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Social Media Retargeting: How To Do It Like A Pro –

Social media advertisements have the power to bring in new customers and reinvigorate existing ones. The trick is knowing how to target the right audience with the right approach. Here is a look at social media retargeting and how it works, along with some best practices.

Understanding social media retargeting

While scrolling through Facebook, a consumer sees an ad for an item that they searched for or interacted with in the past. The ad reminds them of their interest in the item and brings them back to the original site where the item was viewed. Once they’re on the website, they may decide to purchase the item or otherwise convert.

This interaction wasn’t just by chance. It was the work of the efficient e-commerce marketing tactic known as retargeting, which has become essential for any e-commerce business.

How does it work? First, consumers are targeted based on their web searches, online subscriptions, and other internet actions. Based on this data, they are then presented with an ad for an item for which they’ve already shown interest and are more likely to purchase.

Targeted ads can come many forms but most are situated on social media platforms. Why there? Because internet users spend an average of on social media. That huge amount of time creates ample opportunities to connect.

Types of retargeting

Pixel-based retargeting is one of the most common , and can redisplay material to any anonymous site visitor. Its name comes from the use of unobtrusive pieces of JavaScript, also known as pixels. These pixels are placed on a visitor’s browser as a “cookie” as he or she searches the site’s pages. The cookie then notifies retargeting platforms—sites a user visits next—to serve specific ads based on those pages visited.


List-based retargeting uses contact information, such as email address lists, to target existing customers on a social network platform. By matching emails, campaigns identify users on specific networks and serve retargeting ads. While this type of retargeting is not as common as pixel-based, it allows for more customized criteria within the ads. However, it only works if a person uses the same email address.

Examples of retargeting tools and platforms

Many platforms—including LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook—feature native tools to implement retargeting strategies. There are also numerous third-party tools and platforms available to help streamline web and social retargeting initiatives.

For example:

For retargeting, experts recommend aligning your brand’s message to the location of your customers in the sales funnel. Another recommendation is to set a frequency cap to limit the number of times a targeted user sees an ad.

Other best practices include using a burn pixel to “un-tag” a user once they have converted, as well as rotating creatives and performing routine A/B tests.

The future of social media retargeting

E-commerce marketing practices are ever-evolving and retargeted ads are constantly changing. For instance, Apple introduced a way for users to opt out of ad tracking to better address data privacy concerns. What’s more, users will have to opt-in with a clear selection process. What this means for effectively targeting Apple users is still unfolding.

To be successful, it’s essential to keep retargeting campaigns relevant to your targets and unique to your organization. It’s also important to improve strategies through ongoing efforts, continual refinement, and by gaining a thorough understanding of your target audience and how they respond.

Post by: Aaron Wittersheim

Aaron Wittersheim is Chief Operating Officer at , an internet marketing agency. He has helped startups, middle-market firms, and Fortune 500 companies improve organizational structure and grow through his expertise in process conception, task automation, technology, and internal project management.

Company: Straight North Website: Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


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