How to target Facebook ads to fans of a competitor page

In this article I'll explain how to target Facebook ads to fans of a competitor page. This little-known targeting strategy is highly effective and can be used to target fans of any Facebook page out there.

Heads up: this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, you won't pay more (less even) but we'll get a small commission.

How to target Facebook ads to fans of a competitor page when that page doesn't show up as a targetable interest if you type it into Facebook Ads Manager? 👇

facebook ads manager no results found

That's what I'll show you in this over-the-shoulder guide. 


How to target Facebook ads to fans of a specific page, and why should you want to test this?


The title of this article suggests targeting the people who like your competitors Facebook pages. But of course this applies to targeting fans of any specific page.


Most advertisers don't know this is possible.


They rely on targeting of interests or lookalike audiences. While these options are far more scalable, smaller advertisers can have a hard time to getting them to work. 


❌ When it comes to interest targeting, most advertisers pick the wrong interests and target the same broad audiences as everyone else. That's why we've created our software InterestExplorer, that uses Facebook's Marketing API to reveal hidden interests that you can target but that are not suggested in Facebook Ads Manager.


❌ When it comes to targeting of lookalike audiences, most advertisers create these off of low-quality or way too small seed audiences. And they lack the volume of conversion data that the Facebook algorithm needs as input to optimise effectively.


So... that's why a lot of advertisers start wondering. Isn't there a way I can just target my ads to the fans of someone else's page?

Like the Facebook page of a competitor.


Or a public figure or industry brand.


I'm here to tell you that that's possible. It's not as scalable as targeting of interests or lookalikes, but when you target the right Facebook pages it works 🚀


Alright, enough intro talk, let's dive right in as I'll show you over-the-shoulder how to target Facebook ads to fans of a competitor page.


Or any Facebook page out there.


How to target Facebook ads to fans of a specific page, and why should you want to test this?


For this strategy we'll use LeadEnforce, a unique tool for Facebook advertisers that was originally developed by a group of marketing agencies for their own internal use.


Maybe you've seen me mention it before. I'm a big fan because it helped me lower my CPL (cost-per-lead) by 70%. If not, also make sure to read my LeadEnforce review to learn more about my experiment and results.

If you'd like to test LeadEnforce yourself after reading this article, you can sign-up for their free 7 day trial. If you do that through my link, you'll get a 30% discount on your first month's payment (if you decide to continue after the trial).

Finding specific Facebook pages to target with ads


The very first step is to build a list of specific pages that you'd like to target. I'll share various strategies you can use to find these. 


During this research process copy the page names as well as their Facebook page URL to a Google Sheet. You'll need these later.


For our software InterestExplorer, I target digital marketers that run ads on Facebook, So that's the example I'll use.


Facebook pages of competitors


List all of your competitors and find their Facebook pages. These can be either the pages of their founders or the company Facebook pages. For me these could be a page like AdEspresso. Save them to your sheet, because following this list of strategies I'll show you how to target fans of these competitor pages.


Facebook pages of public figures or brands


A great starting point is to think of public figures and brands in your industry. In my case these are people like: Sam Ovens, Grant Cardone or Frank Kern. Or brands like: Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Madgicx or RevealBot. Look for their Facebook pages and add them to your research sheet. 


Facebook pages you've liked yourself


Go to your own Facebook profile and browse all the pages you've liked in the past. Add the relevant ones to your sheet. You can go to your likes (or other people's likes) by adding /likes at the end of the Facebook profile URL.

facebook profile url likes

Facebook pages that show up in search


Type your main keywords into the Facebook search field and make sure to select Pages. Browse the resulting list for more pages related to your topic. 

facebook search pages

In that list I found pages of public figures in the Facebook ads realm like: Rick Mulready, Tim Burd and Mari Smith. I've saved all of these to my Google Sheet.


Related Facebook pages or pages liked by


When you are on a relevant Facebook page, always make sure to look for a 'Related Pages' or 'Pages Liked by This Page' section in the sidebar. These allow you to go further down the rabbit-hole and find pages that you would've never thought of yourself.

related pages and pages liked by this page

Facebook page likes of top fans


When you click to the Community tab on any Facebook page, you'll see their top fans listed. Open these people's profile and paste /likes at the end of the URL to explore other pages they've liked.

facebook page top fans

Facebook pages of people on YouTube


Type your main keyword (in my case "Facebook ads") into YouTube to learn who made the top ranking videos. Search for these people on Facebook to see if they have a Facebook page as well. This is how I found 'Alex Fedotoff' for example.

alex fedotoff facebook expert

Facebook Audience Insights


Within Facebook Audience Insights, add an interest that's relevant to your business. Then click to the Page Likes tab to see a list of Facebook pages that are liked by people who have that interest (they are sorted by affinity score to indicate relevance).

facebook audience insights chrome extension

I'm using our Chrome extension that highlights the pages that have a matching interest with a target Emoji 🎯 This way I can quickly see if this page also has an interest that I can target or if I can only reach this audience through LeadEnforce.


Don't rush this part of the process. 


You should end up with a huge list of Facebook pages that you think are relevant. 


Next up I'll show you how to target your Facebook ads to the fans of these pages.

google sheet with facebook pages

How to target Facebook ads to fans of a competitor page (or any specific page) using LeadEnforce


When you've completed long list of Facebook pages, you're ready to go into LeadEnforce to build the audiences for targeting. 


LeadEnforce offers a free 7-day trial, so make sure you've completed your research before you dive in. The trial should give you enough time to run your test and prove the value, so you can decide if you want to get a subscription to the tool or not.


Plans start from $99 per month, so use the trial to prove ROI on that investment.


I'm on the $99 per month personal plan myself, which allows to create 3 audiences with up to 10 Facebook pages per audience.


For me it's a no-brainer because my return is much higher than that (in my first experiment it lowered my CPL by 70%).

If you'd like to test LeadEnforce yourself after reading my case-study, you can sign-up for their free 7 day trial. If you do that through my link, you'll get a 30% discount on your first month's payment (if you decide to continue after the trial).

You can also use this software to target the members of open and even closed Facebook groups. I also do that, as described in my LeadEnforce review.


Let's create some audiences shall we?


Create a project


The first step is to create a project.


So far I've only tested Facebook projects, it's still on my roadmap to also test the other options they offer for creating audiences.

leadenforce new project

Add sources to the project


Then you'll have to add sources to the project. These are the Facebook page URL's that you've found during your research process. You can paste in 5 at a time. The total sources per project depends on the monthly plan you're on. My max. is 10. 


I choose the Basic type of analysis (haven't tested the difference with Full yet).

I just don't like waiting...⏱️

leadenforce add sources

After repeating this a second time, I've added 10 Facebook page URL's as sources to the project. Then I clicked 'Start analyzing' so LeadEnforce starts building the audiences. They get the required information from various 3rd-party sources outside of Facebook.

leadenforce start analyzing

This process may take several hours, and you'll receive an email notification when it's finished. So in the meantime I'll add the other projects to the queue as well.

email leadenforce completed

When your project is completed you'll see that LeadEnforce was able to build an audience of a certain percentage of the total page likes. It depends a bit on the page, but I would say on average it's between 50%-80% for most Facebook pages.

coverage users

In total my first project, with 10 Facebook pages, has an audience of 624431 people.

Share your Facebook custom audiences


When your LeadEnforce audiences have been filled with people who like the specific pages you added, the remaining step is to share these with your Facebook account.


You can then export this audience to a Facebook custom audience. 

custom audience facebook

When you hit upload, it will start uploading the audience. This will again take some time, so we'll just have to wait for this process to complete behind the screens.


You'll get a final email when the user upload is complete.


Then you'll have to put in your Facebook ad account ID to share the custom audience with your Facebook Ads Manager and then seconds later it'll show up there.

Setup your Facebook campaign


Then you'll just create your Facebook campaign like you normally would.


In the targeting section you'll select the shared custom audience, LeadEnforce created for you. Depending on your goals and the size of the audience you can narrow down by gender, age or country. I typically don't do that, because I picked the Facebook pages thoughtfully - so I want to reach all the users that are in the audience.


Do make sure to exclude audiences like your past website visitors, otherwise it's not a cold-traffic acquisition campaign (but a retargeting campaign in disguise...)


3,2,1...🚀


Start targeting your Facebook ads to page fans


Alright, that brings us to the end of this illustrated guide on how to target Facebook ads to fans of a competitor page (or any specific Facebook page out there). 


I've explained why adding this little-known targeting method adds value next to interests and lookalikes, I've showed you how to perform research to find Facebook pages and finally I've explained how to use LeadEnforce to build the audiences.


As mentioned in the beginning of this article this strategy is not as scalable as interest or lookalike targeting, but it's effective and definitely worth testing for any business.

If you'd like to test LeadEnforce yourself after reading my case-study, you can sign-up for their free 7 day trial. If you do that through my link, you'll get a 30% discount on your first month's payment (if you decide to continue after the trial).

If you'd like to learn more about my experience and the results from targeting Facebook pages (and groups), make sure to also read my in-depth LeadEnforce review.


And if you want to improve your interest targeting as well, make sure to check out our InterestExplorer software and free PDF that explains how to exploit Facebook's API.


That's all folks 👋


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