How to Use Facebook Lookalike Audiences

How to Use Facebook Lookalike Audiences

Facebook gives advertisers a near-infinite number of ways to reach potential customers. But while layered targeting can introduce your brand to total strangers and re-marketing is the perfect way to push prospects further down your marketing funnel, sometimes you need something in between these two options

Facebook lookalike audiences are the perfect way to supercharge your online advertising without breaking the bank.

What Is a Lookalike Audience?

Lookalike Audiences allow you to reach brand new Facebook users who resemble or share traits with you CRM; if you're familiar with AdWords Similar Audiences, Lookalikes are very similar.

If you sell real estate, uploading a list of customer email addresses and phone numbers can help you find Facebook users who act like your past listing appraisals or vendors. If you’re trying to generate leads, creating a lookalike audience based on past vendors or listing appraisals will help you reach Facebook users who are more inclined to work with you.

Things to Know About Lookalike Audiences

The size of a lookalike audience is determined during the creation process. While you might think to maximize the size of your lookalike audience be aware that less is more, smaller audiences often perform better as they more closely match your source. Facebook recommends using a source audience of between 1,000 to 50,000 people when creating lookalike audiences, but you can use less and if you have access to your office's database you should be able to generate an audience without to much trouble.

For top of funnel prospecting purposes, creating large lookalike audiences can amplify your reach; if you’ve exhausted your tightly-knit lookalike audience, a broader source and greater degree of difference layered with some of Facebook’s other targeting options makes for phenomenal brand building through content boosting.

A few extra bits of information to keep in mind:

  • Your lookalike audiences will only consist of prospects from countries you explicitly identify in the audience creation process.
  • Source audiences must contain at least 100 people to be eligible for lookalike audiences.
  • There doesn’t need to be a geographic relationship between your source audience and your lookalike audience. If you have a source audience of 500 people from all over Australia you can still use it to create lookalike audiences for your local area.
  • A single source audience is eligible to be used in the creation of up to 500 lookalike audiences.
  • Members of your source audience are automatically excluded from your lookalike audience.
  • When you layer lookalike audiences in a single ad set, your ads will target Facebook users who are members of any (not all) of the selected lookalike audiences.

With that, let’s dive into creating lookalike audiences in your Facebook Ad account…

How to Create a Facebook Lookalike Audience

Creating Lookalike Audiences in your Facebook Ads account is easy. In Facebook Ads Manager, click the hamburger menu in the top left-hand corner of the screen; in the subsequent dropdown, select “Audiences.”

Ad Manager:


From here you can see and manage your existing custom Audiences. Click the blue “Create Audience” button above your columns and select “Lookalike Audience.”


This will bring up Facebook’s Lookalike Audience creation form, which looks something like this:


Before you fill in the details it’s worth taking a moment to discuss what you’re looking at here.

The “source” field is the foundation of your lookalike audience, make sure your source is something that represents value to your business like, a list of customer emails from your CRM or site traffic over the past six months.


Potential sources for lookalike audiences include:

  • Customer file - Upload customer email addresses.
  • Website traffic - People who visited or took a specific action on your website.
  • App activity - People who launched or performed an action within your app.
  • Offline activity - People who called, visited your business or interacted with you through some other offline channel.
  • Engagement - People who engaged with your business on Facebook or Instagram

For example: if you choose to use website traffic to create your lookalike audience, don’t mirror users who simply visited your homepage. Instead, use traffic to high-value pages or past clients for your lookalike audience; while this will result in a smaller source the resulting audience will be more qualified.

“Location” is exactly what it sounds like: Which country do your lookalikes live in. Currently, Facebook only allows you to choose from countries you can not be more specific and choose the state or city, but you can layer geotargeting on top of your lookalike audience when you use it.

Finally, the “Audience Size” slider shows you how big your new lookalike audience is. It also gives you the ability to create multiple seed audiences from a single source. 


A 1% lookalike will be your smallest audience, and the one that most resembles your source audience; a 10% lookalike will be massive, but largely useless as they will barely resemble your source audience.

Once your lookalike audience(s) is complete, create a new AdSet and start using your new audience and start marketing to more qualified prospects!

Ready to Get Started with Lookalike Audiences?

If you’re using Facebook Ads, you should be using lookalike audiences. It’s that simple. They’re one of the most effective ways to derive immediate value from Facebook; they give you an immediate leg up on your competitors.