Every once in a while we run out of people to talk to. The same thing happens in business—our audience, our reach and our engagement starts plateauing. We have no new customers and no new movement on our social media platforms and our website. Facebook has created a way to form a brand new custom audience with the exact same interests and behaviors as the audience that you currently have.

Lookalike audiences match the demographics of your pre-existing audience are are used to bring new users and awareness to your business. If you don’t have a custom audience, you will have to create one. Fill out all of the demographic information as specifically as possible. Being specific will help you create the best custom target audience as well as the best lookalike audience for your campaign needs. You can create your lookalike audience after generating one hundred users in your custom audience (allowing it to populate for at least twenty-four hours); however, lookalike audiences work best with audiences over one thousand users. Having more users allow you to have a larger sample size.

It’s important to note that Facebook doesn’t learn any new identifying information about your customers and because of that your custom audience cannot come from pixel data, fan pages or mobile app data. Your custom audience has to come from specific “identifiers” (i.e. phone numbers, email addresses, etc) that you have already collected.

After your custom audience is created and populated, select it (or the audience of your choosing) as your source. Choose which country or countries you would like your new audience to be populated from and your desired audience size. It is best to choose between one to ten percent of your total populated audience, with 1% being those who are most closely matched. After making your selections, click “Create Audience” and watch it grow.

Lookalike audiences can take anywhere between six and twenty-four hours to populate and although Facebook recommends that you wait twenty-four hours, you can start your campaign as soon as you’re ready.