Building an audience on Facebook can be extremely tricky. Between all the interests, behaviors, and other data, it’s hard to make an audience that you can feel extremely confident in.
But what if I told you there is a guaranteed way to build a Facebook audience that is filled with people that are exactly like your customers?
Well, there is, and it’s called a lookalike audience.
What is a Facebook lookalike audience?
A lookalike audience is a targeting option within Facebook Ads that lets you use your current customer or prospect lists to try and find more people that are just like them.
I don’t think it is any secret that Facebook has a lot of data on all of us, and lookalike audiences use that data to the fullest. By uploading customer information like name, email, and location you are telling Facebook to go track down those users and look at all the information they have collected on them over their time on the platform. Facebook then takes that data and looks for similarities between them. For example, If Facebook pools together all the data and finds out that all your customers watch one particular TV show, it is going to target people that also like that show.
That example is a simple one. Facebook is actually looking at thousands and thousands of data points in order to find people that are more likely to convert and buy from you.
Yes, it is a little creepy, but it is also extremely powerful and it takes the guesswork out of building an audience so you can focus on copy and creative that you think will help make for better conversions.
In our experience, lookalike audiences are the most successful way to ensure you reach people that will think and act exactly like the customers you have today.
What are the benefits of using a lookalike audience?
The benefit of using lookalike audiences for your Facebook ads is pretty simple. DATA.
A lookalike audience allows you to have a much more complex audience than you might have built yourself. When most people try and put together an audience, they think about the basics. If you’re a personal trainer, you might target the personal training interest. If you’re a landscaping business, you might be targeting homeowners.
While those targeting options are great and might work perfectly fine, there might be a lot you are missing out on. What a lookalike audience will do is not simply rely on a single interest or behavior, but rather, a blend of several different pieces of information to create a much more accurate representation of your audience.
This removes all the guesswork that can come from trying to build an audience on your own. With all the options available, it’s easy to try to do too much or too little with your audience. Even if you think an audience is perfect, you might go through a lot of money before discovering that the audience isn’t what you thought it was going to be.
While a lookalike audience might not be perfect either, it will give you a much better place to start and something you can build off of in the future.
How do you create a lookalike audience on Facebook?
Creating a lookalike audience on Facebook isn’t as hard as you might think. If you are starting in ads manager, simply click the menu in the upper left and click on “Audiences”
Next, you need to select a data source to base your audience on. This is done by creating a “Custom Audience”
To Create a Custom Audience, click on “Create Audience” and then “Custom Audience”
You will be given this screen where you will select how you want to build that custom audience. If you have an excel based customer list, select “Customer List”. If You want to use your website Facebook Pixel data, choose “Website”. Those are the two most common, but feel free to experiment with the other options as well.
Follow the prompts in each of the options to create your custom audience. If you select “Customer List”, you will have to upload your file and map the fields to help Facebook identify those people. If you choose “Website”, you will select which webpages you would like to base that audience and also be able to put other filters to better refine that audience.
Next, you are going to look on the left-hand side of the page, click on “Create Audience” and then select “Lookalike Audience”
You will get this screen. First, select the custom audience you just created as the source for your audience. You can see here that we selected a custom audience that includes all our website visitors over the last 30 days. Next, you are going to select the location of that audience. You are going to notice that you can only pick a country. Don’t worry, you can narrow down that audience to your local area later in your ad set. Finally, you are going to select how similar you want your lookalike audience to be to your custom audience. The lower the number you select, the more closely related to your custom audience your lookalike audience will be.
You can think about it like this. By selecting 1%, you are telling Facebook you want people that are, at most, 1% different than your original audience. 10% means they can be up to 10% different (this will make the audience bigger, but also less accurate)
Click “Create Audience” and you are done!
When you go to use your audience, you can find it at the ad set level.
BOOM YOUR DONE!
Lookalike audiences are an incredible tool that many businesses don’t even know about. By taking the time to set this up, you will be getting a competitive advantage with your ads and we promise you will see a lot more success.