can access it as long as you have a Facebook business manager account.

Unfortunately, since July 2021, this tool has undergone a big update that removed a lot of features 😭. Since then, it is no longer possible to see romantic situations, educational level, digital activity, etc.

But it's still a very important tool to master that will give you in-depth information about the composition of an audience from the interests you choose.

In this article, we will see how Facebook audience insights can help you with your Facebook ads.

We start with a quick explanation and discovery of the tool.

Then we will present you 6 practical cases to use Facebook Audience Insights in a few minutes for your Facebook ads.

By the end of this blog article, you will know how to use this tool to:

Why use Facebook Audience Insights?

With Facebook Audience Insights you'll get more detail on the demographics that make up an interest you want to target, such as gender and age breakdowns, major cities represented, or the top Facebook pages related to the selected interest.

🧠 Consider that 97% of Facebook advertisers don't take the time to do detailed research on the audience(s) they want to target.

βœ… Just by spending a little time on your audience research, you will be ahead of your competition.

Additionally, knowing how to use this statistical tool will allow you to determine the potential of a market on the Facebook social network.

And if you're already advertising on Facebook, you'll be able to refine your advanced targeting by uncovering new, untapped segments and finding Facebook pages to target.

Finally, Facebook Audience Insights is a tool that allows you to learn more about the fans of your Facebook page or your Instagram profile.

For example, you will be able to discover which age groups are the most represented in your audience. This will help you create relevant content to boost your existing audience.

How to access the Facebook Audience Insights tool?

Facebook Audience Insights is completely free, you just need to have a Facebook business manager.

Once connected to your business manager, go to "Audience Insights" which is located in the "Analysis and Reporting" category

You will land on this page

facebook audience insights welcome-oy7jy

Welcome to the Insights audience interface! I hope you like data pie charts and stats, you're in for a treat πŸ˜‰

The facebook audience insights tool offers 2 different modes:

  • The current audience mode to study the audience of your Facebook or Instagram pages
  • The potential audience mode to study a center of interest that you want to target for your Facebook ads.

To switch from one feature to the other, you just have to use the "Current audience" or "Potential audience" buttons.

top buttons-2-xgfch

Analyze the fans of your Facebook and Instagram Pages with Facebook Audience Insights

The current audience button allows you to analyze a facebook page or instagram profile you own. Unfortunately, we can't analyze a competing facebook page πŸ™

If you have multiple ad accounts, remember to select the ad account you are interested in directly on the bottom left.

audience insight menu selection-3goin

In the same way, if you have several Facebook and Instagram pages you can select the one you want directly from the drop-down list 

After selecting the Facebook page and Instagram profile you are interested in (and own) you will get detailed information about your audience composition such as: 

Get your number of Facebook likes and Instagram followers

Here we have a very small Facebook page with 800 mentions likes on the page. And an Instagram profile also very recent with 192 Instagram followers

Understand your current audience Demographic

Still on your current audience, you will be able to discover from a graph the distribution of your subscribers in terms of age and gender.

Having demographic data on your audience is always interesting, because you will be able to answer questions like :

Are men or women the ones who follow me?

And what age groups are most represented in my audience?

The answer to these two questions will allow you to refine or not your customer avatar. If you want to know more about customer avatars, we have a full article on the subject here.

facebook audience insights age and gender-suvdt

For our Facebook page, we discover that it is followed above all by men with 86.6% against only 13.4% of women. This seems logical, in our case it is a Facebook page for a bodybuilding product primarily intended for men.

Another interesting data is the distribution by age group. We notice that it is above all the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups that follow our Facebook page.

This information is useful because it tells us which age groups to focus on for our marketing and content.

However, given the low volume of subscribers, it would be better to wait until we have more subscribers on the pages, to be sure we have enough data before making a decision.

Discover your current audience Top cities and Countries

Facebook Audience Insights also allows you to see the top cities and countries of your Facebook and Instagram followers.

In our Facebook page example, unsurprisingly, Paris is the most widely represented city with 4.1%.

top cities audience insights-axmqy

If you are observant, you may have noticed that when adding up the different percentages you don't get 100%. Unfortunately, this is due to the fact that many users simply do not indicate their location on their profile.

Finally, for the countries, without surprise France is very represented with 94.8% of subscribers.

facebook audience insight top cities-6098k

This data covered one Facebook page and one Instagram profile and allowed us to learn a bit more about the demographics of our audience.

Feel free to tailor your content and posts based on your audience data.

One last thing to tell you about the actual audience: you can export your data in .csv, .pdf or .png format by clicking the Export button.

Now let's move on to the really interesting part of Facebook Audience Insights: the potential audience analysis! You will love this part.

Analyze interests on Facebook Audience Insights

Ahhh this is a much more interesting feature of Facebook Audience Insights!

You will be able to analyze one or more interests in the same way as before.

You'll get more details about the demographic criteria that make up a center of interest that you want to target, such as

  • gender
  • age distribution
  • major cities represented
  • Top Facebook pages related to the selected interest.

To access the potential audience analysis on Facebook Audience Insights, simply click on the "Potential Audience" button

Potential Audience Research Overview on Audience Insights:

You should land on a page like this:

potential audience-8f5kq

We find the same information as for the current audience but with a few more differences:

  • At the top right: a "Filter" button to refine your search criteria - and the button to export your searches as .csv, .pdf or .png.
  • Estimated audience size.
  • Age & Gender distribution
  • Top cities
  • Top countries
  • Top Pages

The potential audience size

By default, the country selected is the one taken from your IP address. If you have a French IP, the country selected by default will be France. This explains the 44 million people displayed on the screen.


Don't panic, you can change the search location from the Filter button at the top right.

The other thing to know about the potential audience size shown is that by default all genders are shown from 18-65+ for ALL Facebook AND Instagram ad placements.

This corresponds to Facebook and Instagram News Feed, Messenger, and Audience Network placements. So don't be surprised if you have a potential size difference between Facebook Audience Insights and Facebook Ad Manager. It's probably due to a difference in placements or the age of your ad set.

Using search filters in Facebook Audience Insights

To change the location, age, gender and interests you wish to analyze you simply click on the Filter button to specify your search criteria.

search filters-8ldh1

Now that you understand how the Facebook Audience Insights tool works, let's look at some more practical cases!

In the next part of this article, we will discover :

  • How to analyze the potential of a market or niche by country on Facebook.
  • How to discover new segments.
  • How to prepare your targeting and analyze the overlapping of audiences.
  • And finally, how to find the Facebook pages that you can target!

Analyze the potential of a market

Do you want to enter a new market using Facebook advertising as an acquisition vehicle?

Before you do, use Audience Insights to learn more about the potential of a market by analyzing the interests that are most relevant to your product or solution.

Example of a fishing market analysis with Facebook Audience Insights

The Facebook Audience insights tool will allow you to quickly evaluate the size of the fishing market on the Facebook social network.

You will then quickly see if considering Facebook advertising as an acquisition vector is a good opportunity or not to reach this market.

Let's say I want to start an e-commerce business in the fishing industry and I want to use Facebook advertising as a growth vector:

How many people are interested in this field in United Kingdom?

The fishing market in United Kingdom

In Facebook Audience Insights, Potential Audience tab, choose the general interest "Fishing" in the filtering options and the country United Kingdom.

audience insights fishing example-azy6h
  • We can see that there are potentially 18 million people interested in fishing in United Kingdom out of a total of 52 million.
  • 58% of the people interested in fishing in UK are women (this is strange).
  • Among men, the most interested age groups are 25 - 44.

The fishing market in Germany

In the previous part we saw that in UK 18 million people would be interested in this market.

But what about Germany?

Maybe the fishing market is more interesting in Germany.

Let's see that by changing the country for Germany with the same criteria as before:

insight germany filter-7kj91
  • Unsurprisingly, the market is not larger with 13 million people interested in fishing in Germany out of a total of 40 million users. Proportionally, the market is less interesting than UK.
  • But men are most interested in this field with 60%.
  • And the most interested age groups are the 24 - 54.
audience insights germany-y0vnd

Discover new segments to target

You can also use Facebook Audience Insights to find new segments to target by discovering more information about an ideal customer,

Improve your ideal customer avatar profile

A customer avatar (persona buyer) is a fictional or real representation of your ideal You can have several customer avatars for your product/service.

With the data provided by Facebook Audience Insights you can improve or create your customer avatar cards in a much more advanced way. Both by using the demographic data and by exploiting the associated Facebook pages as interests.

To learn more about how to create a customer avatar, we have an article about it.

Segment your campaigns from location data into multiple micro-audiences

Start by finding the most represented city in the audience you are interested in. If you're targeting France, that would be Paris. Now, change the location to a region like Ile-de-France.

Note the main cities that stand out the most. Now use these city names in your ads and on your ad creative to increase engagement on your ads.

You can apply this method to regions or entire countries if you are targeting internationally. The goal is to be more specific in your advertising messages.

Analyze your competitors' ads

Another way to use Facebook Audience Insights is to use the "Best Pages" section to find your competitors' Facebook pages and analyze their ads.

For example, if we search for "Advertising" interest, we get the following list of top related Facebook pages:


Note the checkbox βœ…and cross ❌ that allow you to indicate which Facebook pages you can target or not (we'll talk about this below)

On Facebook Audience Insights, to see the Facebook pages that are currently running, click on a page name.

You will be redirected to their Facebook page.

Then scroll down to find the "Page Transparency" section. Click on "See All."

facebook page transparency-vduat

A new window will appear.

If the page is showing ads you will see the message "This page is currently showing ads".

Then just click on the "Go to Ad Library" button to see the ads of your competitors.

ad library-4apcs

On this screenshot you can see that they have 590 ads running and that they are testing different ad formats. 

tasty ads-p8mq5

You can also go directly to the ad library and type in the Facebook pages you are interested in to see the ads that are running.

Seeing the ads that are running will give you inspiration for new ad angles or approaches you can use for your account.

Preparing your audiences on Facebook Audience Insights

It's important to note that when you do your research on this tool, you have the option to save your audiences for later use in your ad sets.

To save an audience from Audience Insights: click on the "Create Audience" button in the Filter section.

fishing rod-yvkg1

You can even give your audience a name.

βœ… Remember to use a clear nomenclature so you don't get lost when you have multiple audiences registered.

Like for example "Country Name of interest Age Male/Female".

fishing rod saved audience-99yf6

Check for audience overlap

Beyond just keeping track of your searches, saving your audiences will also allow you to check for audience overlap.

For example, from Facebook Audience Insights, we saved the searches "UK Fishing Rod 18+ All" and "UK Recreational Fishing 18+ All".

Then, go to the "Audiences".

Then look at the overlap between the audiences you have recorded by selecting the relevant audiences, then click on the "Show Audience Overlap" button 

show overlap-2xm7r

Ideally, you should avoid having too much audience overlap. Above 20% it is better to combine audiences in the same advertising package (provided they are interesting in terms of results). 


If you use these 2 audiences in different ad sets and the percentage of overlap is high (like here), you risk bidding against yourself.

πŸ‘‰ This means that the 2 ad sets are competing against each other and therefore you are increasing your advertising costs unnecessarily because you are competing with yourself by targeting 2x the same people...

We talk a little more about overlapping audiences in another article.

Just remember that this is a metric to consider when you want to target similar interests over a period of time of several weeks.

Find Facebook pages to target on Facebook Audience Insights

On Facebook Audience insights, in the Potential Audience section, you have the "Top Pages" box.

This part lists all the top Facebook pages followed by the filtered audience.

For example, if we look at the top pages for the interest "Fishing" in USA, we get the following list:


In this example, the Facebook pages presented are not very interesting because they are not really related to the topic of fishing:

  • Walmart β€” in Retail company
  • Tasty β€” in Media/news company
  • Amazon.com β€” in Retail company
  • Target β€” in Retail company
  • Facebook β€” in Internet company
  • Donald J. Trump in Political Candidate
  • Delish in News & media website
  • Samsung β€” in Electronics Company
  • Ellen DeGeneres β€” in Public figure
  • Tipsy Bartender in Video creator

Unfortunately, those pages are not really related to fishing.

For the "Best page" insert of Facebook Audience Insights to be really interesting, 2 things are necessary:

  • That the pages presented are related to the focus you are looking for.
  • If possible, the Facebook pages should be targetable in the Facebook advertising manager (we'll talk about how to check this below).

Let's see in detail these 2 points in order to properly exploit the Best Page part of Facebook Audience Insights and find Facebook pages to target!

Find Facebook Pages Related to Your Search

To find real Facebook Pages related to your search, you should avoid selecting a broad area of interest.

Previously, we chose the "Fishing" focus. You can use this kind of interest to analyze the size of a market as explained above, but the proposed pages are often not very relevant because a lot of people can be categorized as fishing lovers without being real fans (read this article on this subject).

The method to find REAL Facebook pages related to your niche/market is to select more specific interests.

For example, by selecting the interest "Okuma Fishing USA" on Facebook Audience Insights, we get an audience of 49,600 - 58,300 people in USA interested in this term.

And here is the list of the best Facebook pages that this audience seems to follow:



We FINALLY get Facebook pages related to fishing! and the check box βœ… shows some pages you can target in the Ad Manager.

Tip: Click on the name of the pages to open them on Facebook and you will have a direct overview of what the Facebook page is really about.

The percentages indicated also allow to "weigh" which Facebook pages are the most followed in the selected audience. For example, out of the people interested in "Okuma Fishing USA", 42.36% follow the page "Sportsman's Warehouse". It is in our interest (no pun intended) to use this page.

In our example, if the Facebook page is related to fishing we will note them in a separate Google Sheet file to keep track:


Click to Make a copy of this file

Repeat this search with several fishing related interests to get a more complete list of Facebook pages...

Tip: To find more specific search terms around fishing, you can use TargetEZ solution, so you will have access to ALL the interests around a keyword.

Check if Facebook Pages can be targeted

Once you have your list of Facebook Pages, we'll see if they can be targeted in the Facebook ad manager.

The point of finding Facebook Pages that you can target is to use the audiences of competing Facebook Pages, for example.

To see which Facebook Pages can be targeted 2 methods:

  • By a manual copy/paste verification in the Facebook ad manager
  • By an automatic verification

Method 1: Manual verification of the Facebook pages to target

The first method to check if a Facebook page can be targeted is to copy and paste the name of the page directly into the "Advanced Targeting" part of an ad set when you are on the Facebook ad manager.

If we copy/paste the page name "SAVAGE GEAR" in the advanced targeting part:


No luck, this Facebook page can't be targeted.

Testing the different pages in our previous excel list, we end up with a few pages to target.

But let's face it… it's a long process!

Sometimes you find interests behind Facebook pages that you can target and so much the better! Other times, the Facebook page can be directly targeted.

Overall there is no real logic to the Facebook pages you can target.

And just because a page is verified or has a large number of fans doesn't mean it will be targetable.

So basically, you'll have to take the time to check each Facebook page one by one...

Unless you opt for the Automatic verification version!

Method 2: Automatic verification of Facebook pages to target on Facebook Audience Insights

We know your time is valuable.

That's why we created the Chrome Targetez extension.

It allows you to display directly on Facebook Audience Insights the Facebook pages you can target for your Facebook ads!


Very quickly:

  • You see which pages can be targeted by a green checkbox βœ…
  • Facebook pages that you cannot target are indicated by a red cross ❌
  • Alternative interests πŸ’‘ related to each page are shown.

This Chrome extension is a bonus we offer with TargetEZ software.

To learn more about the TargetEZ Chrome extension and validate Facebook pages very quickly, check out our corresponding page!

What to do if Facebook pages can't be targeted

*Sad* πŸ˜₯ not all Facebook pages can be targeted!

I know, it's sad!!! but your work is not lost because of that.

In the list of Facebook pages you have established, there must be 2-3 pages you can exploit!

Let me explain: let's imagine that we are an e-commerce that sells a product around fishing.

If in the list of Facebook pages you have communities around fishing, you can contact their administrators to promote your products to their users.

Indeed, the administrators of Facebook pages are always looking for methods to monetize their existing audience! All you have to do is to create a relationship and establish a partnership with the manager in exchange of which he may let you talk about your products or services.


In this article we have discovered all the possibilities offered by the free Facebook Audience Insights tool for your advanced targeting.

We have seen together many practical use cases of the Facebook Audience Insights tool. I hope you will use it to your advantage, whether it is to find new interests and Facebook Pages to target for your advanced targeting or for in-depth analysis of a market.

To summarize, you have discovered that it is possible, thanks to this tool to :

In the comments, tell us if this article was useful to you.

And don't hesitate to check out the Targetez solution to save time on your advanced targeting and find in seconds the Facebook Pages that can be targeted from Facebook Audience Insights.

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