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March 14, 2016

Facebook’s recently released tool, Audience Overlap, has quickly become essential to how we run campaigns at Bamboo. A few months in, we’re excited to share how we’re using it and how you can take advantage of it to improve your own campaigns.


What is Audience Overlap?

Audience Overlap is a new tool from Facebook that lets you visualize the overlap between different audience segments.

For example, you could use the tool to find out how many of the same people are in your 1% All Users Lookalike audience and your 1% All Purchasers Lookalike audience. You can compare a particular audience to up to four other audiences, of any audience type.

Average Overlap by Audience Type

We looked across dozens of clients and aggregated the results to create a set of benchmarks for overlap by audience type. Individual results will vary, of course, but it’s helpful to know which audience types overlap with one another more often than not.

We see that the highest overlaps by audience type occur between Precise Interests and Behaviors, and Lookalikes and Lookalikes. On the other end of things, Precise Interests rarely show much overlap within other Precise Interests.

Note: Behaviors are sometimes referred to as “Broad Categories,” while Precise Interests sometimes are named “Keywords.”


The Benefits of Understanding Audience Overlap

Understanding how much your audiences overlap is important for pursuing the following goals for your Facebook campaigns:

a.) Avoiding Fatigued Audiences – You may not worry about your campaigns fatiguing quickly because, on the surface, it looks like you’re running to a number of different diverse audiences. However, if you run an Audience Overlap you may discover that all of these different audiences are actually very similar. Knowing the overlap will give you a good sense of how many unique people you’re actually running to.

b.) Scaling Effectively – When you’re ready to scale, one key way to do so is finding new pockets of prospects that you haven’t reached before. Launching new audience segments to gain scale feels right, but if you don’t run an audience overlap with existing audiences, you won’t know how many new people you’re truly reaching.

And, now that we know the benchmarks for overlap by audience type in the table above, we know that if our goal is scale, then an audience like Precise Interests is likely a quick way to get there given the low average overlap. On the other hand, we’ll need to watch out for high overlap if launching many new Lookalike segments.


How To Find The Audience Overlap of Your Campaigns

Knowing benchmarks is a start, but what about finding specific overlaps of the audiences you’re already running or thinking of introducing? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Within your ad account, navigate to Tools → Audiences
  2. Once in Audiences, select one audience to begin. This is the base audience, for which you’ll compare other segments against.
  3. With that audience selected, go to Actions → Show Audiences Overlap
4. Now, you can compare your initial audience with up to four others. Simply enter the audience in open field:

After a flurry of big releases and bold new ad units from Facebook, we’re enjoying a less flashy yet incredibly important tool in Audience Overlap. We’re excited to see how other advertisers put it to use in scaling campaigns while fine-tuning audience makeup to drive better ROI.

Interested in taking your Facebook ad strategy to the next level? Learn more about Bamboo’s Facebook advertising expertise and services >

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