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Facebook Gives Small Businesses New Tools to Lure Overseas Customers

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Facebook is all about reaching a global audience, and now the social media company is launching tools to help small businesses using its platform do the same.

The company expanded its free Lookalike Audiences tool Thursday, allowing businesses to seamlessly target international users who most closely resemble their customer base. Previously, a business would have to determine the demographics of its existing Facebook audience, and manually target users in other countries accordingly. The new Lookalike feature automates the process by allowing companies to reach similar Facebook profiles worldwide. The idea is to reduce the effort, time, and analytics required to target international customers.

Related: Facebook Is Giving a Huge Break to Small Businesses in Emerging Markets

Facebook uses the example of the Brooklyn Soap Company, a startup that produces “modern, timely and organic grooming products” and, confusingly, is based in Germany. Turns out, as an artisanal shop with an aggressively hipster aesthetic, the company’s products resonate in hipster enclaves in other countries. As a result of Facebook’s Lookalike tool, “they are now shipping to more than 25 countries around the globe, such as Portugal, Spain, and the USA.” Today, more than a third of the Brooklyn Soap Company’s customers live outside Germany.

In addition to the new Lookalike feature, Facebook also allows businesses to target users in specific regions or trade zones, and refine marketing campaigns based on how ads perform in each area.

To help small businesses learn how to effectively use these tools, the company is also launching webinar on international marketing and a handbook on how to find and target the right global customers.