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Digital Marketing

Beginners Guide: Facebook Lookalike Audiences

March 26, 2021

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With all online marketing, the aim of the game is finding your new, best customer, sell them your product and then rinse and repeat. So ideally, you’re wanting to find your ideal customer and then find other people like them.

Increase the net, increase your sales, am I right?!

In general, Facebook is a powerful way of promoting your product or business without a multi-million dollar budget, but where Facebook really gets good (and a little creepy) is when you explore the targeting options available.

Targeting your digital advertising is key, otherwise you’re simply throwing your cash into the air and hoping it’ll fall where you want it. With correct targeting, your aim is to find your audience, keep them engaged and sell your product or service to them.

But how do you find this new audience of people likely to be interested in your product? That’s where Facebook Lookalike audiences comes in.

Here's what we'll learn in this article:

  • What is a Facebook Lookalike Audience?
  • How to create a Facebook Lookalike Audience
  • Quick Lookalike Audience Tips

What is a Facebook Lookalike Audience?

Using data you provide or data from the fans of your Business Page, Facebook can create an audience that closely replicates those people, their interests, their demographics and purchase behaviour.

Once set up, a Facebook Lookalike audience can be a powerful tool on increasing your reach and if you’re still a bit nervous about using the full blown Facebook Ad’s, the great thing is that once a lookalike audience is set up (using Facebook Ads) you’ll then be able to use that custom audience in boosted posts.

How to create a Facebook Lookalike Audience

The set up is relatively easy when you purely want to target an audience that closely replicates your Facebook Page’s fans. To start with, you’ll need a Facebook Ad account, so if you are yet to push past simply boosting posts, you’ll need to set up a Facebook Ad account first. Facebook make this easy.

Step One: Create Audience

Once your account is created (or once you log into your current account), click ‘Ads Manager’ and select ‘Audiences’ to begin…

On the next screen, you’ll click a blue button ‘Create Audience’ and select ‘Lookalike Audience’. The next box is where the set up begins!

Step Two: Select your lookalike source

Click the box to ‘select an existing audience or data source’ and you’ll see a tab with ‘Other sources’. Once you select this tab you’ll be presented with your current Facebook Business pages. Select your page….

Step Three: Select audience location

If you’re reading this in New Zealand, chances are ‘New Zealand’ is automatically selected. You can’t narrow this any further, so just leave it as it is and we can add further targeting to this audience when you create your advert.

In fact, always remember to refine your audience targeting when creating an advert and always challenge Facebook’s recommendations. Remember they’re a business too and while their algorithms are very powerful, they always are trying to make extra money off you!

Step Four: Select audience size

Selecting a number of lookalike audiences gives you the opportunity to bid different amounts on different audience sizes. As we’re just starting out, we’ll keep this at the default ‘1’.

Next up, we’ll determine your audience size. Here you’ll use the slider to select how close this audience should look to your data source (ie: your Facebook page fans).

Pulling the slider from 1% to 10% will determine how similar your audience should be or how large the reach should extend. For this example, let’s determine a defined audience which is similar to the fans on your Facebook page, with a 2% lookalike.

Next, click ‘Create Audience’ and you’re all done! Easy!

Your first custom audience has been created, is populating data and is ready for you to select when creating your next Facebook advert.

Quick Lookalike Audience Tips

Think outside the box

You don’t have to always target Facebook fans. Once you get comfortable, trial different custom audiences and see what results you get! You can create custom audiences based on people who have watched your videos, people who have filled in a Facebook Lead form or even people that have visited your website or subscribed to read your emails.

Always trial

Don’t settle with the first lookalike audience, head back to ‘Step Four’ and adjust the audience size to to be less specific and add to your overall reach (sliding closer to the 10%). The larger you make your overall audience (in the 5%-10% range) the more you’ll want to redefine your targeting when creating your advert.

As a simple rule, if you’re want branding and greater reach? Go large and towards 10%. Focusing on conversion and similarity to your Facebook fans? Go smaller towards 1%.

I’m interested to see how you got on! Email me if you need any further advice or you want to share your success with Facebook Lookalike audiences.

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