Retargeting on Social Media Platforms – Why You Need It and Best Ways to do It

Posted By: editor
Posted On: 05 Nov, 2020

Every marketer’s dream is to convert as many visitors as possible when they come to the website for the first time itself. But it is far from reality. Most of the time, visitors need more than one interaction with a brand to feel compelled to take the plunge and become a customer. That is where retargeting comes in, to familiarize the brand to the visitor. 

About 96% of the individuals that visit a website for the first time are not ready to buy 

Also, when the sale window runs for longer period, the subsequent days do not garner as much attention. Retargeting then helps in reaching these customers with relevant content through the social sites, as a typical customer is known to spend about 2 hours a day on an average on them.  

What are the Benefits of Retargeting?

  • Reach out to prospects on social sites they frequent and move them down the purchase funnel 
  • Personalize marketing content based on user’s engagement  
  • Increase conversion rates and return on ad spend 

How to do Retargeting on Various Social Media Platforms?

Below is the list of social media platforms which marketers can use to design paid retargeting campaigns: 

  • Facebook & Instagram: These platforms provide two broader options for retargeting – Custom Audiences & Dynamic Ads 
    • Custom Audiences  Uses highly defined groups of people who already have a relationship with the business, such as past customers, people who have visited the website, or people who have installed the app 
    • Dynamic Ads  Upload of the product catalog to Facebook or Instagram, which then will work continuously to find the right people for each product and remind them of items they viewed but did not buy 
  • Twitter: Custom Audiences feature can help in targeting existing followers and customers. Marketers can create relevant retargeting campaigns for those from own CRM lists, who have recently visited the website, or who have taken a specific action on the app 
  • Pinterest: Pinterest provides two broader options to do retargeting as below: 
    • Engagement Targeting – Marketers can reach pinners who have interacted with the company’s Pinterest campaigns in the past with personalized content. They can create an audience based on pin clicks, comments, saves, close-ups, or based on the user’s interest in a specific pin 
    • Visitor Targeting – Marketers can insert the Pinterest tag onto a webpage to retarget people based on the things they did – like browsing a specific category, adding an item to a shopping cart, or signing up for services. There are two options for visitor targeting:   
      • Events: Uses event tags on the website and the data associated with the event  
      • URL: Tracks one or more pages a visitor views on the website   
  • LinkedIn: Matched Audiences feature can help in retargeting web visitors, leads & customers. Marketers can also upload a list of leads or customers from other sources like CRM. 

How to Create Effective Social Media Retargeting Campaigns?

Knowing the technicalities of retargeting and implementing them won’t help marketers in increasing conversion rates, they should also focus on effectiveness to reap maximum benefits. Below are a few strategies which can help in doing that:   

Target Specific Audiences 

Instead of broadly retargeting every website visitor, marketers should segment audiences into interest-based groups. It enables creating messages that specifically appeal to each group.  

For example, on Facebook, marketers can create a custom audience report based on people who: visited their website, visited specific pages, or have not visited the website in a certain amount of time. They can then serve content accordingly to these groups and have better engagement. 

Time Campaigns Based on Offers & Goals 

Marketers should think about the timing of campaigns to avoid ad fatigue while still accomplishing their goals. It is best to determine the timing of the ad based on the type of audience, offer, and goals.  

For example, a campaign with a short-term offer (like a 20% discount on specific products) should serve ads without frequency caps to audiences who have shown interest. Similarly, if brand awareness is the goal, then keeping the frequency cap on Facebook below 4 or 5 per month will help keep audiences from feeling overwhelmed. 

Find New Customers by Layering Lookalike Audiences onto Custom Audiences 

Marketers can use lookalike audiences to replicate relevant target group and expand reach to an entirely new set of leads. They can choose between page fans, website visitors, or customer lists along with other parameters to build lookalike audience.  

For instance, on Facebook, marketers can create a lookalike audience of the top 30% of visitors by time spent on a product page or category of product pages. They can also create lookalike audience based on top spenders in customer list. If customer engagement is the goal, marketers can reach out to people with behaviours like those who watched 60% to 75% of videos and increase chances of further engagement and sales. 

Create a Sense of Urgency 

Marketers can encourage people to act by creating a sense of urgency. They can use phrases like “Limited Time Offer”, “While supplies last” to motivate people to decide quickly.  

Use Smart Tools to Track and Analyse Retargeting Efforts 

Tracking and measuring retargeting efforts across multiple channels or campaigns can be difficult and time-consuming. Hence, marketers can use analytics tools that help manage ad campaigns by leveraging data in order to maximize ad spend and limit costs.   

Halo helps marketers in building real-time segments that group visitors/ customers based on their traits, events, or page views. It will also keep that list synced with the social media platforms that marketers choose. Alongside, marketers can also make use of Halo in updating product catalogues to those platforms.  


Social media retargeting is an effective way to convert prospects into customers. By considering engagement and knowledge levels, marketers can nudge prospects down the funnel with more compelling content and highly targeted offers. 

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