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  • Writer's pictureMetric Meteor

What are Facebook Lookalike Audiences and How to Use Them

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

I. Introduction

In the dynamic world of digital marketing, savvy businesses constantly seek innovative ways to identify and reach potential customers. One such method that has gained significant traction is the concept of Lookalike Audiences. But what are Lookalike Audiences, and how can they be leveraged effectively? While the term originated from Facebook Ads, major advertising platforms like Google Ads, Pinterest, and TikTok have all developed their own variants, highlighting the importance and effectiveness of this marketing strategy. This article will explore the concept of Lookalike Audiences, focusing particularly on how to create a lookalike audience for a Shopify store.

II. Why Lookalike Audiences Are the Secret Sauce for Niche Shopify Businesses

Running a niche business on Shopify? Fantastic! But let's face it, finding those perfect customers, the ones who just "get" your unique products, can sometimes feel like hunting for a needle in a haystack. That's where our friend, the Lookalike Audience, comes in to save the day.

Imagine this: you've got a customer. Let's call her Sarah. Sarah loves your products. She's exactly the kind of customer you dream of. Now, what if you could find a whole army of Sarahs? That's what Lookalike Audiences can do for you. They help you find more people who are just like your best customers. It's like cloning your favorite customers, without any sci-fi weirdness.

III. The Golden Days of Facebook Lookalike Audiences

Picture this: it's the early days of Facebook Ads. Everyone's still trying to figure out this whole 'Lookalike Audience' thing. Then, some brilliant marketers stumble upon a goldmine - 1% Lookalike Audiences. Boom! It's like striking oil. Suddenly, these marketers are seeing conversions skyrocket, and everyone else is left scratching their heads, wondering what the secret sauce is.

So what was the magic behind that 1%? Simple. Precision. By narrowing down the audience to a super-specific 1%, marketers were able to target people who were almost carbon copies of their best customers. It was like having a crystal ball that showed you exactly who would love your products. And the best part? It still works like a charm.

IV. Getting Your Hands Dirty: Creating a Lookalike Audience for Your Shopify Store

Alright, enough nostalgia. Time to roll up our sleeves and get down to business. Ready to create your very own Lookalike Audience? Let's do this.

First things first, you need a 'source audience.' Think of this as your blueprint. It's a list of your top customers - the folks who just can't get enough of your products.

Got your list? Awesome. Next, head over to your Facebook Ads Manager. Find the Audiences section - that's where the magic happens. Click on 'Create a Lookalike Audience.'

Here's where you'll need to make some choices. Location, audience size - these all matter. But don't stress, we'll get into the nitty-gritty of those decisions in the next section. For now, just follow the steps, and you'll have your Lookalike Audience ready to rock and roll.

V. Turning Seeds into Trees: Exporting a Seed List from Shopify

Let's get to the heart of the matter: your seed list. It's like the secret recipe for your Lookalike Audience. This list of your top customers is the key that will unlock a whole new world of potential clients. So how do we take this list from Shopify and plant it in Facebook Ads? Follow me.

First, you need to log into your Shopify account and make your way to the 'Customers' section. Here, you'll find a treasure trove of all your customers. But we're not interested in just any customers. We're after the big fish, the high rollers, the ones who love your products more than free Wi-Fi. Select these VIPs and hit 'Export.' Shopify will whip up a nice, neat file for you.

Got your file? Sweet! Now it's time to head over to Facebook Ads Manager. Navigate to the 'Audiences' section and look for the option to 'Create a Custom Audience.' You'll see a bunch of different options here, but we're interested in 'Customer List.'

This is where you'll upload that shiny new file you got from Shopify. Follow the prompts, upload your file, and voila - you've just planted your seed list in the fertile soil of Facebook Ads. Give yourself a pat on the back!

VI. Zeroing in on Your Targets: Choosing the Best Percentage Audience

Alright, you've got your Lookalike Audience. You've got your seed list. Now, it's time to make some decisions. The big one? Choosing the percentage of your Lookalike Audience.

Remember our trip down memory lane earlier? That golden 1% wasn't chosen at random. The lower the percentage, the more closely your Lookalike Audience will resemble your seed list. So, if you're looking to find a bunch of near-twins to your best customers, you might want to stick with a low percentage.

But hey, sometimes you want to cast a wider net, and that's cool too. A larger percentage audience will be less similar to your seed list, but you'll reach more people. If you're looking to scale up and aren't as worried about precision targeting, then a higher percentage might be your ticket to success.

VII. The Do's and Don'ts of Lookalike Audiences: Tips from the Trenches

Navigating the world of Lookalike Audiences can feel like a wild rollercoaster ride. But don't worry, we've got your back. Here are some insider tips and tricks to help you make the most of your Lookalike Audiences:


  1. Test Different Percentages: Remember how we talked about the golden 1%? It's a great place to start, but don't be afraid to experiment with different percentages. Different businesses and products might find success with different audience sizes. Keep testing and tweaking until you find your sweet spot.

  2. Use a Quality Seed List: It's all about quality over quantity. Make sure your seed list includes your best customers - the ones who love what you sell and come back for more. The better your seed list, the better your Lookalike Audience will be.

  3. Keep Your Seed List Updated: Your customer base isn't static, and neither should your seed list be. Regularly update your list with new high-value customers to keep your Lookalike Audience fresh and relevant.


  1. Rush the Process: Building a Lookalike Audience isn't an overnight process. It takes time for Facebook to analyze your seed list and find similar users. Give it time, and let the algorithm do its magic.

  2. Neglect Your Ad Content: A great Lookalike Audience is only half the battle. Make sure your ad content is engaging, relevant, and tailored to the audience you're targeting. Remember, even the best audience won't convert if they're not interested in your ad.

  3. Ignore the Data: Always monitor the performance of your campaigns. Use the data to adjust your strategies, tweak your audience, and optimize your ads. The numbers don't lie, so listen to what they're telling you.

VIII. Lookalike Audiences Best Practices: Play Smart, Win Big

Alright, you've got the basics down. Now it's time to level up and talk about some best practices for your Lookalike Audiences. These aren't just any tips and tricks - these are the golden rules, the commandments, the holy grail of Lookalike Audience strategy. Ready? Let's jump in.

  • Seed Audience Size: This is crucial. You want to aim for a seed audience between 2,000 and 15,000 users. Any less than that, and you risk not giving Facebook enough data to find a good match. Any more, and your audience might be too broad to be effective.

  • The Magic 1%: We've talked about this before, but it's worth repeating. That 1% Lookalike Audience is often the sweet spot for most businesses. It's a focused, precise group that closely mirrors your best customers. But remember, every business is unique - so don't be afraid to test and tweak.

  • Choose the Right Seed Audience: This is a biggie. Your Lookalike Audience is only as good as your seed audience. And where should that seed audience come from? Your Shopify store purchasers. That's right - we're talking about people who didn't just click on an ad or browse your site, but actually whipped out their credit card and made a purchase. These are the folks you want to clone. Forget about random leads or website traffic. Focus on the ones who have shown they're willing to part with their hard-earned cash for your products.

IX. Conclusion

Well, there you have it, folks. The lowdown on Lookalike Audiences. We've journeyed from the humble beginnings of Facebook Ads, explored the hidden treasures of Shopify's customer lists, and decoded the mysteries of audience percentages.

Remember, Lookalike Audiences are more than just a tool - they're your secret weapon in the battle for conversions. Choose the right seed audience, keep testing and tweaking, and never forget the golden rule: quality over quantity.

But most importantly, don't forget to have fun with it. Digital marketing is a wild ride, full of twists and turns. It's a constantly changing landscape that requires adaptability, creativity, and a healthy dose of curiosity. So embrace the chaos, roll with the punches, and keep pushing forward.

So go on, take what you've learned today, and start building your own Lookalike Audiences. And remember - in the world of digital marketing, you're not just a business owner. You're a trailblazer, a pioneer, a digital warrior. Now go forth and conquer!

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