Do Facebook Page Likes = Customers? A Quick Estimate Using Audiences

On my never ending quest to understand our customers and our marketing efforts better, one connection has always eluded me: the link between our customers and those who Like us on Facebook. I want to know how many of those fans/followers have purchased from us, and do those people spend more than a typical customer? By understanding the lifetime value of these customers, we could effectively put a value on a single Facebook Like, and from there better determine the value of putting time and money into growing our Facebook page.

To do that though, I’d need to be able to correlate a Facebook user with a Detailed Image customer. This would be easy enough if I could export a list of names of our Facebook followers. However, Facebook doesn’t want to give you this information, supposedly to protect the privacy of their users. Lots of Googling will reveal easy ways to do this if you’re just starting out or have a small follower count (basically: keep scrolling and copying/pasting names), but for a larger page like us with 80,000+ Likes there’s no real options…especially if you don’t want to violate their terms of service, which I do not.

You can, however, do the opposite. Instead of exporting your Likes, you can import an audience of your customers and at least get the most basic piece of information: approximately how many Facebook followers have made a purchase from you. It’s not everything I want, but it’s still useful nonetheless, and it’s pretty simple to do.

Step 1: Create a custom audience of your customers

Facebook, like all other ad platforms these days, allows you to upload a list of your visitors/users/customers contact information (typically email addresses) to then have the ability to target ads to those people on Facebook. Facebook calls this feature Custom Audiences, and they’re pretty straight forward to create.

For our purposes here, upload just a list of the customers who have made a purchase with you. For the sake of this example, let’s call this audience My Users w/Purchase. The audience size will be the number of matches Facebook was able to find. This number is also useful because it tells you how many of your customers have Facebook accounts. This audience can also be used to target ads to, but that’s not our goal here.

(Side note: Facebook doesn’t always make this as clear as the other ad platforms, but it’s a good practice to add this to your Privacy Policy and/or Terms of Service so that your customers understand how their information is and is not being used, along with a link to opt out).

Step 2: Draft an ad targeted to your followers but excluding your custom audience

Start to create a Facebook Ad and navigate to the Audience portion.

Under Custom Audiences click Exclude and then under EXCLUDE people who are in at least ONE of the following pick your My Users w/Purchase audience.


Under Connections click Add Connection Type followed by Facebook Pages, People who like your page and finally pick your page, which I’m calling My Page.


Step 3: Facebook Likes – Potential Reach = Facebook followers who are also customers


Now on the right hand side of the screen make note of the Potential Reach of your audience. Since we’re excluding people who have purchased from you, this is the number of your followers who haven’t made a purchase. Subtract this number from the total number of followers for an estimate of the number of Facebook followers who have purchased from you!

In this example, if I had 120,000 Facebook followers I’d subtract 100,000 to get an estimate of 20,000 followers who have made a purchase with my business.

Ideal? Nope. But it only takes a few minutes and it’s better than nothing. If you have other techniques, tips, or feedback I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

2 comments on Do Facebook Page Likes = Customers? A Quick Estimate Using Audiences

  1. Michael Plater II says:

    Not to be a nitpicking nancy but any reason you didn’t just add the custom audience to the INCLUDE section with the connection set to “People who like My Page”? Wouldn’t that give you the same answer just without the extra subtraction part? Let me know if there’s something I’m missing please.

    • Adam McFarland says:

      Hi Michael,

      Good question, I should have addressed that in the post. If you did that it would target people who are either your customers or your followers, instead of people who are both. There may be a way to do more refined targeting to accomplish that in the Power Editor.

      – Adam

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