What are Facebook Custom Audiences?

Feb 15, 2016

We’ve all been a victim of an irrelevant Facebook ad – but don’t be the advertiser behind one! Let’s say you’re a single female who’s never had a child, and you see Facebook ads for baby clothes. It’s probably not a “sign,” but rather advertisers wasting their time and money by neglecting to properly target their ads.

Check out the TransUnion ad below – according to this article, this Facebook ad was delivered to a male who was not a new father and had nothing on his profile to suggest he was a new father. #AdFail


More than 1.5 billion people use Facebook to connect with what matters to them. Out of all of those people, how do you choose the most significant and relevant people to target?

As you may already know, you get to choose the audience that sees your Facebook ad by narrowing your targeted audience by location, age, sex, interest, job title, and more. Hypertargeting your ads to a specific audience make your ads more relevant for the people who see them, thus increasing the likelihood of success.

But there is an even better way to target your ads more effectively…

Facebook Custom Audiences

Facebook Custom Audiences allow businesses to reach customers, clients, and prospects you already know. You can target people who have already engaged with your Page and encourage them to do so again. For example, you can import your existing client e-mail or phone number list and target ads directly to that list. This targeting technique is ideal for businesses with repeat customers such as doctor’s offices or landscapers. Learn how to create a Custom Audience here.

Lookalike Audiences

Once you’ve found success with Facebook Custom Audiences, Facebook ads can be targeted by Lookalike Audiences. This matches your existing contact list with similar Facebook users – giving you a list of people with the same demographics and interests, optimized for conversions. Lookalike Audiences can be used for all kinds of businesses because it allows you to reach the people who are most likely to care about your product or service and take action on your Facebook ad. Learn how to create a Lookalike Audience here.

You can build Facebook Custom Audiences or Lookalike Audiences from your:

  • Customer database list: Reach people with similar characteristics to your current clients or high value prospects. Import a list of emails or phone numbers to identify your list and use lookalike audiences to find people who are similar to them.
  • Website visitors: Use lookalike audiences to find people who are similar to your website visitors to get more conversions. Using data from your Facebook conversion pixel or a Custom Audience from your website, you can automatically identify people who have recently browsed, converted or taken a specific action on your website (e.g. filled out the contact form).
  • Page fans: Grow your fan base or increase conversions by reaching people who look like existing fans of your Page. After at least 100 people like your Page, Facebook can generate a lookalike audience composed of Facebook users that have similar demographics to your existing fans.

The “Select & Collect” Method

The traditional “spray and pray” technique is dead! Delivering ads to everyone in your area hoping that a few people will take action simply will not yield results. We recommend using a “select and collect” method by selecting your audience first, then collecting leads, data, and ultimately new customers. Facebook Custom Audiences allow you to do just that.

Ready to get started? Not so fast! Read our Facebook guide to ad goals, targets, and pricing options first! Then contact us if you have any questions.

– Sarah Lane, Marketing Specialist

IMPACT Marketing & Public Relations, LLC

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