How To Build Facebook Audiences In 2020 That Work

by Tanner Clegg

Nov 12, 2020 | Social Media Marketing

facebook ad audiences

Have you ever heard the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? Well, with Facebook ads it’s not what your ad says, it’s who your ad reaches. If you are just starting with Facebook ads and building your first audience, or even if you have been advertising for a while, we’ve put together this simple guide to effective audience types for you. Reaching the right people will make every dollar you spend even more effective! 

#1 Broad Audience

If you haven’t built an audience before or are trying to reach a new audience, follow the time tested process of starting broad, then narrowing in on your audience. Luckily, Facebook offers plenty of helpful tools to make sure you are successful. If you already have a remarketing list or a list of 1000+ of your previous customers, you may forgo this and move to some of the more specific audiences below.

To create a Broad Audience, only select a few tags under the Detailed Target section that relate to your audience and make sure that your audience size is large. This is going to be the top of your funnel, so you want it to be a wide net, as it is going to capture initial interest. Consider adding the Engaged Shopper tag—this will target people who have actively interacted with ads. Facebook undergoes a learning process analyzing how people interact with your ad and will start to only show to people that are likely to click on your ad.

If you are running Reach or Traffic ads, this will be a great way to get a low cost-per-click to start building your retargeting list.

#2 Serious Audience

Retargeting people who have been on your site is a great way to provide customers with touchpoints to remind them of who you are and what your product or service is. Typically it requires multiple touchpoints to get a conversion, so the more you have, the better. Keep this in mind when you are building a Serious Audience. This way, you aren’t continually showing ads to people who don’t care about your product or service. 

To build an effective Serious Audience, start by creating a custom audience based off of previous website visitors and then add another criterion to it, such as:

  • Long visit duration
  • High number of sessions
  • High pages/session
  • Anyone landing on pricing or contact form pages

This will target people who are serious about your product or service but haven’t yet made the purchase. 

#3 Lookalike Audience

facebook ad tipsIf you have a previous customer list, this is a good place to start—and you can skip the Broad and Serious Audiences. If you can build a Lookalike Audience, it will be one of the most beneficial tools you can use. Lookalike Audiences are made by uploading the names and emails of website visitors, leads, or people who have purchased your product so Facebook can identify people who are similar to your past customers. The catch is you need enough emails (1000+) to give Facebook enough data to do its job. You can start with less, but this is often considered the minimum to have an effective audience.

A Lookalike Audience is a great way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in and interact with your business because they share similarities with your existing customers. Learn more about Lookalike Audience directly from Facebook.

A solid rule of thumb would be to choose between 1% and 3% lookalike, which allows you to still target a large group of people without compromising quality. 

*When you add this audience into your ad set, remember to include your lookalike audience but exclude the list you built it off of.

#4 Super Audience 

A “Super Audience” is a combination of a Lookalike Audience with a couple of additional interests tagged in the detailed targeting section. While Lookalike Audiences are a go-to for building a great successful audience, sometimes they lack a little extra ‘oomph’ to finalize the sale or signup. 

Let’s say you have a high-end fashion website and want to target big spenders. Because it’s no longer possible to target net income in Facebook ads, you can build a lookalike audience then narrow that audience based on the ‘luxury’ interest.

This is a great way to narrow down your audience even more to people who will give you a great return on your ad spend, but make sure to do this with care! If you start adding too many interests on top of your Lookalike Audience, it will limit your audience size too much, and there won’t be many people seeing your ad.  


Are you still not sure where to begin with Facebook ads? Our Facebook ad experts can help! We’ve created effective Facebook ad campaigns for businesses of all sizes and would love to help you make sure your ads are reaching the right people. Contact us today to learn more.

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