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How to Use Facebook Lookalike Audiences to Expand Your Ad Targeting Strategy

Lookalike audiences
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If you have ever looked through Facebook’s Ads Manager and tried your hand at creating an ad for a Facebook page that you run, it is quite likely that you have noticed the term “Lookalike Audiences”. It is a handy little ad feature introduced by Facebook back in 2013 to help its users expand their ad audience. However, unfortunately, many digital advertisers still tend to overlook it.

This article will explain what Lookalike Audiences are, how to use them effectively to expand the audience targeting strategy of your Facebook ads, along with a few practical tips for those who are using this feature for the first time.

What is a Lookalike Audience?

“A Lookalike Audience is an algorithmically-assembled group of social network members who resemble, in some way, another group of members”

 – A Step by Step Guide to High-Value Customer Acquisition on Facebook

Let’s simplify that into something we actually understand. Think about a dating website. You tell them about what you like in a person, and they deliver a set of matches with those characteristics that you can “swipe right” to!

Here, the same concept applies – with an algorithm that is more advanced and specific. Facebook Lookalike Audiences discern the demographics, interests and other characteristics of your existing active followers/your ideal customers, and find users that match those characteristics. Within the massive audience on Facebook, these Lookalike Audiences offer better conversion rates than other users. Therefore, using Lookalike Audiences better optimizes your Facebook ad budget by lowering your cost of acquisition and giving you a better ROI.

How to Create a Lookalike Audience for Facebook Ads

  • Step 1: Facebook Ads Manager > Audiences
  • Step 2: Create Audience > Lookalike Audience
  • Step 3: Select the Source Audience

A Source Audience or a Seed Audience is the user group that the Lookalike Audience is based on. Some of the source audiences that you can choose from are mentioned below.

  • Subscriber information
  • Website visitors
  • App Users and Activity
  • Actively engaging social media followers

Note: A Source Audience requires at least 100 people from the same country

  • Step 4: Select Target Geographical Location (Country/Region)
  • Step 5: Select the Size of the audience

Tip: When the audience size is small, you will get results with high levels of similarity to your source audience. When the size is larger, your reach will be high, but the similarity may not be as high. For each size, you will see an Estimated Reach given in real-time to get an idea.

  • Step 6: Once your Lookalike Audience is ready, create your Ad.

Note: It may take up to 24 hours for your Lookalike Audience to complete. You can complete the other steps of the ad while the audience is being created.

Always select your Source Audience based on your goal for that particular ad. If you need more brand awareness, your Social Media followers could be a good source audience, but if you are looking for more sales, it is better to use a source audience such as your website visitors who are deeper in your sales funnel. 

Watch and listen to your existing followers and get creative with your source audiences. Remember that in order to get good results, you should always provide good data!

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