Varos Glossary

Lookalike Audience

What is a Facebook Lookalike Audience?

Facebook offers a lookalike audience segmentation tool that allows you to target users who are similar to your existing followers. The tool uses demographic and interest data of current followers to create an automated lookalike audience for new ad campaigns.

Other platforms offer similar features, but some have phased them out. Google lookalike audience targeting was sunset in early 2023 as it continually moved towards a cookie-less Internet, which would make it a less effective feature than Facebook’s.

Why Lookalike Audiences Are Important

Even established, growing businesses don’t know everything about their existing customers or social media followers. Lookalike audience targeting leverages a wealth of data to reach similar users and much of that data won’t even be available to you.

Ultimately, lookalike audiences have the potential to optimize your ad spend, lower customer acquisition costs, and increase conversions. Each of these benefits is made possible by targeting users who will be the most receptive to your ads.

How To Create a Lookalike Audience

Lookalike audiences can do wonders for your business, so how do you create them? Let’s review the process and best practices for creating lookalike audiences on Facebook.

Choose the Initial Group to Mimic

Within the Ads Manager, you’ll be to choose specific groups to help build the lookalike audience. Facebook gives you three possible options:

  1. Fans of your business page
  2. Visitors to your website
  3. List of existing customers

Using these lists, you’ll create a new custom audience that must have 100 people. Facebook recommends using more than 100 users, but 100 is the required minimum. The larger the sample size, the more accurate the autogenerated audience will be.

Select the Ideal Lookalike Audience Size

Once you’ve provided the sample group, you’ll choose the size of the lookalike audience. As with most audience targeting methods, the larger the audience, the less precise the targeting will be.

A large audience might be ideal for a brand awareness campaign, but smaller audiences will likely be better for conversion or lead generation campaigns. 

You’ll need to understand your specific needs and likely experiment with different sizes to find the right choice. Monitor the results as you change the audience size between campaigns to help hone in on the most effective option.

Modify Demographics as Needed

The lookalike audience will already mimic the sample group you provided. However, you can modify the audience as necessary to better fit your specific needs. 

For example, your lookalike audience might include geographic data; you want to target other countries or have a fully global campaign. You can then make changes within the ads manager to better fit your needs.

Many advertisers will choose to use the lookalike audience without any modifications at first and then make changes as the campaign progresses or finalizes. It’s worth noting that even though the lookalike audience will be highly targeted, that doesn’t mean it will be perfect for your specific campaign.

Create or Upload Ad Creatives

Lastly, you can use Facebook’s provided Power Editor to add text and images to your ad. Simple ads can be created from scratch within the platform, or you can upload premade creatives from your marketing team.

Follow established best practices for Facebook ads and keep in mind your precise audience targeting, such as:

  • Use engaging and intriguing verbiage
  • Have a clear call to action (CTA) so the user knows what to do next if they’re interested
  • Have eye-catching images or videos; both should be direct and to the point

Remember, you’re reaching people who are similar to existing customers or followers — your ads should speak directly to the pain point you’re trying to solve since your audience will likely have it.