Creating Lookalike audiences to Quickly Scale Your Business

Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins

CEO - Shout Agency
[email protected]

With competition rising in every industry, making sales is getting difficult. Imagine if you could clone your best customers into thousands of fresh new prospects that you know will buy your product– doesn’t that sound wonderful? And maybe even a little fantastical, but it isn’t. Not with Facebook’s lookalike audiences.

With lookalike audiences, you can target a fresh group of cold leads who share similar attributes to your existing customer base– these include people who have already engaged with your brand through a purchase, by signing up to your email list, visiting your website, liking your Facebook posts etc.

How does lookalike audiences work?

To start off, you need a source audience of at least 100 members. This could be your customer list, email subscribers, list of your Facebook fans etc. Upload this data into your Facebook ad manager as a custom audience. Facebook algorithm will use this data as a control to find a new group of people who have never engaged with your brand, but are very much identical to your existing audience. By using this feature, you place your business in front of relevant audience whose chances of being interested in your brand is very high. Facebook uses several factors to create lookalike audiences, such as user behavior, interests, profile information, pages liked, ad and content interaction. 

How to create lookalike audience in FB Ads Manager

  • Go to ‘Audiences’ from Facebook Ads Manager. 
  • Click on ‘Create Audience’, and then select ‘Lookalike Audience’ from the dropdown menu.
  • Choose your source audience– This is the base audience that your LookAlike audience will be based on. Your list must contain at least 100 people from the same country. Facebook recommends that you use a group of your best 1,000 to 50,000 customers based on total order size, engagement, transactional value etc. But at the same time, focus on quality rather than quantity.

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  • Choose the country or countries where you’d like your Lookalike audience members to be based.
  • Choose the size of your Lookalike audience group. This ranges from 1-10. The smaller the number, the higher the similarity will be between the source audience and lookalike audience. Facebook will automatically give you an estimated reach for whatever size you choose. 
  • Click on ‘Create Audience’. 

The Facebook Algorithm takes anywhere from 6 to 24 hours to create your LookAlike Audience. It will then dynamically update the list every 3 to 7 days if you still have active ads running.

5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Facebook Lookalike Audience

  1. Use the right source audience- Your lookalike audience will be a close copy of your source audience. Your business goals should dictate who is included in your root list. For example, if you want to increase your reach and awareness, then it’s a good idea to use information from your Facebook fan page. But if your goal is to get more leads and conversions, then upload the list of your current buyers, or better yet, repeated buyers.
  2. Find the right audience size through testing- Sizes from 1-5 will give you a list that’s very similar to your custom audience but your reach will be small as well. If you want a higher reach, keep your size between 6-10. But remember that the close to 10, the less similarity there will be between your source and lookalike audience.
  3. Focus on quality- While Facebook recommends using a list of 100 to 50,000 people, it’s important to remember that the higher the quality of data you provide, the better the outcome would be. So its more prudent to use a smaller list with your most loyal customers than a large list built up of a broad audience base.
  4. Regularly update the list- Your look-alike audience list will automatically update every 3 to 7 days. Don’t forget your update your custom list too. For example, if you only want to limit your custom audience base to visitors who have bought a product within the last 30 days, then update your source list accordingly with new information.
  5. Segment your custom list- Take advantage of segmentation. If there are natural segments within your customer base, for example a group that buys products under than $100 and a group with a higher customer value, you should upload two different lists rather than one.

Lookalike audiences gives you a way to quickly scale of your business and reach your goals. But The quality of your new audience will depend on the quality of the data you use, so don’t forget to segment and frequently update your list to gain the maximum benefits from this technique. 

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