How to Upload a Custom Audience to Facebook

Advertisers can build a Custom Audience from an existing customer list compiled by information obtained from Lead Ads and sign ups, among other avenues. With a Custom Audience uploaded, Facebook can better target your ads. For instance, if you obtained contact information from a Lead Ad, the users who filled the form are more likely to respond to your ads. Thus, Custom Audiences allows advertisers to target those who have already expressed interest in their business.

Usually, advertisers upload an excel sheet filled with their customer’s information. If this sheet is not formatted correctly, an error message will appear and prevent you from uploading your Custom Audience. To prevent complications, consider reaching out to a Facebook ads service and follow the formatting guidelines below.

The two most important tips on compiling your data are:

  • Always include the country code on phone numbers even if all the data come from the same country.

  • Always include your customers’ countries in their own column in your file even if all of your data is from the same country.

Data type

Column header

Description and formatting guidelines




We accept up to 3 separate email address columns in US and international formats.




Phone Number


Phone numbers must include a country code to be used for matching. For example, a 1 must precede a phone number in the United States. We accept up to 3 phone numbers as separate columns, with or without punctuation.

Important: Always include the country code as part of your customer’s phone numbers, even if all of your data is from the same country.

  • 1-234-567-8910

  • 12345678910

  • +44 844 412 4653

First Name


We accept first name and first name initial, with or without accents. Initials can be provided with or without a period.

  • John

  • F.

  • Émilie

Last Name


We accept full last names with or without accents.

  • Smith

  • Sørensen

  • Jacobs-Anderson



We accept full city names as they normally appear.

  • Paris

  • London

  • New York



We accept full names of US and international states and provinces, as well as the abbreviated versions of US states.

  • AZ

  • California

  • Normandy



Country must be provided as an ISO two-letter country code.

Important: Always include your customers’ countries in their own column in your file, even if all of your data is from the same country. Because we match on a global scale, this simple step helps us match as many people as possible from your customer list.

  • FR

  • US

  • GB

Date of Birth


We support 18 different date formats to accommodate a range of month, day and year combinations, with or without punctuation.










  • MM-DD-YY

  • MM/DD/YY


  • DD-MM-YY

  • DD/MM/YY


  • YY-MM-DD

  • YY/MM/DD

Year of Birth


We accept year of birth as a 4- digit number, YYYY.




We accept age as a numerical value.

  • 65

  • 42

  • 21

Zip/Postal Code


We accept US and international zip and postal codes. US zip codes may include a 4-digit extension as long as they are separated by a hyphen. The extention is not required and will not further improve match rate.

  • W11 2BQ

  • 94104-1207

  • 94104



We accept an initial to indicate gender.

  • M

  • F

Mobile Advertiser ID


We support 2 types of mobile advertiser IDs: Android’s Advertising ID (AAID), which Google provides as part of Android advertising, and Apple’s Advertising Identifier (IDFA), which Apple provides as part of iOS in its ads framework.

  • AECE52E7-03EE-455A-B3C4-E57283966239

  • BEBE52E7-03EE-455A-B3C4-E57283966239

Facebook App User ID


An ID corresponding to someone who uses an app that can be retrieved through the Facebook SDK. We support numerical user IDs associated with your facebook application.

How To Upload Data Using Custom Audiences

To upload data using Facebook Custom Audience on Business Manager, simply follow the steps below.

1. Click “Create Audience” then choose “Custom Audience”

Create Audience is located under Audiences. Custom Audience will drop down under Create Audience.

2. Click “Customer File”

Customer File is the first option.

3. Click “Choose a file or copy and paste data”

Afterward, click “Choose a file or copy and paste data“.

4. Click “Upload File”

Click “Upload File” to upload your data.

5. Click “Next”

After you choose a file, click “Next” to proceed.

6. Click “Upload & Create”

After uploading your data, click “Update & Create” to create your custom audience.

7. Wait

Depending on your data size, upload time may be quick or slow.

8. You’re Done!

Congratulations, you’ve uploaded Custom Audience data using Multiple data types!

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