Facebook Audiences: How to Optimize Your Advertising Results

Facebook Audiences: How to Optimize Your Advertising Results
Facebook audience on a blackboard with strategy

Your Facebook ads won’t do you any favors if they aren’t being shown to the right Facebook audiences. And I don’t just mean the right audience for your product. I mean the right audience for your marketing objectives. Running Facebook ads is a long game, not a short-term strategy for quick leads. If you’ve already run some engagement campaigns (Facebook boosted posts), you should be in a good place to start getting leads quicker, because you have already invested in building an audience of people who have engaged with your page posts. Whether you’ve dabbled with Facebook ads already or not, here is the best way to build a strategy using Facebook audiences.

Types of Facebook Audiences

There are four main types of audiences: Custom, Lookalike, Special Ads and Saved audiences. I’ll break down each type below.

Custom Audience:

A custom audience is used when you want to create an audience of people who have already interacted with your business, whether within Facebook itself, or on other connected platforms, or your website. This is how you would build a remarketing audience, which is a very important audience for your marketing strategy.

Lookalike Audience:

A lookalike audience takes an existing audience, and uses Facebook’s data hashing tool to find similar people to those who are in the source audience. You have to use a custom audience as a source for a lookalike. Examples of source audiences for lookalikes are customer lists, website visitors, or people who like your Facebook page.

Special Ads Audience:

This type of audience is used when your ads fall into a “special” advertising category, such as financing or credit, employment, or housing. It is essentially a lookalike audience, but does not draw from user information that is prohibited to target.

For example, you are not allowed to target consumers based on age for credit-based ads, so the lookalike audience builder in this category does not reference user age. 

Saved Audience:

A saved audience is a general audience that you can create based on what you already know about your target market. Factors that you can choose include age, geographic location, gender, and interests. These audiences are considered more of a “cold” audience, because it is likely there are people that fall into the audience who have never heard of your business before.

There is also what is called a “general broad” audience, which includes age and location targeting, but leaves out the interest targeting to cast a wider net. This audience is helpful to target to when you need to boost your remarketing audience by generating new traffic to your website.

How to Use Facebook Audiences to Build a Marketing Funnel

If you build your audiences right and use them in campaigns strategically, you can create an ever-flowing fountain of curated leads. The best way to utilize your audiences is to make sure that you include campaigns that target each audience with a specific message that matches the audience’s buying intent.

Start an engagement campaign that targets your lookalike audience based on customer lists and website visitors to build and sustain brand awareness for people who already know your business.

Create a conversion objective campaign that targets your remarketing audience because those leads have already visited your website and are more likely to convert.

Set up a lead generation campaign targeting a general or general broad audience to collect top of the funnel leads who might not be ready to convert just yet.

Don’t Let Your Facebook Audiences Dry Up

When you find that your campaign frequency is high, try to switch out audiences or ad creatives to keep the message fresh and make sure your audiences aren’t exhausted.

Whenever you find that a custom or saved audience stops generating results, give it a couple of months off to replenish and try a new audience in its place.

Try running a video views campaign to a general broad audience to create a new audience that you can eventually use as a remarketing audience.

Make Sure You Have Enough Budget

If you are testing multiple audiences within one Facebook campaign, make sure you have at least $10 per day per audience if they are set up as different ad sets. You can also combine audiences into one ad set within one campaign to maximize your budget, but it will be harder to tell which audience is performing better. This is a good option after you have already done some testing on audiences to see how they perform.


Building audiences in Facebook can be a lot of work, and it can be confusing if you aren’t familiar with the different tools that are available to you. Make sure you take the time to strategize what your objective is when you are building out audiences for your campaigns.

If you are trying to sell products online, a remarketing audience and customer list are going to be very important because your goal is for those people to convert. If you are focusing on brand awareness during the off-season, make sure you are targeting a combination of existing fans and fresh audiences to make sure you are setting your campaigns up for current and future success.

More questions about Facebook audiences and advertising? Reach out to The Get Smart Group! We can set up a marketing strategy that works for you.

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