What is a Facebook Custom Audience? How to Use it?

What is a Facebook Custom Audience? How to Use it?

Facebook has a gigantic user base of more than 2.8 billion. No matter what type of business you run, it’s safe to say that your target audience is hanging out on Facebook.

Do you know what’s even better? You can pinpoint those users and target them with personalized ads thanks to Facebook’s custom audiences.

If you want to know how to narrow down your ad audience through Facebook custom audiences, read on.

In this article, we’ll uncover some creative and effective ways to laser-focus your Facebook ads through custom audiences.

Let’s get started.

What is a Facebook Custom Audience?

A custom audience on Facebook is an ad targeting strategy that allows you to get in touch with basically two kinds of people.

  1. People that are your existing customers
  2. People that have interacted with your business in some way (website visitors, app users, or existing customer list)

Not only that, but you can also use your custom audiences to find new prospects on Facebook. This lets you get in front of more prospects.

Let’s talk about the different types of custom audiences that you can create on Facebook.

Types of Custom Audiences on Facebook

From Customer List

One of the ways you can create custom audiences on Facebook is by uploading your existing customer/lead list.

But, why would anyone do that? Facebook allows you to market your brand in a unique and effective way. So, you want to leverage it to connect with your customers or prospects more effectively.

For instance, you can upload your email subscribers’ list to Facebook. Your subscribers are leads that have a good chance to become your customers down the road.

With Facebook Custom Audiences, you can get in front of them in an effective way and on a platform that they hang out on often.

From Website Visitors

Thanks to Facebook Custom Audiences, you make the most out of your website visitors.

What Facebook does is that it finds your website visitors’ Facebook profiles with the information that it gathers on your website.

How does Facebook gather information about your website visitors, you ask?

All you have to do is, place the Facebook Pixel in the back-end of your site. The pixel tracks your site’s visitors and shows their information in your Facebook Business Manager.

From Mobile App

This way of creating a custom audience on Facebook is for those who have a mobile app. You can get in touch with people that engage with your app through Facebook ads.

You’ll have to set up your SDK on Facebook for Developers before you can create a custom audience from app engagement.

Engagement Custom Audience

This one lets you create an audience of people that have previously interacted with your brand on Facebook or Instagram.

We’ve talked about “What is a Facebook custom audience. Let’s see how you can leverage a custom audience to grow your business.

How to Use Facebook Custom Audiences?

Facebook Custom Audiences from Customer List

First, go to the “Audience” section of your Facebook ads manager and create a new custom audience.

facebook audience

Source: Facebook.com

From there, Facebook will ask you the source of your custom audience. Select “Customer list” to create an audience from your existing customers or leads.

facebook custom audience

Source: Facebook.com

prepare customer list


Source: Facebook.com

Facebook will briefly tell you how to prepare your customer list. After reading the instructions and agreeing to the custom audience terms, click “Next”.

facebook ads

Source: Facebook.com

The next step is to upload your customer list so that Facebook can use the information to find your target audience.

facebook ad creation

Source: Facebook.com

Lastly, make sure to include at least one identifier. It could be the emails or phone numbers of your prospects.

Creating Facebook Custom Audience of Your Website Visitors


To create a custom audience for your website visitors, go to the “Audience” section in your Ads Manager and create a new custom audience.

A prompt will ask you about your audience source. Select “Website” and click “Next”.

Source: Facebook.com

Source: Facebook.com

If you have a pixel set up in your Facebook Business Manager, you can just select that as a source.

If not, you can use this guide from Facebook to connect the Facebook Pixel to your site. A plugin can do the job if you are using WordPress.

Otherwise, work with a developer to keep things smooth.

Next, you can either target “All website visitors”, specific web page visitors, or visitors by time spent.

Source: Facebook.com

You can also select the number of days you want Facebook to track your website traffic. The lower and upper limits for that are 30 and 180 days, respectively.

Creating a Custom Audience for a Mobile App

The procedure of creating a custom audience for a mobile app is somewhat similar to the “Website” one.

  • On the “Custom audience source” pop-up, select “App activity”
  • Then, select the source app you want to import user data from
  • Lastly, select the number of days from 30 to 180

Plus, you can define your audience based on what device they use and other details like in-app purchases.

Creating an Engagement Custom Audience on Facebook

You can also create a custom audience comprising of people that engage with your business on Facebook or Instagram.

Source: Facebook.com

Let’s say you want to create an audience for your Facebook page’s engagement.

Choose “Facebook Page” as a custom audience source and click “Next”.

Source: Facebook.com

You can use other metrics to build your custom audience. For instance, if you go with video watchers, you can make an audience of people that have watched more than 95% of your video.

Using Your Facebook Custom Audiences

Once you have created your custom audience, Facebook will save it. So, you’ll be able to use it while creating an ad.

On the ad creation page, you can just select the custom audiences option and select an audience from the saved list.

There are many ways to utilize your custom audiences.


Remarketing allows you to keep in touch with the people that have interacted with your brand in the past.

For some reason, they didn’t take the action you wanted them to take. Remarketing is your chance to be more creative and get them to act on your offers.

For instance, prospects that added your product in their carts but left your online store without purchasing it.

You can create a custom audience of those visitors and retarget them with a persuading message.

Targeting Existing Customers

You can also use custom audiences to convert your one-time customers into repeat customers. Just upload the list of your existing customers and let them know about your amazing products.

Depending on your product and customer service, if they are happy with your business, there is a high chance they’ll buy again.

Increasing Your Facebook Audience

Social media is a great way to connect with your existing customers and attract new ones. To build your Facebook audience, create a custom audience around your customer list or website visitors and advertise your page to them.

Facebook Custom Audiences Lookalike

Lookalike audiences are a powerful way to find more prospects on Facebook and connect with them. A lookalike audience is a group of people that are similar to your customers or prospects.

This means, they might not have interacted with your business, but there is a high chance they’d be interested in your business.

This helps you if you have a small list of prospects and want to let more people know about your products.

Facebook Custom Audiences Minimum Size

From a technical standpoint, you just need 100 people in your Facebook custom audience to be able to show ads to them.

However, Facebook recommends going with at least a few hundred users, which seems to be the right way to go.

So, to be on the safe side, consider keeping your custom audience to 1000.

Using Facebook Audience Insights

Facebook audience insights can provide actionable information about your custom audiences. Using these insights, you can leverage the demographics data to reach more prospects on the platform.

And, whenever someone new interacts with your Facebook page or ads, they become your engagement custom audience.

You can find Facebook audience insights by going to the ads manager > Tools > Audience Insights.

Final Thoughts

Facebook custom audiences is an incredibly powerful tool that lets you target website visitors, existing customers, and more.

You can also create lookalike audiences using this feature. This allows you to target people similar to your prospects or customers.

Moreover, the size of your custom audience can be 100 at the minimum. However, the limit might not apply to all campaigns. And, it’s a good idea to have at least a few hundred people in your audience.

Want to know how Facebook ads work? Read our blog post here.

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