5 Steps to Getting Started with Facebook Lookalike Audiences

June 10, 2015

facebook lookalike audiences

Think of your best customers. They like you. They trust you. They are loyal to your brand. Now, imagine you could have 100 more of them. Sounds pretty awesome, right? You can, with Facebook lookalike audiences.

This capability allows you to reach people similar to your existing customers who are more likely to be interested in the value your business delivers. What’s more, the increased relevancy has been shown to lower cost per action and increase return on investment. When Facebook first launched this feature in 2013, Sheryl Sandberg cited one company that had achieved a 30 percent lower cost per acquisition versus other platforms.

How Does Facebook Lookalike Audiences Work?

Facebook uses traits like location, age, gender, and interests to create your lookalike audience. You can choose the size of your lookalike audience, and layer in additional targeting criteria to build the most relevant audience for your business.

Here are five steps to get started:

  1. Choose a source audience. It could be a custom audience based on your existing customers’ emails, website visitors identified using a pixel, or your current Facebook fans.
  2. Choose the size of your lookalike audience. The smaller the size, the more similar to your source audience it will be. Keep in mind you won’t be able to edit the size after you’ve created your lookalike audience. If you want a different size lookalike audience, you can create a new one using the same source audience.
  3. Create your audience. It may take 6 to 24 hours to create your lookalike audience. After that, it’ll refresh every 3 to 7 days as long as you’re actively targeting ads to that audience.
  4. Consider layering in additional targeting criteria. If your lookalike audience is large, you may want to use additional targeting by geographic, demographic, or interest.
  5. Create ads relevant to your lookalike audience. You can use Ads Manager or the Power Editor. For tips on creating effective ads, check out my previous post.

With Facebook lookalike audiences, you can reach more of the right people with the right message. Reduce your cost per action while turning potential customers into more of your best customers.

To learn more about Facebook lookalike audiences, check out the Facebook help center.

Photo via Flickr user Martin Fisch

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.