How to create a lookalike audience

How To Create A Facebook Lookalike Audience

Have you ever considered creating a Facebook Lookalike Audience to advertise your business?

Do you want to reach brand new prospects that are more likely to buy your product or service? In this article, I show you how Facebook Lookalike audiences work and how to create one.

What Is A Facebook Lookalike Audience?

There are several audience types with Facebook. The first is to advertise to people who already know you like your page followers, website visitors  or a customer list you have uploaded to the platform. The second is by using targeting parameters like age, gender, location and interests to create a list of prospects. A ‘lookalike’ audience is the bridge between these. It is a way to reach brand new people on Facebook based on traits that they share with people who already know you.

Things To Know About Lookalike Audiences Before You Create One

Before you go ahead and create a Facebook Lookalike audience, there are a couple of things you need to know.

  • Firstly, you need to have a list of at least 100 people in the ‘source’ audience, i.e. your website visitors, customer list or whatever you are using. Facebook recommend a source audience of 1,000 to 50,000 people to achieve more accuracy.
  • People from your source audience will NOT be included in your lookalike audience, so if you want to advertise the same thing to them, you will need to add them as a separate audience.
  • A single source audience is eligible to be used in the creation of up to 500 lookalike audiences.
  • A smaller lookalike audience will perform better than creating a list of millions.
  • Additional targeting options can be used in conjunction with your Facebook Lookalike audience to fine tune your marketing
  • You can create a source audience of website visitors for up to the last 180 days.
  • You can create a source audience of Facebook page visitors for up to 365 days.
  • It is a good idea to create the source audience ahead of creating a lookalike audience. Try to create the lookalike audience too soon and you may get a message saying ‘Source data too small’ as it hasn’t finished populating the data.

How Do I Create A Facebook Lookalike Audience?

To create a Facebook Lookalike audience, you first need to go into your Ads Manager account. Once you are in Ads Manager, click on the grid icon in the top left-hand corner and scroll down the list until you see ‘Audiences’.

facebook lookalike audience

If you have created any audiences before, you will then see them listed in blue. If this is your first time, you will have a clean sheet. Whichever applies, you will see a blue box that says ‘Create Audience’.

You then have the option to create a ‘Custom audience’ or a ‘Lookalike audience’. Select ‘Lookalike audience’. You will then see the screen below.

facebook lookalike audience

Now you need to select the source audience. If this is your first time, don’t panic, you can create one now by selecting ‘Create new source’ under the bar for step one. We will go through the steps as though this is your first visit and create a new source audience.

When you click on ‘Create new source’ you will select ‘Customer audience’ and a pop-up box will appear with your options.

facebook lookalike audience

Using Your Sources

Website – You can create an audience of your website visitors using the Facebook Pixel installed who took specific actions i.e. add to cart, page views, forms filled. (Facebook Pixel needs to be present on your website)

Customer List – A customer list you upload to Facebook

App Activity – People who have launched your App or game or taken a specific action while using it (App Events needed for this)

Offline Activity – People who have interacted with your business in store, over the phone or by other offline channels (Offline Event needs to be set)

Using Facebook Sources

Video – People who have watched one of your videos on Facebook or Instagram

Instagram Business Profile – People who have interacted with your profile or Ad on Instagram

Lead Form – People who have filled in a form on one of your lead generation ads on Facebook or Instagram

Events – People who interacted with one of your events on Facebook.

Instant Experiences – people who opened your instant experiences on Facebook or Instagram

Facebook Page – People who follow or have interacted with your page.

As you can see there are many options available. Once you have created your source audience you then need to choose the locations you want your lookalike audience to include and finally the size of your Facebook Lookalike audience.

You can create several audiences at one time in 1% increments. For example, you can create one audience that is 1% another that is 2% and a third that is 3 % of potential people. Bear in mind that the larger the audience, the lower the similarity to your original source audience. The potential size of the new lookalike audiences will then be displayed below the percentage bar.

facebook lookalike audience

The final step is to click on ‘Create Audience’ in the bottom right hand corner and you are done!

You are now ready to use your new Facebook Lookalike audience to advertise to more qualified prospects!

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