You can view the recording of this Webinar here:

RunSignUp 301: Reaching More Runners with Facebook Custom Audiences


For your reference, some useful links and notes from the Webinar: 

More links to learn about Facebook Custom Audiences and other digital marketing resources.

Slideshow from Facebook Custom Audience Webinar

Social Media and Your Race: RunSignUp super-user Erik Young walks through way his company (Sour Fish Events) uses social media marketing, with some solid walk-throughs on the Facebook side.

Facebook Ad Pixel Tracking: Set up your Facebook Ad Pixel in RunSignUp 

Blog Post: Introduction of RunSignUp and Facebook Custom Audiences

Blog Post: Facebook Custom Audiences How-To

Previous Webinar: RaceInsights, the RunSignUp Analytics Tool

Email Marketing Blog Series by Andrew Burke (these link to Part One; links to the remainder of the series can be found at the bottom of that post).

Google Analytics Blog Series by Andrew Burke (these link to Part One; links to the remainder of the series can be found at the bottom of that post).


What are Facebook Custom Audiences? 

Facebook Custom Audiences are lists of people for Facebook to target with your Facebook advertisements. There are a few types of targeted lists you can create:

  • Specific Facebook users (I.E., people from your own participant lists, matched by Facebook to specific users on the site
  • Target based on known behaviors 
  • Lookalike Audiences (I.E., people on a list built by Facebook because they match the characteristics of your list of specific people).

Using Custom Audiences improves your ROI (return on investment) over demographic targeting.


How do the Custom Audience Reports Work, and Where do I find Them?

  • You can find your lists, pre-formatted for Custom Audiences, on your RunSignUp Race Dashboard by going to Promotion -> Facebook Custom AudiAences
  • Download the list(s) that you want to use, and you can use those (without editing or re-formatting) to upload to Facebook through their Facebook Ad Manager.

Facebook will then match the data in the reports - names, email addresses, zip codes, etc. - to existing Facebook users to create custom targeting lists or lookalike lists. 


RunSignUp Facebook Custom Audience Report Types

  • All Participants: Use this to reach all participants who is currently registered for the event or has registered for the event  in the past. This is especially useful for creating a solid Lookalike audience, as it gives Facebook the maximum amount of data on the type of user who may be interested in your event. It also includes the Lifetime Value (LTV) of a participant, allowing Facebook to prioritize targeting based on the customers with the most value to your race.
  •  Current Participants: Use this to reach only current participants, to either up-sell them on new add-ons or VIP entries, or to remind them to encourage their friends to sign up.
  • Non-Registered Previous Participants: Use this to reach runners who have participated before, without annoying (and wasting money on) runners who have already re-registered.

Download these reports by going to your Dashboard and then Promotion -> Facebook Custom Audiences and selecting the button for the report you want to download.


How Do I Navigate Through the Facebook Ads Manager to Create a Custom Audience?

You can get to the Facebook Ad Manager by clicking on the upside down triangle at the top right of Facebook from the account you want to use to manage accounts...or, you can always just google "Facebook Ad Manager" and it will come up there!

 Once you've gotten to your Ads Manager:

  • Select "Ads Manager" at the top Left
  • Select "Audiences" from the menu that pops out
  • Select blue "Create Audience" button 
  • Select "Custom Audience" from the menu (or Lookalike, if that's what you want to build)
  • Select "Customer File"
  • Select "Upload File" Button near the bottom of the page, and add the file you exported from RunSignUp, then name your audience (make sure it's something clear!) and hit "Next" at the bottom right of the pop-up
  • If you are including LTV, select the column "Value" to indicate that information
  • Verify the mapping of your data (this should be automatic if you're using the RunSignUp reports) and select "Upload & Create"

It will take a few minutes for Facebook to match your audience. Once it has completed, you can access that audience both while setting up ads in Facebook Ads Manager and while boosting posts and events on Facebook. 


What are Facebook Lookalike Audiences and How do I Build Them?

  • A Facebook Lookalike Audience uses an existing Custom Audience to create a new audience that closely matches the demographics of your custom audience list or customer list.
  • When trying to reach new participants, it's more successful than "guessing" at target demographics.

From your Facebook Ads Manager follow these steps:

  • Select the blue "Create Audience" at the top left of the page
  • Select the Custom Audience that you wish to use to find Lookalikes 
  • Select USA as the country (you can only target by country when creating a Lookalike list; you will be able to target more narrowly when using the audience for an ad)
  • Select how narrowly you wish to limit your list - a smaller target will reach fewer people, but they will be the people that best match your Custom Audience and will be more likely to convert
  • Select the blue "Create Audience" at the bottom right of the pop-up

Important Note: You can only target your Lookalike Audience by country. Since most races do not want to market to an entire country, you'll want to make sure that you narrow the location targeting when you use the Lookalike Audience to create an actual ad.