Boosting Your Reach With Facebook Lookalike Audiences

Facebook has an impressive amount of targeting options and one of my favorites is the Lookalike Audience feature. These are a great way to reach additional potential customers who are similar to those users you are already targeting. If you haven’t tried out Facebook’s Lookalike Audience feature, here’s a guide to help you do that as well as some tips to make this method as successful as possible.

If you’re not familiar with Lookalike Audiences, these are groups of Facebook users that Facebook deems are similar to existing groups of users you have as an existing audience. This can be a powerful option for advertisers looking to expand their reach in the Facebook platform but aren’t quite sure where to go.

You’ll begin creating your lookalike audience at the ad set level. Go to Audience > Custom Audience > Create New > Lookalike Audience.

When selecting the Source that you’ll base your audience off, you can select a page you’re an admin or a custom audience list. You can then select the size of audience that you want by choosing a percentage of that countries population (i.e. 1% Lookalikes in the US will always be between 2M and 2.1M users based on our population on Facebook). Facebook will tell you how big the audience is expected to be.

Once you have created the audience based on your selected parameters, the Audience portion will look similar to the following:

At this point you can also layer in any additional targets you’d like within this Lookalike audience. That could be excluding any audiences that you do not want to include in your targeting. That could also be adding in additional targeting layers to hone your audience even further. You can layer in either these positive or negative targets either though the audiences section or the Detailed Targeting section a little further down.

To save yourself work later, you can also save the targeting that you select as a saved audience. If you haven’t created saved audiences before, here’s where you can get started.

Helpful Tips

  • It’s useful to include “Lookalike” in the name of your ad set for easy performance check-ins.
  • When I build Facebook campaigns and ad sets, I break out all of my ad sets by placement. That means that for one specific audience, I have separate ad sets for Facebook Newsfeed, Facebook Mobile Newsfeed, Facebook Right Column and Instagram. Since all of these placements can perform differently, you can also do this for your Lookalike audience.
  • You’ll also want to decide if you want to include the Facebook Audience Network. I typically start out including this and then exclude it later based off performance.
  • According to Facebook, your audience must contain at least 100 people from a single country in order to use it to create a Lookalike Audience, so you’ll want to make sure you choose a list that meets this threshold.
  • You don’t have to worry about excluding audiences that you’re targeting in ad sets – Facebook will automatically exclude source audiences from your Lookalike Audience (unless you use a pixel as the source).
  • Once your Lookalike Audience has had some time to generate some traffic, don’t forget to check out the Audience Insights feature that Facebook offers.

Have you used Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences? What kind of results have you seen? We’d love to hear your results and questions in the comments!