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Are You Using Facebook Custom Audience Right? Learn Best Practices!

facebook, custom audience best practices

If you are using the different social media channels for marketing your brand, you sure know relying on organic reach alone, may not be sufficient. Particularly, on Facebook, the introduction of the new feed ranking algorithm, reaching your audience has become more difficult. You also know that paid Ads on Facebook provide a platform which allows you to share your content with your audience.

You want your audience to take action, increase your conversions and on-board more people as customers. For this, you need to improve and optimize your targeting efforts on Facebook.

You can use Facebook Ads to increase your reach. Right from setting your Ad objectives, to picking and targeting to the right audience, Facebook Ads streamlines the process of running multiple campaigns on its platform.

What is Facebook Custom Audiences?

Facebook custom audiences is one such tool offered by the platform to create lists of customers you would want to target with your Ads. Why waste your efforts and time on an audience which will have little to no interest in your brand? You can track your audience using a social media analytics tool. Using Facebook Custom Audiences, you can reach out to audience segments that are most likely to engage with your brand and become a part of your customer base.

Based on audience demographics, interests and behaviour patterns, you can optimize your targeting efforts with the help of Facebook Custom Audiences. Your targeting can range anywhere from basic to highly detailed. But the more detailed, the more efficient will your targeting be. After all, you do not want to reach out to unresponsive audiences that does not take any action.

How To Use Custom Audiences For Targeting

Facebook Audiences lets you set the parameters along which you can target your audience. By setting more parameters, you will sieve out audience segments that are less likely to respond to your Ad campaigns and take action. With Facebook Custom Audiences, you can create and save lists and reach audiences. Here are a few tips on how to use custom audiences for targeting:

Start With Basic Demographics

With Facebook Custom Audiences, you can set the basic demographic parameters to target your audience. Using basics such as the location, gender, age range and common role can be the starting point of your Ad-targeting strategy.

But can you rely on the basic demographic parameters of gender, location, age etc. alone?

The answer is no. If you were to filter out your audience on demographic criteria alone, you will have a huge set of people with diverse interests and contrasting behaviors. What percentage of this audience do you expect to be taking an action in response to your Ads?

Focus On Audience Interests

Relying on basic demographic data is not going to be sufficient to be able to reach out to a target audience. Facebook Custom Audiences allows you to avail the detailed targeting option.

You can use Facebook Custom Audiences to target Facebook visitors based on interests and behaviors as well.

A narrowed audience segment will be helpful in attaining better targeting through Facebook audiences. Filters such as income and spending habits can be used to find and target audience that will take action. Pick behavior patterns, interests and trends to narrow down audience segments that are more relevant to your brand. This will save you a lot of precious time and effort.

The more the level of specificity, the better your targeting through Custom Audiences. Customize your lists to the optimum for best results.

Depending upon the products or services that you offer, you can determine specific behavior patterns, interests and other specification. You can then include keywords that perfectly describe your target audience. At the same time, you can exclude keywords that do not match with your target audience and will not help you get much success because these are segments that are less likely to respond.

For instance, if you want to find clients for your Learning & Development Consultancy, you may want to narrow your interests to HR heads of companies. HR heads understand and look after the L&D pursuits of an organization. As a result,targeting them directly will make the conversion process easier and quicker.

The more specific your approach, the better your Facebook custom audience targeting.

Re-targeting Website Visitors

Website Visitor Retargeting

You can create custom audiences from your customer contacts, website traffic as well as through mobile apps. With Facebook Custom Audiences, you can re-target all those people who had visited your website. Do not get tempted to target all the people visiting your website. Again we would emphasize on detailed targeting for best results.

You should focus on specific landing pages rather than putting the website URL itself. Look at Google Analytics to identify the typical trends and patterns regarding user behavior for your website. There must be a typical user flow most of your audience must be following to navigate through your website. Use links to these pages to target audiences through Facebook Custom Audiences. Other than that, you can add links to those pages which have brought most leads and conversions in the past.

Keep Your Cookie Window Open For Longer Time Periods

On the Facebook Custom Audience tool, you can set a particular time window during which you will target specific custom audiences. Facebook Custom Audience sets the window for Ad targeting at 30 days by default. Most brands may end up overlooking this major game-changer.

Yes, the time window for which you set the Ad targeting option plays a very important role in getting conversions. Even when the audience interests or behavior patterns being in your favor, you need to keep the Ad targeting efforts going for longer periods. If you want to get ahead of other players in your niche, you need to target your audiences for more than 30 days.

Moreover, customers go through a series of stages before final conversion. This is particularly true in the case of new customers, who are not even well-acquainted with your brand. Your audience will first try to get to collect knowledge about your brand, after seeing advertisements by your brand. Following this, if they develop an interest in your brand, they might compare your brand with other brands offering similar products. This will be followed by the decision to buy and finally, the action of purchasing your product.

Since the entire process of conversion is this long, you can set the number of days for targeting at anywhere between 60-90. You can also get an idea from past behaviors and trends and input those to get best results.

Targeting By Frequency Of An Action Or Behavior

Targeting custom audiences by frequency

Thanks to Facebook Custom Audiences, you can target by multiple layers of specifications. As we said before, the more detailed your targeting will be, the better your results. In the Facebook Custom Audiences tool, when you set custom audiences by a particular behavior or action, you can further refine it.

Using the option of ‘Further refine by’, you can select the frequency. Frequency, here, refers to the number of times a particular behavior or action is taken by a particular user. Those users that take the specified action or behavior, for the number of times, set by the frequency will be targeted with the Ads.

Those audience segments that do not take certain actions, such as visiting particular pages of your website, for a given number of times should not be a part of your targeting efforts. These segments consist of outliers that will not respond to your Ad targeting efforts.

Target your Ad marketing efforts towards those who have already shown interest. Such leads are more likely to convert than others.

Targeted and Tailored Messages

When you are creating Custom Audiences using Facebook Ads manager, you can also target selectively. Exclude those segments of your audience which have already taken the desired action. Keep a record of all your customers and the items that they purchased so that you do not target them with Ads representing products that they have already purchased.

This is just another small step towards detailed targeting and helps you make the most of your Facebook advertising efforts.

Create Lookalike Audiences

You can create duplicate audiences using Facebook Custom Audiences. The source behind the Lookalike audiences may range from mobile App installs’ data to Custom audience data to customer lists. Facebook generates audience segments consisting of all those who have data similar to that of your existing audiences. Thus, lookalike audiences is one of the best and most helpful features of Facebook custom audiences.

Facebook gives you the option of selecting the size of the audience you want to target, ranging from 1 percent to 10 percent. Higher the percentage, larger the newly generated lookalike audience. Smaller audience segments allow for more scope to target people who are more similar to your existing audiences. In this sense, it is recommended that you go for a smaller percentage to target a more relevant segment of your lookalike audience.


According to Facebook, source audiences should ideally be of the size 1,000-50,000. For best results, these should include the best or the most responsive of your customers.


Facebook allows you to conduct split testing, so you can run the same Ad for different sets of audiences. By split testing, you can run the same Ads for different audience sizes. You can define the audience on which you want to conduct the split testing.Naturally, audience segments that are most responsive should be given more attention than others.



Facebook Ads manager is the ultimate tool for advertisers. It provides all the features that make the job of advertising your brand simpler and more streamlined. Moreover, the tools have been designed to provide layers and layers of targeting to make it as narrow and detailed as possible.

While targeting users through Facebook Custom Audiences, you need to follow the approach of ‘Less is more’. A smaller audience segment means better chances of getting conversions on your Facebook advertising efforts.

To make it simpler for you, here are a few important things to note while using Facebook Custom Audiences for targeting:


  • Start with basic demographics such as gender, age, location etc.


  • Go beyond the demographics to the next layer of audience interests, behaviors and important specifications that allow you to target most responsive audience segments
  • Re-target website visitors by using refined targeting methods
  • Target your custom audiences for a long duration to ensure greater scope for conversions
  • Measure actions by frequency and target your audience accordingly
  • Tailor your Ad delivery process to exclude those who have already made purchases or taken the desired action
  • Create Lookalike audiences using good quality sources and conduct split-testing for best results




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Use our brand scan to find who competition works with!