How to use Facebook Custom and Lookalike Audiences to market events

Creating Custom and Lookalike Audiences on Facebook allows you to target ads to the right people on Facebook, Instagram and across Facebook’s Audience Network.

A Custom Audience from a customer list is a type of audience you can create made up of your existing customers. You can target ads to the audience you’ve created on Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network.

When you create a Lookalike Audience, you choose a source audience (a Custom Audience created with your pixel data and your mobile app data or fans of your Page) and Facebook identifies the common qualities of the people in it (e.g. demographic information or interests). Facebook uses this to find people who are similar to (or “look like”) them.

Building a Custom Audience

There are a few ways to build Facebook custom audiences in Ads Manager. Here’s how you can match your previous purchasers from INTIX with Facebook users:

1. The first step is to download a list of relevant customers from a similar event:

  • From your INTIX Dashboard, enter the relevant event
  • From the “Actions” dropdown above your Attendee list, select “Export Ticket Holders”

2. Then, go to your Audiences in Facebook Ads Manager (Hamburger menu > All Tools > Click Audiences under Assets)

3. If you already have audiences, click the Create Audience drop-down menu and select Custom Audience.

If you don’t have any audiences, you’ll see audience creation buttons, rather than drop-down menus.

4. Click Create a Custom Audience.

5. Click Customer File.

6. Click Add from Your Own File.

Once you have uploaded the file, Facebook can begin to hash the data and match it to existing users. The result is your Custom Audience, which should take about 30 minutes to create.

If you need further instructions, check out Facebook’s detailed guide to creating a Custom Audience:

If your Custom Audience has fewer than 1,000 people, here are some ways to increase your Custom Audience:

  • Update your custom audience periodically
  • Use a Lookalike Audience to expand your reach

Building a Lookalike Audience

Now that you’ve created a Custom Audience using your previous ticket purchasers, you can find more potential attendees on Facebook who are similar to your custom audience based on their Facebook interests and behaviour. Here’s how to create a Lookalike Audience:

1. Go to your Audiences in Facebook Ads Manager.

2. Click the Create audience drop-down and choose Lookalike Audience.

3. Choose your source (one of the custom audiences you have created).

4. Choose your country.

5. Adjust your audience size with the slider (a smaller audience will be more similar to your custom audience).

6. Click “Create Audience”

Bear in mind that

  • It may take 6 to 24 hours for your Lookalike Audience to be created. After that, it will refresh every three to seven days as long as you’re still actively targeting ads to it.
  • You don’t need to wait for your Lookalike Audience to update to use it for ad targeting.
  • You can see when your Lookalike Audience was updated by visiting your Audience Manager page and looking at the date under the Availability column.

If you need further instructions, check out Facebook’s detailed guide to creating a Lookalike Audience: