Creating and using Facebook ads is a popular skill required of the modern VA, especially for the setup stage, which can sometimes be time consuming. One of the many features available inside the ads manager is the ability to upload or create a custom audience. It makes complete sense that it will be easier to sell to current customers than to look for new ones, so the custom audience option gives users the ability to upload a list of your current customers or website visitors that can then be used to target your ads. Once uploaded, Facebook will try to match your customer email addresses to current Facebook users, only those who have an active Facebook profile will be uploaded. Of course there are some flaws to this, as it’s possible that your customers may use a different email address with you than they do for Facebook, but it’s a good place to start! There are a couple of ways that you can create a custom audience, here’s how to do it…

Upload a custom audience

For this method, all you need is a customer list from your database, and then from this you need to create a list of just the email addresses or telephone numbers – no other data (such as names etc.) is required. This list should be saved in .CSV or .TXT format

From your Facebook account, go to the Adverts manager (located in the left hand menu from your news feed page)


Within Ad Manager choose Tools > Audiences and then from the next page, click Create Audience > Custom Audience



You’ll then see a pop up wizard that guides you through the process of creating your custom audience. In the first step, you can choose which type of audience you would like to create. Here we want to choose ‘customer list’. You can also create a list from other sources, such as from visitors to your website, or from people who have used your mobile app.


In the next step you will be asked how you would like to upload your data. Again, there are various options for this, and you can choose the method that suits you best. If you have a large list, it’s usually better to upload it as a .csv or .txt file, however, you do also have the option to copy and paste the data, or even upload it directly from Mailchimp. As we already have our data saved as a file, choose the option to ‘upload a file’


On the following screen you can then upload your data. First of all, select the type of data from the drop down list – you will most likely have a list of email addresses or telephone numbers. Then simply drag and drop your file into the upload area.

You need to accept the Facebook terms and conditions before clicking ‘Create Audience’ and that’s all there is to it!


Facebook will then compare your list against data held on their database and any matching profiles will be added to your custom audience. This process can take a bit of time, so check back in around 30 minutes to see how your list is looking!