Lookalike Audiences are not Limited to Facebook


Most online marketers are familiar with Facebook’s lookalike audiences. It is a useful tool for those who want to target a very specific group of consumers.

To create a lookalike audience, you would choose a quality source audience from which Facebook can determine the common characteristics of the people in it. Examples of sources audiences are custom audiences you have already created, fans on your page, or your pixel data.

In essence, lookalike audiences are groups that they have created based on Facebook’s algorithm in order to find similarities. The result is a highly targeted group that is similar to your current customers.

However, Facebook is not the only platform that offers lookalike audiences in order to target users. Google and Pinterest also have their own version of lookalike audiences, which we will discuss below.


Google AdWords’s version of lookalike audiences is called ‘similar audiences’. Like Facebook, Google’s targeting feature creates similar audiences by using first party data in order to find commonalities between new audiences and your existing customers. You can create similar audiences to target users on Youtube, Gmail, Display, Search, and more.

With similar audiences, you can increase your campaigns reach and boost your conversion rates. According to Google, businesses can see up to a 41% increase in their conversion rates when they use the feature in combination with display remarketing.

How does Google’s version work?

In order to create similar audiences, Google says that Adwords begins by looking at your activity on Display Network sites from the last 30 days in combination with the content that your current users are viewing. This allows them to identify similar characteristics between the people in your remarketing list.

Your remarketing lists are what Google typically uses as first party data when they are creating similar audiences. Essentially, it is a list of users that you retarget by showing them relevant ads after they have left your website without buying anything.

After analyzing this information, AdWords finds new users whose interests are akin to those of your existing customers.

It is worth noting that there are certain qualifications for businesses to able to use similar audiences. Google states that businesses using remarketing lists must have the following in order to make use of the feature:

  • Minimum of 100 visitors in the seed list (remarketing list)
  • How recently these visitors joined the original list
  • The types of sites that these visitors browsed
  • List must be owned by your account, not shared

Although, not all of these qualifications will apply if you choose to upload your own user email lists.

Just like Facebook, you’re not restricted to finding similar users in the geo your list is based on. If your source is a remarking list of previous US customers, you can tell Google to target similar users in Australia if you wish.


Pinterest is an effective advertising platform for online marketers, especially for those who are targeting young and middle-aged women. They have a ton of great targeting options you can use to leverage your campaigns, and one of them is very similar to Facebook’s lookalike audiences. Their feature, ‘Actalike Audience’, allows you to target users by drawing on your own marketing data. Like Facebook and Google, Pinterest uses the data you provide them with about your existing visitors to find you new customers that share similar characteristics.

This feature is great to find new relevant audiences, and increase your campaigns exposure. As stated by Pinterest, some companies have increased their CTRs by 63% by using Actalike Audience.

Image: Pinterest

How does it work?

Creating an Actalike Audience on Pinterest is very simple. It begins by uploading a list of your current customers, which is analysed by the platform. From there, Pinterest will create a list of new users based on the information you provided.

Like Google, you are required to have a minimum of 100 user emails in your list to use the feature.

Finding new audiences that share commonalities with your existing customers is a great way for you to expand your campaigns reach, find the most relevant audience, and even boost conversion rates. If you use Google and/or Pinterest, consider trying out their versions of Facebook’s lookalike audience feature. They are simple to operate, and can act as a great tool to leverage your advertising campaigns on these platforms.


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