Earlier this year, Facebook launched partner categories which gave advertisers a way to target the people most likely to be in the market for a specific product. Now the company has increased the number of partner categories from 500 to more than 1,000.

Although the social network has done a good job of providing advertisers with specific demographics, it needed a way to focus its targeting on the consumers most willing to make a purchase. Partner categories include a mix of transactional data, survey information, and other online and offline behaviors.

New partner categories include active buyers of women’s accessories, sports and outdoor products, tools and electronics, and auto intenders who are in the market for a Subaru Outback. You’ll have to re-download Power Editor in order to access the new partner categories.

According to a spokesperson for the social network, Hyundai recently reached auto intenders using partner categories and sold 2.1 times more cars to this audience. This type of ad targeting delivers more relevant ads to the right people, which is something that will certainly come in handy for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

The new partner categories — which are currently only available to U.S. advertisers — can help you reach people who might be interested in specific products and services during the holidays. A recent study showed that Facebook is the top dog when it comes to influencing holiday purchases, and serving relevant ads is a good place to start.

Regardless of how you plan to approach your upcoming advertising campaigns, it’s worth reviewing all of Facebook’s targeting options. Through of a combination of its tools, you should be able to mold the exact audience you want to market to.

[Via: AllFacebook, WebProNews, Image credit: Emilio Kuffer]