Shweta Dubey

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What are Facebook Lookalike Audiences?

on December 9, 2014


Facebook has been reinventing itself and how! Advertisers no longer need to worry about having to shell out huge bucks for traditional forms of marketing. Advertising on Facebook has taken center stage offering marketers a valuable ground to show their products, services and activities and also target their customers.

Now, though Facebook Advertising has been around for a while, a more unique and promising method of targeting customers via Facebook advertising was introduced – Facebook Lookalike Audiences.

The main purpose of this post is to explain what lookalike audiences are, how you can create them and how they could be useful.


What are Facebook Lookalike Audiences?

What are Facebook ‘Lookalike’ Audiences?


Lookalike Audiences: Advertisers can target Facebook users who are similar to their real-time customers away from Facebook.

Below is the breakdown of what the lookalike audiences offer:-

  1. Through Lookalike audiences, businesses get a chance to focus on who their actual customers are and a method to effectively apply your marketing strategy which goes beyond analytics.
  2. Marketers can target advertisements to appear on the home page of those who are most likely to be influenced by your sales pitch.
  3. Also you can conveniently target ‘Facebook lookalikes’ i.e. users who have identical interests to that of your company’s customers. In other words, these are people who ‘look’ like your customers.

As per Facebook:

‘Lookalike audiences can help you reach people who are similar to your present customers for brand awareness, fan acquisition, off-Facebook purchases, site registration and coupon claims.’


Often brands / companies maintain databases of their customers which comprises of customer’s name, email addresses and telephone numbers. This database can be uploaded onto facebook under “Custom Audience” Targeting in order to show the ads specifically to their customers. The most common problem brands / companies face is the limited database / customer lists which comprises of contacts between 100 to 2000 approximately.  Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences is a good way to expand the net since smaller customer lists can now be used to create Lookalike Audiences from, which means targeting can exceed 1 Million users and not just limit towards targeting few hundreads of people.


How to Create Lookalike Audiences ?

Creating Lookalike Audience is incredibly easy through your already built Custom Audience.

  1. Click on Audiences menu item on the left. Select an audience that will be the basis of your Lookalike Audience. Then click “Create Similar Audience.”

What are Facebook ‘Lookalike’ Audiences?

2.  You are only allowed to target one country at a time, so you will need to create multiple Lookalike Audiences for multiple countries.

What are Facebook ‘Lookalike’ Audiences?

3.   When creating your Lookalike Audiences, choose to optimize for similarity or greater reach.

Optimise based on Similarity: If you optimise for similarity, Facebook will search for people who are most similar to your existing Custom Audience. The probable reach of your new audience may be relatively smaller, but it will be much precise.

What are Facebook ‘Lookalike’ Audiences?


Optimise based on Greater Reach: If you optimize for greater reach, Facebook will search for more (in numbers) people who are similar to the existing Custom Audience but the match finds will be less precise.


What are Facebook ‘Lookalike’ Audiences?


Facebook analyses the Custom Audiences list and creates a whole new segment which is optimized based on either similarity or reach of audiences. However, Facebook states that targeting for greater reach would include the top 5% of users whereas optimizing for similarity includes just the top 1%. When you optimize for greater reach, that segment will cover the list optimized for similarity.

How does Lookalike audience help you as an advertiser?

Even as Custom Audiences can be extremely effective since they let marketers create greatly relevant Facebook ads, but the truth is, the effectiveness of these ads tend to be short-lived as the composition of the list changes slowly.

For instance, you may target your email list in a 15 days long ad campaign, with the objective of increasing the Facebook Page Likes. Chances are you will exhaust this email list in roughly 5 days of the campaign’s time period and then, the ads will simply be repeatedly sent out to the same people several times. Some of the target audience may like your page, while others may not.

Ultimately, people who have not yet liked your Page probably may never do.

So, when you’ve exhausted this audience list, Lookalike Audiences offers to expand it to reach more users who are similar to your target audience and customers. You can now target the new Lookalike Audiences and increase the reach of your audience via targeting similar audience to your existing customers.

Insidefacebook.Com Stated That A Travel Site Claims 70 Percent Lower Costs Per Action With Using Lookalike Audiences While An Online Shopping Site Experienced 94 Percent Lower Costs Per Checkout.

Tell us your side of the story…

Have you created your own Lookalike Audiences yet or finding it tricky? What are the results you see? Share with us by commenting below!


Posted in: Facebook, Online Marketing

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