How to Create Facebook Lookalike Audience to Increase Conversion

One of the foremost frustrations for businesses when advertising is the failure to reach and engage with the right audience, eventually leading to not converting campaigns and wasted resources. This is where Facebook Lookalike Audiences come in. By utilizing advanced data analytics and machine learning, Lookalike Audiences enable businesses to broaden their reach and engage with new customers who share similarities with their existing audience, ultimately driving growth and maximizing campaign effectiveness. 

What is a Facebook Lookalike Audience?

What is a Facebook Lookalike Audience?

Facebook offers Facebook Lookalike Audiences targeting tool to allow advertisers to reach new users who share similarities with their existing customer base. This audience is created by analyzing a business’s current audience’s characteristics, behaviors, and interests and then identifying other Facebook users who exhibit similar traits. 

The size of a Lookalike Audience on Facebook depends on the size of the seed audience and the percentage selected. Meta offers three different audience size options:

Facebook Lookalike audiences size
  • 1-10% Lookalike Audience: Highly similar to the seed audience but smaller in size.
  • 10-25% Lookalike Audience: Less similar but larger in size.
  • 25-50% Lookalike Audience: Even less similar but significantly larger in size.

Here is an approximate breakdown of the audience sizes for different seed audience sizes and percentage options:

Seed Audience Size1-10% Lookalike Audience10-25% Lookalike Audience25-50% Lookalike Audience

It’s important to note that these are just approximate numbers, and the actual audience size may vary depending on the specific seed audience and target country.

Benefits of Facebook Lookalike Audiences for Businesses

With the main goal of helping businesses to reach ideal audiences similar to the existing ones, Facebook Lookalike audience feature offers many benefits to:

  • Expanded Reach: Lookalike audiences allow businesses to reach new potential customers who share similar characteristics and interests as their existing customers. This helps expand the target audience and increase brand awareness.
  • Improved Targeting: By creating lookalike audiences based on specific demographics, interests, and behaviors, businesses can refine their advertising campaigns to target individuals who are more likely to be interested in their products or services. This leads to more relevant and effective advertising.
  • Increased Conversions: Lookalike audiences are statistically similar to existing customers, making them more likely to engage with a business’s marketing messages and take desired actions, such as making a purchase or signing up for a lead magnet.
  • Reduced Advertising Costs: Lookalike audiences help businesses target individuals who are more likely to convert, reducing wasted ad spending on irrelevant audiences. This can lead to lower overall Facebook advertising costs and a higher return on investment.
  • Enhanced Customer Segmentation: Lookalike audiences enable businesses to segment their customer base into more specific groups based on shared characteristics. This allows for tailored marketing campaigns that resonate with each segment, improving customer engagement and loyalty.
  • Improved Campaign Performance: By targeting lookalike audiences, businesses can improve the overall performance of their Facebook advertising campaigns. This includes metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and return on ad spend.
  • Competitive Advantage: Utilizing lookalike audiences gives businesses a competitive advantage by allowing them to reach new potential customers who are similar to their existing high-value customers. This helps them stay ahead of competitors and grow their market share.

When Should You Use a Lookalike Audience?

As efficient as it is, Facebook Lookalike audiences are not always compatible, especially when you are new to advertising on the platform or lack sufficient data about your target audience. In such cases, it may be challenging to create a Lookalike Audience that accurately reflects the characteristics of your ideal customers. Therefore, it is best for businesses in which the seed audience is well-defined and has a proven track record of engagement or conversion.

Additionally, Lookalike Audiences may not be suitable for every advertising objective or campaign goal. It’s essential to assess your specific situation and objectives carefully before deciding whether to use a Lookalike Audience in your advertising strategy.

How does Lookalike Audience Work?

Facebook Lookalike Audience works by analyzing the data from a seed audience to identify common traits and patterns. This analysis creates a new audience that is statistically similar to the seed audience.

Lookalike Audiences on Facebook refresh automatically every 3-7 days, as long as you are actively targeting ads to them. This means that the audience is constantly being updated with new individuals who are similar to your seed audience. This ensures that they remain accurate and effective. Over time, the characteristics and behaviors of your seed audience may change, and the Lookalike Audience needs to be updated to reflect these changes.

How does Lookalike Audience Work?


Suppose a business has a list of email addresses of customers who have made purchases from their website. They can upload this list to Facebook Ads Manager and create a Lookalike Audience. Facebook will then analyze the data from the seed audience to identify common traits and patterns, such as demographics, interests, and behaviors. 

Based on this analysis, it will create a new audience that is statistically similar to the seed audience. This Lookalike Audience can then be used to target advertising campaigns to reach new potential customers who are likely to be interested in the business’s products or services.

How to Create Facebook Lookalike Audience

To successfully create your own Facebook Lookalike audience, advertisers must create a Facebook Ad account that connect with your Facebook Page or account. Then, follow these 4 steps below to start setting up your campaign with Lookalike audience:

  • Log in to your Facebook Ads Manager account and navigate to the “Audiences” tab.
  • Click “Create Audience” button and select “Lookalike Audience” from the dropdown menu.
  • Choose the seed audience that you want to create a Lookalike Audience from. This can be a custom audience, a saved audience, or a list of email addresses or phone numbers.
  • Select the target country for your Lookalike Audience. This will help ensure that the audience is relevant to your business’s target market.
  • Choose the desired audience size: 1-10%, 10-25%, or 25-50%. The smaller the audience size, the more similar it will be to the seed audience. Facebook will offer an estimated reach based on the size you select. Additionally, you have the option to generate multiple Lookalike Audiences with varying degrees of similarity to your source audience.
How to Create Facebook Lookalike Audience

What is The Difference Between Lookalike and Custom Audience?

What is The Difference Between Lookalike and Custom Audience?

Facebook offers 2 distinctive options: Lookalike and Custom Audience,  for businesses to increase their chances of success when advertising on the platform. Let’s take a look at the major differences between Facebook Lookalike Audiences and Custom Audiences to choose the most fitted for your business.

Facebook Lookalike AudiencesFacebook Custom Audiences
Data SourceFrom Facebook dataFrom Business data
Audience QualityLarger in size and create similar to an existing audienceBased on specific criteria and easier to control
PurposeExpanding reach, targeting new potential customersRetargeting, highly targeted advertising
Creation MethodMachine learning algorithmsManual selection
Use CasesReaching new audiences, growing customer baseRetargeting campaigns, personalized ads
ExampleCreating a Lookalike Audience based on a list of email subscribers to reach similar individualsCreating a Custom Audience based on website visitors who have viewed a specific product page to retarget them with ads

Which One to Use?

The best choice between a Lookalike Audience and a Custom Audience depends on the specific marketing goals and available data.

  • Use a Lookalike Audience: When expanding reach and targeting new potential customers who are likely to be interested in a business’s products or services.
  • Use a Custom Audience: When retargeting existing customers, reaching individuals who have interacted with a business in the past, or creating highly targeted advertising campaigns based on specific criteria.

Best Practices to Use Facebook Lookalike Audiences

Best Practices to Use Facebook Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audience is an effective tool for advertisers to reuse the existing data on operated ad campaigns to produce new target audiences. However, I recommend some of these tips below to help advertisers receive the highest results possible:

  • Start with a High-Quality Seed Audience: Begin by selecting a seed audience that represents your most valuable customers or engaged users. This could include your email list, website visitors, or customers who have made a purchase.
  • Use Sufficient Data: Ensure that you have enough data about your seed audience to create a meaningful Lookalike Audience. Facebook recommends using a seed audience of at least 1,000 people for optimal results.
  • Refine Your Targeting: Narrow down your Lookalike Audience by refining your targeting criteria based on demographics, interests, or behaviors. This can help you reach a more specific group of people who are most likely to convert. If you want to target worldwide audiences, I recommend using a Facebook Ad Agency account for cross-border advertising and larger daily ad spending.
  • Test Different Audience Sizes: Experiment with different audience sizes when creating your Lookalike Audience. While larger audiences may reach more people, smaller audiences may be more targeted and responsive.
  • Combine with Custom Audiences: Combine Lookalike Audiences with Custom Audiences to further refine your targeting and reach highly qualified leads. Custom Audiences allow you to target specific groups of people based on actions they’ve taken on your website, app, or Facebook page.
  • Use Lookalike Audiences Across Ad Formats: Utilize Lookalike Audiences across different Facebook ad formats, including image ads, video ads, and carousel ads. Experiment with different formats to see which ones resonate best with your Lookalike Audience.

Final Word

Facebook Lookalike Audiences offers businesses a powerful tool to expand their reach, optimize their advertising efforts, and drive meaningful results. With the right strategy and implementation, Lookalike Audiences can be a game-changer for businesses looking to maximize the impact of their Facebook advertising campaigns and achieve their marketing objectives. 

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Hanh Le Nguyen
Hanh Le Nguyen
Advertising & Marketing Specialist


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