Facebook Ads 101: Find Your Customers On Facebook With Custom Audiences

In this series of Facebook Ads 101 it’s about the second way of targeting your ads and that is through Facebook Custom Audiences. It’s a great way to find your existing website visitors or customers on Facebook with just few clicks and connect with them on social media. It allows you to reach them directly on Facebook at any time of the day, no matter if they’re on their phones or at work or even on holidays.

Let’s take a look at how to set it up easily via your Facebook Ads Manager dashboard. Custom Audiences work with three types of data, so make sure you prepared them in advance: customers’ e-mail addresses, their phone numbers or website data collected via a pixel. You can also include their Facebook IDs, but I assume you don’t collect those. One important note, your customers will not be notified by Facebook without your permission, so no need to worry about that.

Open your Facebook Ads dashboard and click on “Audiences”:

You will be re-directed to a window displaying three options: Custom Audience, Lookalike Audience or a Saved Audience. We’ll get back to this in the next episode of the Facebook Ads 101. Choose “Create a Custom Audience”:

Here, Facebook will ask you to either: Upload your customer list, collect data from your website directly or sync with your app. Note, you need at least 100 entries to make it work!

Let’s pause here for a minute. What is a customer list? Make sure you supply Facebook with the data about your existing visitors or customers, and that can be uploaded either via a list or simply “copy and paste”. Clicking on “Customer List” will get you to this window:

Would you like to reach your newsletter subscribers on Facebook? Export the addresses to either .csv or .txt file and upload it here. Would you like to do the same with people that’ve purchased something on your website (assuming they’re not the same)? Upload the list with their mobile numbers:

Agree to Facebook’s terms and click “Create Audience”. It might take Facebook up to 30 minutes to come back with a list of all Facebook users that match your list. You’ll get a notification that your Custom Audience is ready. What if your list is not big enough to import it into Facebook? You can also paste the data into Facebook here:

Facebook is also connected with MailChimp account. Hence, if you want to directly link those two platforms, just fill in your MailChimp logins here:

This was just one of the ways to create your first Custom Audience. A second way is via “Website Traffic” option – this requires creating and implementing Facebook Custom Audience pixel.

Click on “Website Traffic” option and create a pixel. It will display automatically, allowing you to copy it or it will send it to you or your developer via e-mail. Make sure you double-check if the pixel is active on your website and if it’s collecting enough data to create one Custom Audience.

“App Activity” allows you to create a Custom Audience directly. It starts automatically by integrating Facebook’s Software Development Kit for iOS, Android and Canvas. 

I’ve created my Custom Audience, what now?

Congratulations! Now it’s where the fun begins – create your first Facebook Ad reaching only your new Custom Audience, re-market your new audience with new ads or go further – extend this audience by finding out people similar to your existing customers (Lookalike Audience). Would you like to find out more about Lookalike Audience? Stay tuned for the next blog post!

What I’d advise you to do is test your new audience, i.e. create an ad using traditional ways of targeting (such as age, location, interests) and compare it with the same ad based on Custom Audience only. Within few days, look for differences in reach, your ad objectives, and costs.

Create few custom audiences – if you run in different countries, make sure to create one for each country. Are you also collecting their mobile numbers? Compare the two (e-mails vs. numbers)! There are a lot of possibilities – men vs. women, zip codes, or custom audiences created today vs. 6 months ago – make sure you experiment! It’s a great way to find out more about your customers on social media – how are they using it, what do they like and don’t like and reach their friends.