What’s a Facebook Lookalike Audience and Why Is It Important?

A laptop on a wooden table, showing Facebook Ads on its screen

One of the biggest challenges of running Facebook ads is figuring out your target audience.

There are many things to consider—your audience's size, location, demographics, and interests, just to name a few—and it can be overwhelming, especially if you're a business owner who wants to reach new customers.

But what if you can take the guesswork out of the equation? What if you can use your current audience to find new customers and bring new business to your Shopify store?

Facebook's Lookalike Audiences feature can help you do just that. This post talks about this powerful segmentation tool, why it's important, and how you can use it to bring in new customers.

What is a Facebook Lookalike Audience?

As the name suggests, a Facebook Lookalike Audience is a set of users who share similarities with your existing audience. These "lookalikes" usually come from the same location, belong to the same demographic, or have similar interests, connections, or behaviors to your current followers.

Facebook's Lookalike Audiences feature makes it easy for you to find these new users and target them for ads. Here’s how it works:

  • You select a source audience — this could be your page fans, people who have engaged with your posts, site visitors, previous customers, email subscribers, etc.
  • Facebook analyzes the source audience and finds out what they have in common.
  • Facebook generates a new audience based on these findings.
  • You run ads that target this lookalike audience.

This segmentation tool allows you to expand your business by reaching new, highly qualified leads with a click of a button.

Why are Facebook Lookalike Audiences important?

A man typing on a laptop

Acquiring new leads isn’t cheap, so you have to make use of your resources wisely.

When appropriately utilized, Facebook's Lookalike Audiences feature can save you a lot of time, energy, and money by targeting people who are already interested in your product or service.

Instead of spending hours researching and manually looking for new potential customers— who may or may not like your product— you can leverage Facebook’s vast customer database and find audiences with relative ease.

There’s no need for you to take the trial-and-error route of collecting and analyzing substantial amounts of data to find out what your current followers have in common. With lookalike audiences, you simply need to give Facebook a sample and the system will do the rest of the work for you.

Since these Lookalike Audiences are already highly qualified, you can potentially lower your acquisition costs and increase your chances of converting these leads into paying customers.

Facebook also lets you generate multiple lookalike audiences. This helps you segment your audience further and determine which offers work best for each of them.

The bottom line is, by using lookalike audiences, you take out the guesswork and create more cost-effective ad campaigns.

How do you create a Lookalike Audience on Facebook?

Before you dive into creating a Lookalike Audience for your page, you need to first think about your source audience. The success of your Lookalike Audience heavily depends on this sample, so consider the following when creating or choosing your source audience:

  • Your source audience needs to have at least 100 people from a single country.
  • Facebook recommends using a source audience with at least 1,000 to 50,000 people.
  • You can select your source audience based on factors like lifetime value, transaction value, total order size, or engagement.
  • The quality of your source audience matters, too. Make sure that your source audience is made up of your best leads or customers. The higher the quality of the sample, the more specific the results. For example, instead of choosing 1,000 random followers, you might want to select 200 of your best customers to generate the best results.

Once you have this covered, you can create your lookalike audience. Here’s what you do:

  1. Go to your Audiences section.
  2. Click on Create Audience.
  3. Select Lookalike Audience from the drop-down.
  4. Choose your source audience.
  5. Select the audience location. Facebook can only create lookalike audiences based on the location that you select.
  6. Choose your audience size. Selecting a larger audience size can increase your reach but will give you less precise results. On the other hand, a smaller audience size will have a narrow reach but will generate a more specific match.
  7. Click on Create Audience.

You will have to wait around 6-24 hours for Facebook to generate your Lookalike Audience. You can make up to 500 Lookalike Audiences from a single source audience. You can also use multiple audiences simultaneously on the same ad set.

Facebook Lookalike Audiences is a powerful tool for reaching new customers

Getting new people to buy your products or learn about your business can be challenging, but tools like Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences can ease some of the friction. Facebook’s Lookalike Audience feature can help you expand your business by reaching new people who are most likely interested in what you have to offer. Use this tool to craft meaningful ads and bring new business to your Shopify store.


Lookalike Audience FAQ

What is a Facebook Lookalike Audience?

Facebook Lookalike Audiences are a set of users who share similarities with your existing audience.

When to use Lookalike Audiences?

You can use Lookalike Audiences when you want to expand your business and reach new potential customers.

How do Facebook Lookalike Audiences work?

Facebook generates Lookalike Audiences by analyzing an existing group of users and finding their common characteristics. This existing group could be made up of:
  • People who like or follow your page
  • Users who have engaged with your posts
  • Previous customers
  • Mobile app users
  • Website visitors
  • Email subscribers

What is a 1% Lookalike Audience?

Facebook allows you to choose your Lookalike Audience size using a scale that ranges from 1% to 10%. Selecting the lowest audience size (1%) will give you more specific results, but will of course have a limited range. Case studies show that choosing the 1% audience size has a cheaper cost-per-conversion than the highest option.