Lookalike Audiences and Their Impact on Political Campaigns

Facebook and its parent company Meta have created a multitude of marketing tools for the world’s most powerful social media platform. With the right strategy in place, your campaign team can transform a Facebook page into a robust voter mobilization channel.

While you are probably well-versed in the use of Facebook for political purposes, you may not be familiar with one of the platform’s newest marketing features: lookalike audiences.

To help bolster your understanding of lookalike audiences, join us as we examine what they are. We’ll also provide tips for adding them to your campaign strategy.

What Is a Lookalike Audience? 

A lookalike audience is a Facebook marketing feature designed to help you reach new people with existing ads. As the name suggests, a lookalike audience shares similar traits to an existing customer base.

To create a lookalike audience on Facebook, select a source audience from your marketing interface. Facebook will use the behaviors, interests, and demographic data of the source audience to find new users that share similar characteristics.

The platform will then create another target audience for your next marketing campaign that closely resembles your existing base of followers. When creating a lookalike audience, you have the ability to select a percent range to choose how closely you want your new audience to resemble your source audience.

By requiring the platform to closely match your source audience, you can engage in more precise targeting of new users. However, giving Facebook the freedom to construct a broader audience can maximize the reach of your next campaign.

What Makes Facebook Such a Powerful Political Tool?

Before shifting attention to how you can incorporate lookalike audiences into your campaign’s outreach strategy, it is important to reiterate what makes Facebook such a powerful political tool. First, Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world. In the U.S. alone, there are approximately 186.4 million active Facebook users.

While Facebook is a social interaction medium, it is also commonly used as a source of news. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly half of U.S. adults get news from social media platforms like Facebook.

With so many Americans active on Facebook, it represents an ideal channel for connecting with constituents. That said, creating custom audiences manually is a tedious and challenging process. Fortunately, lookalike audiences can save campaigns time and resources while simultaneously enabling them to expand their reach.

How Your Campaign Can Leverage Lookalike Audiences

Leveraging lookalike audiences is far easier than you might anticipate. However, before you can make your first lookalike audience, you need to create a custom source audience first. To do that, simply:

  • Prepare a user list with a TXT or CSV file
  • Select “Audiences” within Facebook Ad Manager
  • Choose your Custom Audience source
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to create your Custom Audience

Once you have a source audience, you can set up a lookalike audience in five easy steps, which are as follows:

  1. Open Ad Manager and select “Create a Lookalike Audience” from the menu.
  2. Choose your source, which can include fans of your page, a list that you have created using the Meta Pixel, or a custom audience that you made using an imported list. Generally, Facebook recommends keeping your source audience between 1,000 and 5,000 people.
  3. Next, select the regions or countries that you would like to target. This step applies a geo-filter to your lookalike audience. Keep in mind that you can target a region or country even if no one in your source audience is located there.
  4. Select your audience size and similarity using Facebook’s sliding 10-point scale. The lower the number, the more similar the lookalike audience will be to the source audience. Choosing a larger number will result in a less similar but larger audience.
  5. Finally, select “Create Audience.” Within 6–24 hours, your lookalike audience will be ready.

While creating your lookalike audience is a relatively simple process, generating a high-quality audience is a nuanced process. Naturally, the quality and accuracy of the lookalike audience will largely depend on what source audience data you use.

With that in mind, it is important to leverage as much data as possible when creating your source audience. The more data points that you provide, the easier it will be for Facebook to generate a similar audience.

The question then becomes, where are you going to get the political data you need to create focused and relevant audiences? The answer is Aristotle.

How Aristotle Can Help You Create Effective Lookalike Audiences

As a leader in political data, Aristotle is known for connecting clients with the data analysis tools and raw data insights that they need to achieve their political objectives. Among our core data is a:

  • National Consumer File with over 250 million consumer records
  • National Voter File with 235 million registered voter files
  • New Mover File that documents over one million monthly moves in the U.S.

Aristotle has supplied the data behind hundreds of successful political campaigns and societal movements. Our political data customers include lawmakers, campaigns, private and public pollsters, political Action Committees (PACs), super PACs, grassroots advocacy groups, and more.

If you want to put Facebook and lookalike audiences to work for your next campaign, Aristotle is here to assist. To learn more about our political data services, tools, and technologies, schedule a consultation with our data experts.

Recent Posts



Recent Posts

Recent Comments