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Why you should all be using Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences


Social Media / February 07, 2017

Facebook’s Lookalike Audience targeting has been around a while, but we have a hunch that many of you aren’t using it to your full advantage.

Don’t be intimidated. Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences are simply groups of users who share characteristics with your own customer lists. In other words, you are asking Facebook to display your ads to a new audience that is demographically and geographically similar to people who have already interacted with your brand or product.

There are different ways to create a Lookalike Audience in Facebook. We’re going to cover the process of creating a Lookalike Audience from one of your email or customer lists. We find this to be an extremely effective way to discover new prospects that are in your target market.

This process involves gathering and segmenting your own lists to build a Custom Audience (more on how to do this below). When you upload a Custom Audience, Facebook will match your customer information to people they have in their own database. Lookalike Audiences take this process one step further by identifying new prospects that share characteristics of your custom audience.

Let’s make a Lookalike Audience.

We’ll walk you through it, A to Z.

1. Start with your lists.

Before you do anything, think about what kind of data you have on current or potential customers. Take stock of your email marketing lists, e-commerce customers, leads, etc. If your lists are large enough, can you further segment them by lifetime value, product category, demographic? Here is the gold. You want to create targeted, relevant lists of your current contacts based on their interests, activities or value to you.

2. Turn these into Custom Audiences.

Go to your Audiences Tab in Ads Manager and upload these lists into Facebook Ads Manager as Custom Audiences (here’s how). Make sure that a) The lists are large enough to be statistically relevant and b) You label your lists carefully and keep track of which list is which.

3. Build your Lookalike Audiences.

Here you can choose a list, a tracking pixel or a page to inform your Lookalike Audience. Use the slider to determine your Audience Size; take note that the larger the audience, the less precisely it will match you original audience.

4. Give each audience its own Ad Set

Create a unique Ad Set for each segment (custom audience) you want to target. Then mouse over your ad set and select “edit ad set.” In the Audience section of this interface, use the Create New dropdown to select the Lookalike Audience you want to associate with this Ad Set.

5. Target your ad creative

Consumers will respond differently to ad creative and messaging depending on where they are in the consumer decision journey. Take time to identify the phases and desires of each of your custom audiences, and associate these with their lookalike audiences. Are you simply generating awareness? Or are you trying to close the deal? Create unique ads for each audience type based on their needs and desires.

Find more of your kind of people

Think of it this way: if you have a list of customers or subscribers who have interacted with your brand, this information is gold. These are the people who have sought you out, cultivated a relationship with your brand and possibly purchased from you. If you can identify people with the same characteristics, who haven’t yet interacted with your brand, your chances of engaging and converting these customers are considerably higher. What have you got to lose?

We’d love to hear from you. Tell us your challenges and success stories with managing Facebook Lookalike Audiences, and we’ll share ours.

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Sarah Geoffrion

Social Ads Manager @ Bloom


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