How to Setup a Lookalike Audience on Facebook

Updated 1 month ago by Van Le

Lookalike audiences are a great way to find new leads on Facebook. Facebook uses an advanced algorithm that uses your existing customer list to find more leads that are like your customers.

FB will use your source audience and create a series of audiences that are like your source audience. The lookalikes are created using a percentage system, from 1 to 10%. A 1% audience is the top 1% of FB users in your specified country who are most like your source audience. A 10% audience is the top 10% of FB users who are most like your source audience. Naturally, the 1% is most likely to be a much higher quality audience than say 1-2% or a 3-4%.

Follow the steps below to create your first Lookalike audience.

Step 1: Create a source audience

In order to create a lookalike audience you first need a source audience. A source audience can be a custom uploaded list of email addresses/phone numbers, followers on your FB page, or pixels on your website. Skip this step if you already have a source audience.

Follow these steps to create a source audience using an email list:

  1. First save your email list as a CSV file. You can include additional columns for phone number, first name, last name, and customer value for each lead (if you have them). Make sure you have a header row in your CSV file.
  2. Open up Ads Manager and go to Audiences > Create Audience > Custom Audience
  3. Choose "Customer List" as your audience type.
  4. You'll see a screen that asks whether you want to include a column for custom value. Select "No" unless you have included customer value in your CSV. Then hit "Next".
  5. On the next screen, click "Upload file" and select your CSV file to upload.
  6. Confirm all your column headers & click "Upload & Create"
  7. All set! You've just created a custom audience using a customer list.

Step 2: Create your lookalike audience

Once you have a source audience created, you can create a lookalike audience from this source,

  1. Open up Ads Manager and go to Audiences > Create Audience > Lookalike Audience
  2. Select your source audience. This can be a custom audience you just created in Step 1, or another source that you already have in your ad account. Other sources you can use are followers on your FB page or audiences created from your FB pixel.
    Search for the source under "Other Sources". Value-Based Sources are custom audiences uploaded with customer value.
  3. Search for your audience location. This is the country that you'll be running your ads in.
  4. For "Number of lookalike audiences" we recommend choosing 5. This will create 5 different lookalike audiences 1%, 1-2%, 2-3%, 3-4%, and 4-5%. A 1% lookalike means the top 1% of FB users in the country that are most similar to your source audience. The 1-2% audience is the next 1% of FB users that are most similar to your source audience, etc.

Step 3: Target your lookalike audience in your Ad Set

When you go to create a new ad, select the 1% lookalike audience in your Ad Set under Audience > Custom Audience > Lookalike Audience tab:

We recommend starting with the 1% lookalike and letting it run for a couple days. If you don't see enough delivery or want to increase delivery, add the 1-2%, 2-3%, etc.


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