How do you extend your reach on Facebook? One powerful method is a lookalike audience. Posting to your Facebook page followers is one thing, and it’s important. But what if you could publish ads that would be shown to Facebook users that share traits with your Facebook page followers?
What if you could run Facebook ads that appear to people on your email list, or who have already purchased from you? That’s the sort of social media marketing that is a game-changer. And that’s where Facebook Lookalike Audiences come in. Bookmark this page or download the PDF (link below) to use this comprehensive guide on Facebook Lookalike Audiences and the Custom Audience feature.
Are you a visual person? Here’s the path to using Lookalike Audiences to create ads on Facebook (and Instagram):
Defining Custom Audiences
A custom audience is created from a custom list you’ve built outside of Facebook. For example, an email list you’ve cultivated from trade shows, or a customer list. In Facebook, a custom audience is a type of audience you can create to help build your reach.
How does Facebook create a list for you to advertise to using your list? Facebook utilizes something they call “identifiers,” which are data points you’ve collected about your customers. For example: email, mailing address, and phone number. If those same people have provided those identifiers to Facebook, then Facebook can create a custom audience for you to market to.
Please note: Facebook DOES NOT use your custom audience to target these profiles for more marketing themselves or to third-party vendors.
Facebook can also use your custom audience to advertise on Instagram and the Facebook Audience Network (more on that in a future blog post).
7 Places to Get Data for a Facebook Custom Audience
- People who have visited your website (get this through pixel data)
- People who have watched your video (pixel data via YouTube)
- Your Point of Sale system (name, address, phone number, email)
- Your CRM system (name, address, phone number, business name)
- Your Email List (email address, name)
- Your Facebook Page (fans of your page, engaged fans of your page)
- A custom list, such as a contact list culled from a trade show or promotional giveaway
What is a Lookalike Audience?
A Facebook Lookalike Audience is a targeting audience based on a Custom Audience. Examples of custom audiences include people on your email list, website visitors, and fans of your Facebook page.
Facebook takes your Custom Audience and scours their profiles to find Facebook users who closely resemble it. For example, if your Custom Audience consists of people who follow your Facebook page about Do It Yourself Van Restoration, Facebook will locate users who have expressed an interest in van restoration.
Facebook can also use their profile data to make educated assumptions. For example, if your Custom Audience consists of people who enjoy taking a cruise, Facebook can also target profiles that express a desire to travel to the regions where cruises are most popular.
Step #1: In Facebook Ads Manager, select “Audiences”
Step #2: Choose “Create audience” and choose “Lookalike Audience”
Step #3: Choose a source audience.
Select the Facebook Custom Audience you previously created from customer information or fans of your page.
A source audience needs to contain at least 100 people from the same country.
Step #4: Select the Geographic Region to Target
The countries you choose will determine where people in your Lookalike Audience will come from, adding a geo-filter onto your Lookalike Audience.
Note: You don’t have to have anyone from the country you want to target in your source.
Step #5: Choose the Audience Size for Your Ad
When building a Lookalike Audience, audience size is expressed on a scale of 1-10 in Facebook. Smaller numbers have high similarity and larger numbers reach more people. Once you make a preference, Facebook will indicate the estimated reach for the size you choose (200,000 users for example).
Please Note: It will take between 6-24 hours for your Lookalike Audience to be finished, but in the meantime you will be able to proceed to creating your ad.
Step #6: Create your Facebook Ad
Navigate to the Facebook Adverts Manager and select Tools > Audiences. Check to see if your Lookalike Audience is ready. If it’s ready, select it from the list and choose “Create Advert”
How Do I Manage a Facebook Lookalike Audience?
Good news, my friend! You won’t have to manage an existing Lookalike Audience. A Facebook Lookalike Audience will dynamically update every 3 to 7 days!
Please note: for your Lookalike Audience to update dynamically, the source audience (a Custom Audience you’ve created in the steps above) will also need to dynamically update (based on pixel events or an email list, etc.).
Because of the dynamic nature of Custom Audiences, you’ll save on your social media marketing efforts because you won’t have to create new audiences for every new campaign.[DOWNLOAD A PDF of this Guide]