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Targeting is essential to build a successful advertising campaign. This quick guide on Facebook Lookalike Audiences shows a great way to reach new, potential customers who are similar to the people in your current customer base. Before understanding lookalike audiences, you have to know what custom audiences are on Facebook.

A custom audience is a group of Facebook profiles that match with the highly defined groups of people that already know your business (e.g. past customers and people who have visited your website or specific parts of your website). From the custom audiences, lookalike audiences can be created. This involves new potential fans, followers, and customers who have the same key characteristics as your existing customers and fans. Facebook collect this massive amount of customer data for you to connect with your target audience.

Lookalike Audiences Facebook 2019



The first step is to create a custom audience: this is the group of people you want the audience for your campaign to resemble. From there, you can built the audience by uploading a database of your customer base or from the amount of traffic to your website or app. Noteworthy is that for the custom audience to be a lookalike audience, it needs to have more than 100 people from the same country who have Facebook profiles that match the data that was uploaded. Now, you can fill in your new lookalike audience in the “source” field.

The next step is to select the audience size. If your goal is to reach as much people as possible within a broad range and it does not matter whether the audience shares similarities with your customers, aim for larger audiences. When you want the matching to be more precise, a smaller lookalike audience is more targeted.

Lookalike Audiences Facebook 2019


The third step is to target on specific demographics. Let’s say you only want to target on Facebook users who are similar to your current customers. Nevertheless, you also want the audience to be aged 25 and older living in Amsterdam, for example. It is possible to add these parameters by clicking on the drop-down menus of the Power Editor tool. Additionally, you can target a specific gender

Lastly, create your ad! Make sure to implement an engaging text and image for your advertisement to draw customers to your posts.


Lookalike audiences can boost the reach and accuracy of your campaigns if you manage to fully take advantage of them. Therefore, we collected a couple of tips so that you can benefit from lookalike audiences on Facebook:

  • Test through multiple sources, as there are so many possibilities of variations. Spend time to test audiences from your customer lists, Facebook fan pages, and more to see which one performs best.
  • Stick to the 1-2% lookalikes for the best performance. Even though larger percentage tiers offer a broader reach, the quality of these audiences will likely be less than smaller 1% or 2% segments.
  • Be aware of audience overlap. This can happen when you create multiple lookalikes from that one custom audience. Lookalike audiences can be very large, so it could happen that the same Facebook users will appear in several audiences. Hence, exclude other lookalike audiences so you can arrive at the marginal reach for each audience. Example: when you have a lookalike audience of 1% and 2%, exclude the 1% in the 2% campaign to prevent any overlap.
  • Create a video lookalike audience. Custom video audiences segment your viewers based on what videos they watch and the level of engagement. You can create an audience for all video views at every engagement level: three seconds, ten seconds, 25%, 50%, 75% and 95%. This is extremely valueable in the beginning of your campaign.


With this quick guide on lookalike audiences, you will be able to scale your campaigns up or down, quickly and smoothly. As you can create lookalike audiences based on the percentages of people in your target country (ranging from 1% to 10%), it is possible to compare these percentage samples starting with 1%. Subsequently, as you reach a higher ad frequency, test a 2% audience, and so forth.

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Mathias Aaftink

Author Mathias Aaftink

Geïntrigeerd door klantgedrag, performance marketing en klantervaring en de manier waarop organisaties daarop inspelen. Met mijn ervaring voel ik me thuis in de wereld van (digitale) marketing en branding. Ik ga nieuwe uitdagingen met veel plezier aan en voel meteen een groot verantwoordelijkheidsgevoel om er een succes van te maken. Projecten waarbij ik mijn ondernemende vaardigheden en mindset kan inzetten geven mij veel energie en dit is waar ik voor u van toegevoegde waarde kan zijn.

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