A Facebook advertising account recently wanted to ramp up volume, and my initial thought was to increase the amount of lookalikes. Making new lookalikes seemed like an efficient idea because they are large and more likely to be qualified than other prospecting audiences.

I built out two new lookalikes off of two new seed audiences that were highly qualified, which on paper meant strong performance and high volume. So, when I launched and didn’t see those results, I looked deeper into the problem. After launching the new lookalikes and making some overall account adjustments, we experienced a major drop in spend. Looking at spend per day a month before and after, we saw a 41% drop in spend.


After seeing this, we decided to conduct a test to see if our new lookalikes were the factor that led to our inability to spend. In the test, we turned off our bottom-performing seed audiences and only left on our top two. Once we made these changes, we saw a significant boost in results within days. After decreasing the amount of lookalikes and the seed audiences attached to them, the spend per day more than doubled.


Not only did this campaign get the account on track in terms of volume, but it improved our overall performance, too. Since we were only focusing on our top two seed audiences and volume was up, we were also able to improve CVR, which led to a 13% improvement in CPA.  This improvement can be seen in an even brighter light when taking into account that we also had to deal with one of this account’s highly competitive holidays during the period when the two seed audiences were running.


Lookalikes may be one of the most qualified acquisition audiences Facebook has to offer, but in this case, you can have too much of a good thing.

1 Comment

  1. Trevor Henselwood July 4th, 2016

    Did you use the audience overlap tool to see if your lookalikes were made up of the same people? You can get lookalikes using different “seed audiences” that have up to 90% overlap.

    Also you can use exclusions within your lookalikes to more effectively target.

    Campaign objectives will also impact this greatly.

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Rebecca Soderholm
Becca Soderholm joined 3Q Digital in August of 2014 after graduating from Northwestern University where she was on the varsity swim team. Becca lives in Chicago and in her spare time she likes to cheer for the Packers, Cats, & Badgers, explore the city with friends, and travel.