What are Facebook Lookalike Audiences?
One of Facebook’s biggest assets for advertisers is the ability to target people who are very similar to your best customers. This is through the Facebook pixel, which I detailed a nice overview of why placing a Facebook Pixel on a site is very powerful for an advertiser.
Through Facebook’s vast data it has on all users, you can give Facebook a specific audience that is valuable for your business, and ask it to find more users like this. In my opinion, this is their secret sauce and what makes their platform extremely powerful.
Of all clients that we manage that are advertising on Facebook, nine times out of time, lookalike audiences work very well. This comes down to the data Facebook has on all users, and it’s algorithm can identify users who are very similar to your most valuable customers.
How to setup lookalike audiences
Another great feature with Facebook look-a-like audiences is it’s extremely easy to setup.
First you need to create audiences within Facebook, of your best audiences. If you click within the audiences section of Facebook ad manager (image below), it will prompt you to the options to create your audiences.
Once you’re in the section to create audiences, I would suggest to create audiences that are most valuable for your business. Specifically:
- Customers (based on the Facebook pixel)
- If you’re already tracking customers on your site through the facebook pixel, you can leverage this as the look-a-like source. I would only do this if you have a good amount of customers tracked with Facebook’s pixel (at least a few hundred).
- Customers (based on emails uploaded)
- If you have a database of emails of past customers, you can upload these directly within Facebook.
- Past site visitors
- You can create an audience of users who have recently been to your website.
Now that you have the seeded audiences created of your most valuable users we can create our look-a-like audiences.
Within the ad set, under create new audience, you can simple select lookalike audiences (below).
From here, you can create a lookalike audience of your best users. See image below. Here you can select the audience you want to mirror, enter the target location, then at the bottom is the audience size. This is very important, start out with just the top 1% of users (this will likely perform the best).
From there you can let Facebook’s algorithms start to work for your business.
Advanced optimization tips
Once you get lookalike audiences rolling for your business, you’ll start to see that they perform very well. Now comes the fun part, how can you expand on the lookalike audiences. While you can always add more budget to the lookalike audience that is performing, eventually you’ll start to experience diminishing return. With that, I highly suggest to create unique campaigns, each targeting a different lookalike audience. Different lookalike audiences can be:
- Create multiple lookalike audiences based on the % of users you’re looking to reach. As mentioned earlier, I suggest to reach just the top 1% of users, but create a lookalike for the top 2% and even 3%, to see how they perform against each other.
- Create lookalike audiences off of different audience sources, for example:
- site visitors
- emails uploaded (customers and leads a like, both seperate audiences).
If you do this, before you know it you’ll have 4-5 unique lookalike audience campaigns, and you can start allocating budget amongst each of these based on performance.
- Facebook lookalike audiences work across both Facebook and Instagram, which doubles your reach!
- Lookalike audiences can be created within 10-15 minutes, even faster, which makes it a super approachable tool to find new customers.
- Lookalike audiences should be used in addition to other campaigns in Facebook, including (remarketing, and persona targeting).
- Results are never guaranteed, but lookalike audiences are generally one of the best performing Facebook campaigns.
Additional Facebook Resources
Below are several blog posts that might be helpful that I wrote on Facebook Ads.
Facebook Blog Posts
- Facebook Custom Audiences
- The Facebook Pixel
- Top Facebook Advertising Strategies
- Answers to Common Facebook Questions
- Facebook Advertising Support
Facebook Ad Management
Facebook Ad Courses