Should I try different timeframes for Facebook Lookalikes?

Yes! You should try different timeframes (or day ranges) for Facebook lookalikes.

Why? Well, clients behave differently over time.

When creating a lookalike, you have the choice to include audiences (usually people that purchased) from up to 180 days ago.

Many advertisers choose this max timeframe assuming that a larger source audience (custom audience) is always better. It’s more complicated than that.

When max timeframe lookalikes doesn’t make sense

Say that it’s the month of October and you are media buying for a lingerie shop. Back in February, it’s likely that there were many men buying romantic gifts.

These men are less likely to shop for lingerie in October. Therefore, to target a lookalike that includes shoppers from February makes less sense.

I’m not saying an lookalike like this won’t perform well, because it might. But I am saying that there is a good, factual reason why it’s not necessarily very representable of current prospects.

Trying to find more clients like them and get them to convert in March might be unlikely.

The products have not changed, but the audience likely to convert has.

In this situation, a lookalike based on the latest 30 or maybe even 60 days might be better. It might be worse.

The above illustrates audience difference due to seasonality. But similar changes can happen when you sell different products in different times of the year.

When max timeframe lookalikes doesn make sense

If you are selling contact lenses, then there is a higher chance that your audiences throughout the year are more homogenous.

There is a good chance that clients that bought contact lenses 3-6 months ago are not much different from clients today.

Which is better? 30, 60, 90 or 180 days?

There is no such generalization. It will be specific for your e-commerce Facebook ads.

Adjusting day ranges can be a strategy to test, especially if you have varying types of engagement or different campaigns that may attract different audience qualities.

Advantages of Testing Different Day Ranges

  1. Freshness of Engagement: Recent engagers might be more indicative of your current marketing efforts, campaign specifics, or recent product offers. They could represent a more current “snapshot” of the type of user that’s interested in your offerings.
  2. Different User Behavior: Users who engaged 30 days ago might have different characteristics or behaviors than those who engaged 180 days ago.
  3. Volume vs. Quality Trade-off: Shorter timeframes might give you a smaller but more relevant audience, whereas longer timeframes might increase the size of your seed audience but dilute the specific relevance.

Steps for Testing Different Day Ranges

  1. Define Your Seed Audience: Start with a specific user action, such as “Added to Cart,” “Purchased,” or “Viewed Content.”
  2. Segment by Timeframe: Create different custom audiences based on how recently they took that action, e.g., in the last 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, etc.
  3. Generate Lookalike Audiences: For each custom audience, generate a Lookalike Audience.
  4. Run Separate Campaigns: Allocate a similar budget and ad creative for each Lookalike Audience derived from the different day ranges.
  5. Analyze Performance: After sufficient data is collected, compare the performance of the audiences to determine which day range provides the best results for your specific goals.

Testing different day ranges can provide insights into which audiences are most valuable and relevant for your business objectives. However, the effectiveness can vary based on your industry, product/service, campaign objectives, and other factors. It’s essential to monitor the results, analyze performance metrics, and adjust your strategy accordingly.