Increase Conversions With Facebook Lookalike Audiences

By Cassie Oumedian | @cass_oumedian | Associate Director of Services at Hanapin Marketing

Facebook rolled out Lookalike Audiences in early 2013. With all the recent changes Facebook has made to the ad manager and conversion tracking since then, I thought it would be worth revisiting the topic as a possible opportunity to drive incremental conversions as we approach the holiday season.  Also, in honor of Jeff Allen’s post the other day, I decided to use a picture of cute puppies as my headline image 🙂 PPC 4 Life!

What Are Lookalike Audiences?

Some of you may be familiar with Custom Audiences available through the Facebook Power Editor. Custom Audiences let you upload a list of customer information (email addresses, phone numbers or Facebook UIDs) and target those customers as an audience. Once you have created a Custom Audience, you then are able to create a Lookalike Audience that targets people who are similar to your Custom Audience list based on similarity or reach per country.

Why Would You Use Them?

Using Custom Audiences in the first place can be extremely effective because you have the ability to create very specific ad copy to the users on this list. Once you’ve exhausted that list, you then are able to create a new similar audience that allows you to expand your reach. For example, I could see this being very effective in education verticals or industries with a very specific demographic based on age and interests.

Additionally, Facebook claims, “online travel sites saw 70 percent lower costs per action using Lookalike Audiences, and an online shopping site experienced 56 percent lower CPA and 94 percent lower costs per checkout”

How To Set Up Lookalike Audiences

1. Login to Facebook Ad Manager Account using Google Chrome

2. Select “Power Editor” on the Left Panel under Ad Manager

3. Select Audiences –  *Need to create a Custom Audience first

4. Create Audience > Custom Audience> Upload File. *CSV or TXT

Create Custom Audience
5. Select Custom Audience List > Create Similar Audiences *bottom right of the page

Create Similar Audience
6. Select Country > You can only create Lookalike Audiences one country at a time

7. Create Ad > Audience > Advanced > Custom Audiences. You can also exclude Custom Audiences.

Advanced Audience


Currently I’m running Facebook Lookalike Audiences in one of my eCommerce accounts. Our primary focus for this campaign is to drive website conversions. While conversion volume is low compared to other SERPs, we are seeing a 72% lower CPA compared to other channels. The incremental conversions we have been able to generate thus far have proven to be efficient and successful. While results will vary per vertical and account, so far so good for this eCommerce account!

Have you had much experience with Lookalike Audiences? Good? Bad? Let us know your thoughts!

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