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Marketing 360® Blog

What is a Facebook Lookalike Audience?

Post By Scott Yoder | Social Media Management

Picture your perfect customer.  You just love her – she’s ideal in every way.

She lives in a place where your product is perfectly suited.  She’s just the right age, makes the right amount of money, and has the right size family.  She has a history of buying things similar to your product line.  Your product is such a great fit for her lifestyle and interests, it’s a wonder she was ever happy without it.

She’s a totally reliable repeat customer.  If you could just copy and multiply her by 500x, you’d be forever in the black.

Multiplying your ideal customer is what Facebook Lookalike Audiences are all about.  It can take on your existing, ideal customer and display ads to other similar people most likely to be interested in your message.

How Audiences Get Created

One obvious point is that to create a lookalike audience, you must first create a source audience to mirror.

An audience can be based on something as broad as people who liked your business page.  However, it’s generally more effective to create custom audiences so you can target behaviors that led to your desired outcome.

For example, you can track your conversion pages to create custom audiences of your customers who converted for specific offers.

Say you sell jackets online.  You can track conversions on sales for women’s leather jackets and create an audience.  In addition, you can track sales for women’s ski jackets and create another audience.

Facebook takes these audience lists and understands the demographics, interests, and buying patterns of people who converted for your product.  It then finds similar people to create the lookalike audience.

Say you want to go international and target France.  You can use your data on existing customers in the United States, then use Lookalike Audiences to identify people with similar characteristics in France.  In other words, Facebook will display ads only to women likely to be interested in buying your style of leather jacket in France.

The caveat is, of course, that you need to have data on existing customers to create your source list.  Lookalike is a growth strategy, not an initial roll-out.

How does Facebook manage this?  First, it uses the demographic and psychographic data users provide as participants on Facebook.  Every action you take on the platform tells Facebook things about your life.  Also, Facebook integrates huge amounts of data from consumer data brokers.  These are companies with access to trillions of data transactions every year – data which tracks virtually every purchase you make.  All this allows them to create lookalike models with exceptional accuracy.

Tips On Creating Lookalike Campaigns

Once you have your source audience, creating the Lookalike audience is fairly straightforward.

Go to Facebook business manager and under Assets, click on Audiences.  Under the Create Audiences tab, select Lookalike.  You’ll get this form:

facebook lookalike audiences  You’ll select your source, location targets, number of audiences, and audience size.

Note the audience size ranges from 1-10% of total population of the target country.  The smaller the percentage, the more closely it matches your source audience.  Start with the lowest number you can while still ensuring a large enough reach.

Your source audience must have a minimum of a 100 people from a single country, but you don’t need anyone on the list from the country you are targeting.

Once you’ve identified your ideal customers, start using Lookalike Audiences – to get lookalike profits.