April 12, 2017
Facebook is undeniably one of the most powerful marketing channels out there, and with good reason. The platform has a massive base of 1.79 billion active users, 40 million business pages, and the highest ROI of all social media platforms (source: eMarketer). And, as far as social-marketing-content-etc. platforms go, it’s incredibly user friendly. For marketers especially, Facebook is an invaluable tool that provides a meeting ground for the intersection of the social, e-commerce, and content-driven demands of users across multiple generations.
Facebook has long offered different features that aid marketers in their efforts to connect with users, like Facebook Live Video and Facebook Advertising. But one feature in particular has risen as a favorite among marketers, even being hailed as the most effective Facebook targeting tool by the Social Media Examiner. Which tool is it? Facebook Lookalike Audiences.
What are Facebook Lookalike Audiences?
This tool is a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to other people who already are. First, the tool takes several sets of people as ‘seeds.’ Then, Facebook builds an audience comprised of similar people.
The tool goes beyond the general demographic and interests targeting you’d expect to see so that you can have as accurate of a Lookalike audience as possible. This is done by allowing marketers to choose a source (a conversion tracking pixel, a custom audience, a page, etc.) around which the audience will be built. In choosing the source, marketers are more likely to end up with Lookalike audiences that are nearly identical to their existing audiences.
So, in short, you’ll specify the people (source) in your custom audience, and Facebook will go through that list and find other users with the most shared similarities. The people Facebook finds with the most shared similarities will then make up the new Lookalike audience.
Why Businesses/Marketers use Facebook Lookalike Audiences?
The best way to explain the main appeal behind using Facebook Lookalike audiences is to review what’s already been done. Up to this point on Facebook, one of if not the most impactful and effective methods of marketing/advertising has been retargeting. When a user abandons a pair of shoes in a shopping cart on one website and later sees that same pair of shoes appear in an ad as they browse Facebook, it works. Retargeting works just as well for current customers as it does potential customers.
Facebook Lookalike Audiences goes one step beyond what retargeting already does, because it generates a completely new audience full of eyeballs that have yet to be exposed to your brand. While such a feature may not seem totally necessary just yet, it will prove tremendously beneficial once marketers have exhausted their existing audiences and users stop responding to retargeting efforts.
Rather than start from scratch and try and create interested customers out of thin air, Facebook Lookalike Audiences will find users with interests and habits so similar to your existing customers that they’re more likely than not to take an interest in your business.
The evolution of targeting and advertising on Facebook continues to develop at a speed that’s consistent with the rate at which marketers are cranking out campaigns and burning through their audience. Much like features that came before it, Facebook Lookalike Audiences pushes the performance of Facebook marketing into more effective territory, giving users a more enhanced and evolved experience on the platform.
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