Social Media Retargeting – Learn How to Do It in 5 Steps

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Social Media Retargeting – Learn How to Do It in 5 Steps

Statistics show that only 2% of the visitors of an online store convert into buyers after the first visit to the website. This means that businesses that sell their products online must refine their marketing campaigns. The purpose is to persuade recurrent customers to take action and actually shop for goods and services. This is where social media retargeting steps in to help you bring potential customers on the path to conversion.

Social media retargeting is a way to connect businesses with shoppers who have already visited a website or are on that businesses’ lead/customer database. Ad retargeting works best on social channels. It basically gives brands a second chance at drawing potential customers back to their pages or websites.

Why Social Media Retargeting Is Important

Social retargeting is an essential advertising component to be used alongside other online marketing strategies like content marketing or social media ads. Its purpose is to build brand awareness, acquire new clients, capture the attention of competitors’ customers, connect even with the shoppers who already left your site, and overall grow your business.

And it really makes sense to integrate retargeting into your online advertising strategy. Facebook and Instagram have no less than 3 billion monthly active users combined who spend hours on end scrolling through their feeds. The huge popularity of these social media channels turned them into powerful tools for advertisers.

Facebook Retargeting Stats

Social media retargeting is highly effective because it puts the focus on people who already visited your site and are already familiar with your brand. Companies that use this advertising technique normally see a higher ROI (return on investment) than from other online marketing strategies.

Facebook Retargeting Stats

Speaking of the effectiveness of retargeting ads, there is no need to take our word for it. There are statistics to prove it. For instance, research has shown that 3 out of 4 consumers actually notice retargeted ads and are three times more likely to click on them.

Granted, the majority of retargeted online customers remain neutral at the sight of a retargeted ad, but 26% of them seem to enjoy seeing this kind of ads. Thus, they will return to a site or page through retargeting to finalize a purchase. Actually, only 11% of consumers have a negative response to retargeted ads.

Moreover, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which surveyed 1000 marketers, found that 91% of the advertisers who used retargeting on social media sites like Facebook were pleased to discover that it worked the same as or even better than other types of retargeted ads (through email, search, creative, etc). More precisely, retargeting can result in 147% higher conversion rate in certain industries.

Another thing worth mentioning is that, seeing that digital technologies and social media sites/apps increase in popularity, more and more marketing agencies and businesses decide to set a dedicated budget for retargeting.  50% of them, state that their social media retargeting budget will actually increase in the next 6 months.

How Social Media Retargeting Works

When a potential customer visits your site and views a product or adds it to his/her cart but leaves without converting, a small piece of code (pixel) embedded into your website drops a browser cookie to report the action. Later on, this anonymous cookie will let your retargeting provider know when the potential customer appears on a social media site and will serve him or her an ad based on their previous behavior on your website. This way, the retargeting partner knows to show ads only to people who already visited your site.

There is also a list-based retargeting method, which uses a list of emails from potential or past clients. The platform chosen by the company that wants to use social media retargeting identifies people who are using the same email address on their network and shows ads only to them.

How to Run a Successful Retargeting Campaign in 5 Steps

Facebook offers a great variety of ad formats, which makes it easy to use retargeting on the platform. Needless to say, in order to implement retargeting ads on the platform, you must have a Facebook Ad account. You also need to install Facebook Pixel to track your website traffic and basic events such as purchases.

1. Identify the specific need for a social media retargeting campaign

There are several reasons why you might need to implement a retargeting campaign. The most important of them are:

  • to remind your potential customers to finish their purchase;
  • to provide customer service to visitors who hesitate;
  • to stay in touch with potential clients who aren’t yet ready to buy.

Once you identify why you need a retargeting campaign, it will be easier to build it up with a specific aim in mind. You will know how to choose your audience, how to word your ad copy, what images to use, and so on.

2. Prepare your audiences

Depending on the purpose of your campaign, choose to aim your retargeting ads during the last 10 days’ visitors. For instance, visitors who visited specific pages (like customer support, FAQs, Pricing Pages, etc.), or visitors who put something in their carts and left before finishing the purchase.

3. Set a relevant marketing objective

When creating your social media retargeting campaign, set a marketing objective based on your aim. If you want visitors to finish their purchase, choose Product Catalog Sales as your objective, or “Traffic” if you want to target visitors who hesitate, or “Lead Generation” when your aim is to stay in touch with past visitors.

4. Create your campaign with your target audience in mind

When creating your campaign, give customers a compelling incentive to click on your ad. Cart abandoners might be tempted to finish their purchase if you give them a discount, those who hesitate might need answers about certain products or services, and those who aren’t yet convinced to buy might be the type who want to trust your brand before making a purchase. Try building a long-term relationship with them by making them subscribe to your newsletter

5. Adapt and refresh your retargeting campaign

Avoid boring your Facebook audiences by showing the same ads again and again for weeks. Always adapt your social media retargeting campaign according to what your visitors might need to hear from you in order to convert. And if you want to take it one step further, make sure that you are better than your competition by spying on their ads.


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