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What is a Lookalike Audience on Facebook?

What is a lookalike audience on Facebook? Find out why this marketing strategy is vital in connecting with your audiences, and how you can implement it in this post.

What is a Lookalike Audience on Facebook?

What is a lookalike audience on Facebook? Find out why this marketing strategy is vital in connecting with your audiences, and how you can implement it in this post.

When it comes to social media advertising, Facebook is critical for connecting with your target audience. The ad platform reportedly brings in over 2.6 billion monthly active users, despite talk that its reach potential is slowly waning. 

As a matter of fact, according to stats from Pew Research Center, nearly 70% of Facebook users in the U.S. log in to Facebook each day. That’s no small number – and if you are a business owner, you could have untapped potential to reach your customers and scale online. 

Designing the “perfect” Facebook ad takes a lot of effort. If you want to truly maximize your campaign’s potential, implementing Facebook lookalike audiences is almost a no-brainer. This feature will help you reach potential customers that have a higher tendency to generate sales for your business. 

What is a Lookalike Audience on Facebook, and Why is it Important?

Lookalike audience on Facebook

Facebook lookalike audiences is a powerful machine-learning technique that draws learnings about your most engaged and valued customers to find similar audiences or new subscribers who will likely take similar actions. 

As a tried-and-true target audience segmentation strategy, lookalike modeling helps pinpoint and identify new customers that look and behave like your current best customers based on similar behavioral and demographic attributes.  

Lookalike audiences are crucial for marketers trying to connect with their audiences, as they essentially tell the platform what you like in a customer, and it will match prospects that meet that criteria. An easy way to remember this is to view lookalike as the “matchmaker” for your business, expanding your customer base to a larger audience. 

Read more: Complete Guide to Advertising Metrics: 100+ Benchmark KPIs for Google Ads, Meta, TikTok, Snapchat & Bing 

How to create a lookalike audience on Facebook

The customizable options of Facebook’s lookalike audience function – Adriel
Creating a lookalike audience on Facebook

Digital marketers typically carry out lookalike modeling on data management platforms (DMPs), as they provide comprehensive tools and resources needed to facilitate the process. On social media platforms like Facebook, however, you can create lookalike audiences through Facebook Ads Manager.

Before creating your Facebook lookalike audience, first ensure that you're an admin for the Page or Pixel you're creating it from. If you're making a lookalike audience from a Facebook custom audience, you need to have the role of admin or advertiser on the ad account.

Here’s how Facebook lookalike audiences work, and how you can get started on setting them up on the platform:

  1. Go to Facebook Business Manager and from the menu on the top left side, click “All Tools”.
  2. Click on ‘Audiences’ – you can also create a lookalike audience during ad creation in Facebook Ads Manager.
  3. Hit the ‘Create Audience’ from the drop-down menu and choose ‘Lookalike Audience’ option.
  4. Choose your source – a source can be a custom audience not created with your pixel data, your mobile app data or fans of your page. A good rule of thumb is to aim for around 1,000 to 50,000 of your best customers based on lifetime value, transaction value, and total order size or engagement.
  5. Select the country or countries you'd like to find a similar set of people.
  6. Choose your desired audience size and hit the ‘Create Audience’ button.

Once you’ve finished setting up your lookalike audiences, it takes around 6-24 hours for them to be created. Going forward, your audience will refresh every 3-7 days once you begin using it to actively target your potential customers. 

With Adriel, a marketing automation tool, you can create a lookalike audience simply by turning on the advanced targeting section when setting up your campaign. You can control the size of the potential reach with a slider that appears at the bottom. 

The possible customers that Facebook will reach will be determined by the source audience you choose. The most common action that people choose is showing ads to people who’ve visited your Facebook page. Other actions available are “everyone who engaged with your page,” and “people who clicked on any call-to-action button.”

Facebook’s lookalike audience algorithm is a must-have social media optimization technique for all digital marketers – so why implement it in your own Facebook advertising and marketing strategy? 

Related: Make Decisions Faster with Executive Dashboards: Strategies, Examples & How-Tos

Why Use a Facebook Lookalike Audience?

An illustration of how Facebook lookalike audiences help advertisers target new audiences – Adriel
How lookalike audience works on Facebook

Integrating a lookalike audience into your Facebook ad campaign ensures that your campaign will reach people who are most similar to your existing audience and audience size. This will increase your chance of getting qualified leads and ultimately bring more value to your ad spend.

When creating a Facebook lookalike audience, you can choose a range between 1%-10% of the total population of your chosen target region. The lower the percentage, the closer the match will be to your source. The United States alone is estimated to have around 2 million people per one percent.

Facebook lookalike audiences are a great way to reach new people on the platform for your business. Additionally, they tend to be cheaper than general audiences based solely on interests or behaviors.

Read more: 12 KPIs Your Marketing Attribution Dashboard Must Track for Multi-Channel Success 

Setting Up Your Source Audience

The ‘Custom Audience Source’ menu on Facebook – Adriel
Choosing a custom audience source

A source audience is the main audience a Facebook lookalike audience is based on. For example, if you create a lookalike audience from your Page fans, your Page fans would be the source audience. You can set up your source audience based on several data points, which include: 

  1. Customer list: This is a list of current customers that you already have on file, either from event sign-ups or through email newsletters. To successfully upload the list, you must have your customers’ email addresses and/or phone numbers.
  2. Website visitors: You can create a lookalike audience based on people who’ve visited your website. However, to successfully implement this, you need to have Facebook Pixel installed. If you want a small refresher on Facebook Pixel, check out our previous post called Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Pixel.
  3. Engagement: This target audience group is made up of customers who’ve completed a specific action like clicks or sign-ups on your website.
  4. App activity: You can view app data event tracking once a customer installs your app. This can only be done if you have a Facebook SDK setup. There are currently 14 pre-defined events that can be tracked. 

Lookalike audience vs Custom audience

One way to stay ahead of your competitors is to regularly upload new customer lists and create new Facebook lookalike audiences at least once a month or once per quarter. This will ensure that Facebook’s algorithm will continue to build up new ways to reach your potential customers. If the same list is used for a long period, then your ads will eventually lose effectiveness. 

Creating custom audiences based on users who’ve clicked any call-to-action button on your website is another way to better reach your lookalike customers. Having this audience group will ensure your ads are clicked with relatively high intent, or at the very least, a high interest. 

To do this, you will need to go to the “Audience” tab inside your ad campaign and click on “Advanced Settings” under the “Remarketing and Lookalike” section.

Key Takeaways

Connecting Adriel to Facebook Pixel for digital marketing campaigns – Adriel

Implementing Facebook lookalike audiences is crucial for reaching your target customers. When used properly and often, you can connect with new users who will resemble your highest-value customers. This will ensure that you generate quality leads that are calculated and measured, rather than through guesswork. 

Digital marketers who want to expand their ad targeting and customer base should always consider implementing Facebook lookalike audiences in their campaigns, as it’s the best way to measure and track all traffic that comes from your ads. 

Sign up with Adriel today and start tracking your lookalike audience data in one click!

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