A staple in our arsenal, Facebook Lookalike audiences (LLA) are an excellent opportunity to target highly engaged, high converting users. Lookalike audiences have one of the best click through rates and lowest cost per acquisition rates of all audience types. This is because, through their algorithm, Facebook can identify those users that closely resemble the characteristics and behaviors most like the members of your original or “source” audience including these top lookalike audiences:
I love how Hootsuite describes Lookalike Audiences:
“Think of it as a sophisticated audience matchmaker for marketers. You tell Facebook what you like in a customer, and Facebook a delivers a new audience segment filled with prospects that meet your criteria.”
We’ve all known it for years – Facebook knows everything about you. Feels a little big “Big Brother” to you? Cambridge Analytica, the political research firm accused of accessing Facebook users’ information has bragged that it had up to 5,000 data points on more than 230 million Americans. However way you slice it, Facebook has collected a treasure trove of data. This information is used to identify those Facebook prospects that most closely resemble your core audience allowing you to create precise Lookalike audiences.
While creating Lookalike audiences is super easy, setting up your Facebook Pixel (code you place on your website that allows you to track conversions from Facebook as well as build targeted audiences) is a bit trickier. If your website does not have partner integration with Facebook, then you will be required to add the pixel code manually to your website or to tag manager.
Facebook has a great resource to walk you through these steps. We also spell it out for you here if you are manually installing the pixel code yourself:
Creating a Facebook Lookalike audience is easy and Facebook has some great resources to help you set these up.
In the following example we’re going to show you how to create a Lookalike audience based off of your customer list. Please note that in order to create a custom audience you need to be an admin of the Page or pixel you’re creating it from.
Equally easy to set up are Lookalike Audiences. Here too Facebook provides some great resources. We share the steps with you below:
A note from Facebook: “It may take 6 to 24 hours for your Lookalike Audience to be created. After that, it’ll refresh every 3 to 7 days as long as you’re still actively targeting ads to it.”
Your Lookalike Audience creation is done. Now go and create your ads.
Tip 1: Match the goal of your ad to your Lookalike audience: Hootsuite shares the following:
“…if your goal is to drive awareness of your business, a Lookalike Audience based on your Page Fans may be a good idea. If your goal is to increase online sales, then a Lookalike Audience based on website visitors will be a better choice.”
Tip 2: Update your customer lists at least one per month: If you are using custom audiences based off of customer emails, ensure you that you continually update your email lists.
Tip: 3: Segment your customer lists: If you have a large enough email list, don’t simply upload all your customer emails, segment them by behavior. For example:
Tip 4: Test audience sizes: The audience size is dependent on the location and radius you want to target. If your location targeting is very small, you want to allow a higher percentage in order to reach a larger audience. The opposite is equally true, if your location targeting is broad, you should use a smaller audience size. In other words a 1% lookalike will be the 1% of Facebook users in that country that most closely match your source audience. Creating a larger audience increases your potential reach, but reduces the level of similarity between the Lookalike Audience and source audience. We recommend a source audience of at least 1000 but preferably 5,000 to 10,000 users strong.
Tip 5: Drill down by adding other demographic targeting features: Once you’ve chosen your Lookalike Audience when creating your ad, drill down by adding other targeting features like interests, deeper geographic targeting, gender or device.
More Facebook Lookalike Audience Resources: