Facebook Lookalike audiences: what brands must know about this

November 18, 2013


Facebook Lookalike audiences

You may have heard about “custom” audiences or lookalike audience in regards to Facebook marketing. Lookalike audiences build off of the targeting feature: custom audiences. This feature can be found under, “power editor.” Custom audiences allow marketers take their current customer lists (email, phone numbers, or Facebook user IDs) and show ads to those people on Facebook. Now with lookalike audiences, Facebook can use attributes like interests or demographics and show ads to people who share common attributes as their existing customers.

Advertisers can serve any type of Facebook ad to these new groups of people potential customers. What does this mean for your business? With this new marketing your can target a wide range of success metrics for a direct response. This helps you reach people for fan acquisition, site registrations, off-Facebook purchases, coupon claims, and brand awareness.

The ideal environment for Lookalike audiences

Lookalike audiences work best when you have a dataset of 500 users or more. This allows you to accurately match user profiles with like minded users. This is not to say you cannot use it with smaller datasets; you may only receive fewer results. Lookalike audiences also come in two varieties: similar and reach. “Similar” provides the top 1% of most similar matches to your custom audience; “reach” matches the top 5%; meaning that the audience is five times bigger but much less precise. Similar is better for conversion rate, but reach is better for reaching out.

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These tools can be combined with any Facebook ad campaign because the objective is to gain new fans. A business could choose to run an offer to customers who have bought from them before and people who are similar to these customers; allowing your advertising to reach the greatest amount of people. Audiences allow marketers to tailor their efforts to specific demographics and reach exactly the type of customer they need.

If you are ready to set up a lookalike audience, log in to your Facebook Ad Manager Account (or set one up through Facebook; just search for “ads”). Then, select “Power Editor” on the panel. If you already have a “custom audience” in place, you can click “select audience,” if not, you will need to create a custom audience first.

After you have your custom audience, just create a “similar audience” at the bottom of the page, follow the prompts, and you are ready to start targeting your advertising.

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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