You just left a lunch meeting. You had just been talking about how you were excited about the newest NHL team coming to Seattle soon.

You open your phone to check your Facebook and up pop ads for ESPN coverage of NHL games. How did they do that?

Targeted ad marketing is a funny thing. And sometimes Facebook tracks odd things to figure out what people want. Here’s a bit about the weird things you find in Facebook ad targeting lists.

First, Why Use Ads on Facebook and Messenger?

Since 10% of Facebook users will buy things from a Facebook ad, Bear Newman from Bear Fox Digital Marketing Agency says that Facebook Messenger Ads are a great way to connect with your target audience. Facebook messenger especially is a personal environment. People are more likely to engage with content on messenger than they are on any other platform.

Facebook ads integrate with the content people are already seeing. This is especially true for mobile ads. And, like the above illustration, Facebook ads are highly targeted. If done right, they blend in with what people are already looking at.

When an ad blends in organically on a Facebook feed, it’s more likely to be treated like any other piece of content. And if you’ve designed your ad well, you’ll catch the user’s attention and get some interaction.

But enough of that. Here’s why you really came here.

1. Unspecified Relationship Status

What is it about someone who wants to remain anonymous that makes a marketer go, hmm, I’d like to target that person? Really, what marketers are targeting is the largest group in the relationship status category.

There are 1 billion in that category alone.

2. Friends of Recently Moved, Engaged, Deceased, etc.

Do you sell household items? You’ll target the category of “friends of recently moved.” It might seem strange they’re able to track this, but it’s simple. They have your friends list. If you move, you’ll probably talk about it on Facebook or change your home status.

Facebook simply targets your friends if you move. Or if you get engaged. Or if you die.

That last one is interesting because your Facebook can be switched to a memorial mode. You can designate someone to curate your Facebook page if you die.

And then Facebook ads will target your friends who will probably buy flowers for your mom.

3. Photo Uploaders

This might have been a more niche category back in 2001. Now it’s one of the largest categories out there thanks to Instagram.

Everyone is a photo uploader. But why would you want to target this broad category?

You could be a tech company that sells cameras. You could even sell camera gear. Or you could sell Polaroids.

Who knows. But it’s certain a broad category to choose if you want to cast a large net.

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.