If you haven’t heard about Facebook Custom Audiences yet, you are missing a good opportunity to maximize the use of this powerful feature of Facebook Ads.

In a nutshell, custom audiences lets advertisers find their existing audiences among people who are already on Facebook using previously acquired information (such as email addresses, phone numbers, Facebook user IDs, or App user IDs). Basically, you can target your offline list with one of these data sets.


First, you can create an ad that will directly appeal to a specific group or audience. This will increase likelihood that people will engage with the ad because the message is tailored to them. Studies have shown that because of the specific targeting you can do with custom audiences, advertisers on Facebook are seeing as much as 6X increase on their return on ad spend.

While uploading your own email list and targeting ads to those individuals is a great way to target, my all time favorite option that custom audiences lets you create is lookalike audiences. Lookalike audiences are people identified by Facebook with similar characteristics to the ones in your custom audiences. As a result this will let you reach a wider audience that will more likely be interested in your business because they have similar profiles to the list of people you already have a relationship with for your business. These lookalike audiences can make it easier to achieve your goals because in most cases Facebook will generate a lookalike audience that is 4-5X your list size.

Important Note: Your list must be at least 2500 to ensure you have “meaningful” list for your ads.

Here is a quick how-to guide to get you started setting up your custom audiences.

Step 1:

Go to power editor – https://www.facebook.com/ads/manage/powereditor/ and choose “Custom Audience”.  Keep in mind that custom and look alike audiences can only be created in power editor.

Facebook custom audiences 1

Step 2:

Choose the type of audience. In this example, we’ll choose “Data File Custom Audience”

Step 3:

Create your audience. Choose “Email” – Make sure you type in a relevant name and description. This will come in handy when you set up another campaign in the future with similar or different audiences. – Upload your data file (make sure its in .csv or txt format) – Check the box that says you Agree to Facebook Terms and Conditions – Then click “Create Audience”

Before you start creating ads, its important to know that it will take about 30 minutes for your custom audience to be ready to use.  I’ve seen it take as long as 24 hours to upload so check back the next day if it’s taking a long time to upload.

Once your audience is ready, you can now create an ad the way you normally would. The Custom Audience feature used to only be available in Power Editor (which can be hard to use) but you can now choose your Custom Audiences in the Ads Manager.

You’ll also want to be aware that not ALL of the email addresses you use to create your Custom Audience are going to be available.  The email address you have has to also be the SAME email address that the person used to set up their Facebook account.   I’ll typically see about a 50% match.  So if you upload 5000 email addresses, approximately 2500 will be available for you to create a Custom Audience for and then advertise to using Facebook ads.


This holiday season is a great opportunity for YOU – the business owner to share the holiday spirit with customers and fans.  You can boost your sales and engagement by getting your holiday-themed campaigns and page content ready.

Here are several ways to get your Facebook campaign ready for the holiday season:

Plan Ahead
Decide which types of activities will help you achieve your holiday marketing goals. Utilize your Facebook page insights to determine whether you are going to conduct contests, promos, content, freebies etc. With Facebook Insights you can discover more about your fan demographics: gender, age and location, as well as the similar pages your fans like. With better understanding of the numbers, this tool will help you fine-tune your holiday marketing efforts. It is also important to determine the end of your promotions. This way you will have plenty of time to stock up your products or hire additional staff.

Pre-schedule Posts and Use Call to Actions
Action words such as “Post”, “Comment”, “Take”, “Submit”, “Like” and “Tell Us” help boost engagement rates on Facebook – so make sure to combine these keywords into your holiday-related posts. Take note of the following holiday spending days in US:

  • Black Friday (November 29th)
  • Small Business Saturday (November 30th)
  • Cyber Monday (December 2nd)
  • Green Monday (December 9th)
  • Free Shipping Day (December 18th)

It’s easy to preschedule the posts using Facebook’s scheduling tool.

Post Restock Alerts
Know which products or service packages your company has offered in previous holidays.  Let your fans know that because they were so popular, you are restocking the products and offering them again and they will ONLY be available this season only. Start your post or ad with content that says something like “back by popular demand….”

Use apps for your holiday campaign
There are TONS of Facebook apps that you can use to promote your activities. Select 3rd party apps that offer sharing and refer-a-friend features already built-in. Refer-a-friend allows users to increase their chances of winning (like additional entry points) every time someone joins the promo through the referral link they share.  I use ShortStack apps and have been super pleased with their apps and their service!

Be like Santa: Give Away Free Items
There are a number of ways to share the holiday spirit:

  • Build a list of your most loyal clients and page fans then send them an early gift.
  • Grab the chance for your company to partake in social work: donate to charity or render free services for the needy this holiday season.
  • Offer coupons for everyone -especially those who Like your page.
  • Offer free shipping on special items.

Use Custom Audiences to Target Your Customers
Tailor ad copy that is custom-made for your customers rather than just creating a generic copy for all. This will make audiences feel special as the message is directly addressed to them.  You can upload your email address list and create a custom audience on Facebook that you can then create an ad campaign for.  This feature is available when creating ads using Power Editor.  Not sure how to use Custom Audiences?  I can help you.

Share your store hours
There might be changes in your store hours during the season so make sure to announce it early. This will allow your customers to conduct business with you before you close down for the holidays and might even get you some extra sales if you’re a local shop and have extended hours.

Timeline Cover Photo Ideas

Having a holiday themed cover photo can leave your fans feeling jolly!  Here are a few ways to get your timeline cover photo ready for the holidays:

  • Use the cover photo to promote your holiday app.
  • Showcase new products or services.
  • Promote your giveaways.
  • Say thank you for their business.
  • Use the cover photo to inspire audiences to take action.
  • Promote your homepage, other sites or links.

Optimize Your Page for the Holidays

  • Create an editorial plan for your posts
  • Use the appropriate Call to Action (CTA)
  • Share images of holiday related products
  • Include fine prints: disclaimers, rules into your verbiage.
  • Promote your posts with Facebook Ads
  • Use an app to collect data/email addresses from contest entries.

Pay attention to Facebook’s Page Guidelines
This should be on top of your list when creating any kind of Facebook campaign. However, I thought it would be a good opportunity to remind you as there are daily changes to Facebook’s page and ad guidelines.  Here are a few to consider:

– Avoid inaccurately tagging people, as well as encourage people to tag themselves in a promotional photo if they are not included on the photo themselves.

– Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright.

– Choose an expiration date for your offer. You can also add optional terms and conditions and advanced options, like a redemption link, redemption code, claims limit and reminder time.

– Promotions may be conducted on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal timelines should not be used to administer promotions. So, encouraging people to share on their timeline or share on their friends’ timeline is prohibited.

I hope this gives you some great holiday marketing ideas for your Facebook page. You don’t need to do it all – simply select a couple and focus only on the activities that will help you achieve your marketing goals this season.

Happy Holidays!