The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you're targeting a local audience or not. If you are targeting a local audience than we're going to address your size goals separately. If you are NOT targeting a local audience, then for you the optimal size for cold prospecting audiences (or lookalike audiences) is between 1-5 million people. The Ad Algorithms have been designed to work best with an audience of this size in order to find you the people most likely to complete the action you've identified as most important to you. Now, if you are targeting a warm audience then you can get away with having a smaller audience size, because you already know that this group of people is pre-qualified to be interested in what you're promoting. That being said, you always want to have over 1000 people in your audience – and ideally into 5-digit numbers.
You should also keep in mind that at this time Facebook does not reveal the audience size if you are targeting custom audiences – so you'll want to keep an estimated size in mind based on what you know about your audience.
Now, while size does matter – it's most important that your audience is relevant to your brand. So if you are building a cold prospecting audience for a super niche product, and you can not get over 1 million people, just get as close as possible.
Now, for local businesses things are a little trickier. Because local areas will differ significantly based on the population around any given area, it's difficult to have a set number for audience size. I recommend always having a minimum of 250,000 people OR 10% of your local area within your audience for best results.
Do NOT get too caught up with the Audience Size o'meter in Ads Manager. This little meter shows you how your audience measures up on a scale of specific to broad, but it's truly not the best judge of the strength of your audience. Instead, look at the potential reach number, based on the information we've discussed here, and then look at your targeting, keeping these rules in mind [linked].
You can also read more about targeting Warm Audiences with your Facebook Ads, HERE.
Download the Quarterly Campaign Planner to work through all 7 elements of a profitable Facebook Ad Campaign AND build your strategy for the next 3 months!
Get a little extra guidance:
Visit ReadySetAd.com to learn about the self-paced course and mentorship opportunities available so that you can build your business through building Facebook Ads that convert without spending hours fumbling around Ads Manager!
Meg Brunson has been marketing to moms for nearly a decade. After leaving her corporate job at Facebook in 2017 to be a more present mom to her 4 daughters, she founded EIEIO Marketing; a digital marketing agency focused on Facebook Marketing for family-first businesses.
Through highly targeted, results-driven, Facebook Ads she's delivered results for her clients that include: doubling their lead volume, generating 62% more sales than the in-house team, attaining a 16x return on ad spend, and reducing the cost per lead by 99%!
After helping her daughter launch her first business, Storytime With Kiki, at the age of 10, Meg began hosting the FamilyPreneur Podcast: an interview-style podcast for parent entrepreneurs, raising entrepreneurial children.