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There is nothing we marketers love more than easy optimization, and Facebook seems to be hard at work amplifying the use of their advertising platform with some of those easy-to-do tactics and a slight interface upgrade.

Facebook’s New Lookalike Audience Setup

For those familiar with Facebook advertising, you may notice that “Lookalike Audiences” are now being promoted as an option on new campaigns or advertisement sets. A lookalike audience allows you to find more people on Facebook that share common traits with optimizations that have worked for you in the past. What that means is that a Facebook user with a similar location, age, gender, as well as similar interests to your customers can now be reached through the click of a button. This new audience list will algorithmically show similarities in interests deemed important to the success of your business by targeting the specific Facebook behaviors of the visitors and/or customers.

Right now, you can base your lookalike audience on people who like your Page or visitors to your website. For now, visitors are determined by Facebook tracking codes (or pixels) you have on your website, but it is anticipated that Facebook will eventually stop relying on pixels all together and be able to optimize your lookalike audience simply by those clicking on your ads, no additional tracking code required.

How does Facebook determine who your customers are and their demographics?

Right now, lookalike audiences are based on pixels you’ve previously setup on your website. You can create lookalike audiences for visitors to your website, visitors to your blog, or a customer lead list that you’ve uploaded to Facebook directly.

For more information on installing Facebook pixels or uploading audiences visit this blog here: How To Install Facebook Tracking Pixels

What are Facebook pixels?

Don’t worry too much about previous tracking pixels, for now. Facebook says on their site: “We’re removing the conversion tracking pixel in the second half of 2016. For conversion tracking, optimization and remarketing, we recommend using the Facebook pixel instead.” However, you will need to setup the new Facebook pixel tracking system. For directions on how to do that, click here.

Should you be using the Lookalike Audience Feature?

…If you’re keen on advertising as precisely as possible and maximizing your ROI, then yes. The lookalike audience will support your advertising objectives by allowing you to target people similar to your existing visitors, readers, or customers.

How do Lookalike Audiences work?

Facebook looks at common sources within your audience such as demographics and interests and will find people that “look like” these sources specific to the country you choose in your advertising campaign. Lookalike audiences only support viewing of one country at a time right now.

For your lookalikes to work perfectly, your source audience needs to have a minimum of 100 people from one single country. That means if you’re basing your audience off of website visitors or blog readers, you need to have 100 readers from the United States, for example. This is the best way to use country/location as one of your source demographics.

However, Facebook does make it possible for you to create or use a custom audience to create a lookalike program for another country. For example, if you have 100 blog readers from Finland, you can take this information and specify in your advertisement that you want to now target Sweden, and Facebook will find a lookalike audience based on the information from your Finnish list.

Expect 3 to 7 days for the Facebook algorithm to find your lookalike audience based on the information you’ve provided.

Can you perfect your lookalike audience with even more targeted features?

Yes! If you need to, you can manually add other audiences or Facebook targeting options on top of your lookalike campaign. Try creating your lookalike campaign with no additional input at first, just to get an idea of how that will work for you before you start A/B testing some additional targeting options.

Can you use more than one lookalike audience on an ad set?


How do you get started?

I thought you’d never ask.

To get started creating your lookalike audience:

  1. Go to your audiences page here:
  2. Click Create a Lookalike Audience
  3. Choose your source (based on an app, conversion pixel, or Facebook page)
  4. Choose the country where you’d like to find a similar set of people
  5. Choose your desired audience size with the slider
  6. Click Create Audience

These steps were directly sourced from

About The Author

Caz Bevan

Caz is the Director of Marketing for Boostability and has deep experience blending business goals and marketing tactics into comprehensive company strategies. Her creative innovation and expertise has helped shape customer experiences and drive continual engagement for a variety of companies and products including Sony Music Entertainment and SpeedTV. Connect with Caz: @CazBevan | Linkedin


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