Creating a Custom Audience for TikTok Ads

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When you’re setting up your campaign on TikTok ads, the general best practice is to exclude a list of previous purchases. There are two ways to do it (on Facebook or Google ads):

  • Exclude via Google/Facebook pixel
  • Manually upload a .csv list of your Shopify customers
Since the pixel will never perfectly track all of your customers and match it with Facebook/Google (especially after the iOS 14 update), we always recommend manually uploading a .csv file of your all-time customer list.

Our software, Lebesgue: Smarter Marketing, revolves around the precise exclusion of these customers:

Uploading a custom audience for TikTok

However, when you try to upload a custom audience to TikTok, you’ll first see a message:

“Due to Apple’s App Tracking Transparency framework, there may be fewer or no matches for IDFA, email and phone files.”

After that, you need to select one of the following types:

Here, IDFA stands for “Identifier for Advertiser”, and GAID is “Google Advertising ID”. Hashed just means that we didn’t provide raw user info, but that it’s hidden via some cryptographic mechanism (either MD5 or SHA265).

You’ll see two additional notes:

  1. Please put each identifier on a new line.
  2. Please confirm you are uploading a IDFA/GAID Original Value file.
When you finally try to upload your Shopify .cvs file list, something like this will appear:
“IDFA or GAID File Required To Build An Audience From Customer List On TikTok Ad Manager”.

In addition, you will get the “You have less than 1,000 pieces of valid data in your file. Please check the data type and formatting” message.

In our case, we tried uploading 30,000 contacts a from Shopify store, but it turned out to be impossible to do it. We also tried uploading different data formats, formatting email addresses to UPPERCASE or lowercase – nothing worked.

Check out the image bellow:

Create Custom Audience TikTok dashboard

This is the current state of TikTok ads – you can’t upload a customer list from your Shopify store to TikTok.

Alternative way to upload your list

There is one workaround, but it’s not one you’ll like. If you have a TikTok account manager, they’re able to do some backend magic and upload list of your customers for you. This might also be important for your Lookalike audiences, which perform better on TikTok than they do on Facebook ads at the moment.

If you don’t have a TikTok account manager – you can reach out to the Lebesgue team via email or chat, and we’ll see if we can help you pass this info further.

Shopify custom audiences on TikTok conclusion

To finish this blog post, we’ll break down news into good and bad ones:

Bad news: You can’t upload a .csv file from Shopify to TikTok ads directly

Good news: This does not necessarily mean your TikTok ads won’t work. Install Lebesgue: Smarter Marketing to find TikTok benchmarks, the latest best practices on the platform, automatically audit your TikTok account, TikTok pixel implementation, and much more.

Since this is an extremely technical blog post and you came to the and of if, you’ve earned a 30-day extended free trial of our product.

Refer to our support team with the code SHA265-HASHED. 

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