How to Gain Valuable Data from Facebook’s Audience Overlap Tool

Data-driven insights are the backbone of any successful digital marketing campaign. So, when new tools for collecting and analyzing data come out, smart brands jump at the chance to learn more about their markets and how they can strengthen their campaigns. That’s certainly the case with Facebook’s new Audience Overlap tool, which brands are already using to boost their Facebook marketing efforts.

Audience overlap is only a few months old, so many brands are still unaware about how to use this feature. This short guide will show you how to get started with this new tool, along with three ways you can use Audience Overlap’s data to build smarter Facebook marketing campaigns.

How to Use Facebook Audience Overlap

To get started with Audience Overlap, go into Facebook’s Ad Manager panel. Click on the “Tools” drop-down menu and select “Audiences” (you can also access the “Audiences” panel directly from the Facebook Power Editor panel). From the “Audiences” panel, click on the “Actions” drop-down and select “Audiences Overlap.”

The Audience Overlap feature relies on audience groups established through Facebook’s Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences, and Saved Audiences features. If you do not have audiences in place under these features, you will need to set up any audiences that you wish to compare through the Audience Overlap tool.

In the Audience Overlap tool you will be able to select a main audience and then four comparison audiences. Facebook will return data on the number of people in each audience, the number of users shared between your main audience and each of your comparison audiences, and the percentage of shared users between your main audience and each comparison audience. This data will also be visualized in the form of Venn diagrams, giving you an easy, quick way to get a sense of shared audience members between two groups.

3 Ways to Use Audience Overlap Data

Though relatively new, marketers have already come up with a number of useful ways to harness Audience Overlap for Facebook marketing insights. Here are three of our favorite ways that brands can use this tool:

  • Compare Lookalike Audiences Against Each Other. When you’re running campaigns with multiple Lookalike Audiences, there’s a decent chance those audiences share a high degree of shared users. If this is the case, it means your content is being seen by a much lower number of overall users than you may have originally thought. By comparing different Lookalike Audiences against each other, you can discover audience redundancies and set up niche audiences through the Custom Audiences feature. This way, your content will reach a wider base of users.
  • Compare Lookalike Audiences to Your Current Audience. Lookalike Audiences sometimes perform poorly because they share too many of the same users as your current audience, or because they don’t share enough in common with your target audience. If you compare a Lookalike Audience to your current audience, a high (15%<) or low (1%>) overlap percentage could indicate trouble.
  • Find Overlap Between Facebook Fans, Site Users, and Your Email List. Through Audience Overlap, you have access to all of the audience data you have integrated into Facebook. This includes your email list and your website users. You will now be able to use Audience Overlap to find how many users are shared between your Facebook fan page, your email list, and/or your web site’s user base.

Audience Overlap is still fairly new, so there’s a strong chance that new features and uses will roll out in the coming months. Meanwhile, the data offered by Audience Overlap is already giving brands a new level of insight for their Facebook marketing efforts.