From your Facebook Advertising account, you can run new test campaigns aimed at many different kinds of people.
If you are new to running ads on Facebook, you may have heard terms like interests, custom audiences, and even lookalike audiences and wondered what the heck they all mean.

How to Test Who Sees Your Facebook Ads and Why
How to Test Who Sees Your Facebook Ads and Why

Do I need to test all of these different groups of people when I run ads on Facebook? How do I know which ones to use and when? Why must this be so darn hard to understand?… LOL!

How to See What People Think on Facebook

The good news is that I’ll spend a little time below going over the different audiences you can use when running ads on Facebook and how to test audiences on Facebook.

Audiences Based on Interests

Who Are They:

You build these groups by choosing different topics that you know the people you want to reach will be interested in. Most of the time, the best interests to use are ones that you know only your target market would care about.

For example, if you wanted to sell something to people who played the guitar, you could target “guitar world” or “guitar player magazine,” which are both popular magazines for guitar players. You could also look for guitars made by Gibson, Fender, or Ibanez, among others.

There isn’t much chance that someone who doesn’t play guitar would be interested in these things, so they would be very relevant to your market.

Interest-based targeting options let you do so many different things that I thought it would be best to make a quick video showing how to use interest-based audiences.

This video should be enough to get you started on the right path to using interest-based audiences in Facebook ads in a good way.

When to use it:

These are great for trying out new advertising campaigns and products that you are selling for the first time. Since you don’t know anything about these people yet, you can’t use custom audiences or lookalike audiences, so interest is the best way to go.

Interest-based audiences can also be used to expand successful ad campaigns by targeting even more interests you think your customers might like and/or going after broader interests. Any successful marketing campaign on Facebook needs to start with and be built around people’s interests.

Customized Groups

Who Are They:

You can create many different kinds of custom audiences on Facebook, which I explain in more detail in the video below. In a nutshell, custom audiences are groups of people you can target based on how they interact with your site and/or content.

In e-commerce, it is always a good idea to make custom audiences for the people who visit your website and even for specific pages on your website. For example, you could only target people who have been to your site’s cart page, a specific product page, or a group of products.

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All of this is useful for remarketing to people who have already been to your site to get them to come back and hopefully buy something they were looking at the last time they were there.

Here’s a short video with some examples of what you can do with custom audiences:

When to use it:

Since custom audiences are made up of people who have already been to your site, you should mostly use them after you’ve run some interest-based campaigns and gotten people to your site.

You can also think of your custom audiences as a list of contacts that you are building up for future marketing efforts. You might want to run special promotions for these people in the future. It can also be a good idea to run simple, low-cost content-based ads to these people to help build your relationship with them and hopefully turn some of them into raving fans in the future.

Lookalike Audiences

Who Are They:

A Lookalike Audience, as the name suggests, is an audience that looks like other people in the audience. You have to make these Lookalike Audiences based on the custom audiences you’ve already set up.

For example, if I’ve made a custom audience for everyone who has completed the “Purchase” event on my store (these are my buyers! ), I could tell Facebook to make a lookalike audience based only on the people in that audience. Don’t you think that’s a pretty strong group of people?

It’s scary to think about how much information a company really has on its users, but that’s exactly what makes tools like Lookalike Audiences so powerful. They can compare the interests and actions of the people in your custom audience and build you a new audience of people with very similar patterns.

Take a quick look at this to fully understand how to set these up and use them successfully:

When to use it:

The best way to use Lookalike Audiences is to grow campaigns. Once your interest and remarketing audiences have been up and running for a while and have been successful, there will come a time when you want to grow and get more traffic and sales. Lookalikes were made for this!


I’m sure that after reading this and watching the videos, you’ll have a good idea of how to test audiences on Facebook using the tools in Facebook Ads Manager.