The True Power of Facebook Lookalike Audience


The most powerful feature that Facebook has released for their advertisers so far is lookalike audience. Why? Because it’s an ultimate key that allows you to scale up from 100 orders a day to 1,000+ orders a day.

In any form of advertising and marketing, the most important thing is “data” and if you have data of your target audience, you can import it to Facebook and they’ll find people who have similar traits, behaviors, relationship status and etc. to your existing clients.

The reason it’s so powerful is that after a certain amount of time running the campaign, you’ll find out that it’s hard to scale it up and the only way to do it fast is to create lookalike audience.

That’s exactly what we are going to talk about today.

How lookalike audience works?

Like I mentioned above, it’s basically just people who have things in common with your existing clients (they are in the same customer segment).

Here’s a visualization of Lookalike audience

(Lookalike audience visualized)

As you can see, before you can begin – you have to have data of your existing customers or people who’ve visited your site and then import that data into Facebook and let their search engine find people who are similar to your customers.

If you’d have to find those new customers yourself, it would have cost you so much more time and money.

You go from having 10 – 20 customers a day to 200 customers a day with no extra work. It sounds awesome to me, right? I hate to burst your bubbles, but I’ll explain later in this blog post why it isn’t that easy.

Things to consider before creating Lookalike Audience

Many people think importing data into Facebook and it’s done. It’s not like that because not every piece of data is important and as a reader of my blog, I don’t want you to fail.

I want you to know a few things before you start creating your first Lookalike Audience list.

3 factors to consider before creating Lookalike Audience
  1. ) Lifetime value of each customer
  2. ) Brand loyalty of your customers
  3. ) Spending per customer

People who don’t consider the 3 factors above would have a high chance of failing because there’s no magic solution when it comes to advertising – no matter how good it sounds, you have to be careful and know what you are doing.

You have to create a Lookalike Audience list from only people who have shown high interest in your products like buying, putting products in shopping cart and etc. because those people are the most valuable and they will give you the best bangs for your bucks.

Each customer segment would be motivated by different things.

Tweaks you can make to your Lookalike Audience list

Dealing with Lookalike audience can be frustrating sometimes and there are ways for you to tweak it to your liking or whatever suits your marketing purposes.

  •  Make use of other data – when you don’t have enough data on your target audience, you can tweak your Lookalike Audience list by adding other data to the list as well. What I mean by that is instead of creating the list from people who’ve bought your product, you can create from people who’ve viewed more than 10 products on your website. In this way, you will expand your list and target even more people.
  • Make sure the data is big enough – when it comes to creating a Lookalike Audience list, the first mistake that I see is that people don’t have a big enough list to create a significant data to reach the right target audience. You can’t just have data of 10 customers and call it a day, you will have to have data of at least 120+ customers to begin creating a good Lookalike Audience list.

Like I said, creating a Lookalike Audience isn’t a magic bullet, there are still going to be mistakes and your targeting could be off – so make sure you have the right data before creating the list.

Data that you need to have to create a Lookalike Audience list

I’ve been creating Lookalike Audience for a long time now both for myself and my clients, one rule that I’ve made for myself is that I have to have a certain number of data points before I’d create a Lookalike Audience list.

My magic number is around 120 – 500 data points of “real customers”.

The reason I say real customers is because many people create a Lookalike Audience list from page likes, post engagements and etc. – it’s not enough and your targeting and Lookalike audience list will be way off from your real target buyers.

Think about it, people who’ve liked your page don’t care much about what you have to offer/sell (even though they care more about people who’ve just scrolled past your ad, but still) that’s why it’s “useless”.

The real data that you need is someone who’s actually purchased from you, who are verified buyers. Or the next best thing is people who’ve abandoned their carts.

Aim for the ones that have the highest value first

If you have a ton of customer I suggest you to break them down into different segments so it’d be easier for you to create good Lookalike Audience list and the list will be much more effective too.

For example, if you would create a Lookalike Audience list of someone who’s visited your site. You might want to target the ones that have stayed on the site the most.

(Top 25%)

Like I said, creating a list of unqualified audience is only going to waste your time and money, so you’d rather just focus on the highest value ones.

How to create your own Lookalike Audience (Step-by-step)

If you aren’t familiar with Lookalike Audience, that’s completely fine because I’ll be showing you how to create one for yourself step by step.

Facebook has simplified a way to create Lookalike Audience, it’s not as hard as before now.

There are 5 ways you can create a Lookalike Audience list 

  1. ) Create from people who’ve engaged with your posts/ads – Facebook lets you create a list of people who are similar to the ones who’ve interacted and engaged with your brand.
  2. ) Create from your email list – assuming your email subscribers use the same email address to sign up with Facebook, then it’d be your lucky day because you can import the email list to Facebook and it’d be good to go.
  3. ) Create from people who’ve visited your site – if you want to target people who’ve visited your website from somewhere else on Facebook, you can do just that on Facebook.
  4. ) Create from their phone numbers – if you have a brick & mortar shop and you’ve collected their phone numbers – you can use it to create a Lookalike Audience list on Facebook.
  5. ) Create from people who’ve liked your page – if your goal is to get even more people to like your page then this data is very important to you because you can get 100x more people to like your page by creating a Lookalike Audience list.

Now that you know the ways to create a Lookalike Audience list, we will go over how to create it using Facebook Power Editor. 

(I’ll be using my Thai instruction images so I’ll have to blur the Thai words and add English over it, I hope you don’t know)

Step #1: Go to your Power editor and then click on the 3-bar top left corner and you will see a drop down menu like this. Click on Ad manager.

Step #2: After you’ve gone through select the purpose of your campaign and then name it. You will see the same page as me and then on the right hand side, you will see a widget about “creating Lookalike Audience”, you can click on “create Lookalike Audience” button and we’ll be onto the next step.

Step #3: If you have a list already, click on “source” field and then you will see a drop down menu of your existing list of Lookalike Audience.

Must remember: In audience size, do not choose more than 60% otherwise it would be too broad, just to keep under 50% and you will be fine.

To tell you the truth, that’s it about creating a Lookalike Audience list, it’s not complicated, right? Now we are going to look at how you can make sure your Lookalike Audience will be perfect and it will make you money.

3 Strategies to create an awesome Lookalike Audience list

I believe that in order to do something right and win big, you are going to know some strategies that will help you get there.

In this section, I’ll be sharing with you about the 3 strategies that I like to use to create an awesome Lookalike Audience list.

Strategy #1: Make sure you have enough data

I know I’ve already said in this blog post about having enough data but as it’s very important I’d repeat it again. If you have data of less than 100 customers, do not create a Lookalike Audience list yet.

It’s simply too small, you need to have data of at least 120+ customers to be “okay” to begin creating a good Lookalike Audience list.

I know Facebook will let you create the list from very small amount of data, but I do not recommend.

Strategy #2: Know what data to use (not every data is good)

Like I said, creating a Lookalike Audience of people who’ve liked your fan page isn’t enough if you want to sell your products because people who’ve liked your page aren’t that interested to buy, they are interested enough to like but not buy.

So the best thing you can do is to ignore this data completely except when you want to get more fan page likes then it’s valuable other than that, you can just ignore it.

If you don’t have enough data of your “customer” who’ve purchased from you, try people who’ve abandoned the carts.

Let’s do a quick math here.

If every 100 people who’ve seen your product, 5 people buy and 30 people put your product in the cart but for some reason abandon it, instead of letting it go to waste, you use it.

Now you don’t have data of 5 customers anymore, you have data of 30 potential customers! It might not be as powerful but it’s definitely worth a try.

Strategy #3: Focus on these 3 conversions

If you want to sell more stuff, I suggest you focus on these 3 conversion points first before something else because there can be so much data that it could confuse you to no end.

The solution to that is to keep your head down and focus on only a few conversions to be able to figure out what would be best for you to create a Lookalike Audience list.

3 conversions to focus on right now 

  1. ) Sales conversions – of course this is the best kind of conversion to focus on possible because it carries the highest value.
  2. ) Add to cart – these people already are interested in your product enough to add it to their cart but for some reason, they just decided to change their mind. Maybe cold feet? No idea, but they still carry a lot of value.
  3. ) Website visit – this will come in handy when you need to create a Lookalike Audience list where you want to get more traffic to your website.

Now that you know what conversion points to focus on, you can now create a Lookalike Audience list for yourself because you have probably got one handy already.

It’s your turn now…

Lookalike Audiences can be extremely powerful if done right, so after reading this blog post, I hope you’ll apply to what you’ve learned to your existing campaign.

I believe that most people already have some data of their target audience already, even if you don’t – it isn’t that hard to create one.

All you need to do is to run a quick test campaign and then data enough data, especially the 3 conversions that I talked about in strategy #3 which are sales conversions, add to cart and website visit.

Give it a shot and let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear your success stories.