How To: Retarget Your Advertising On Social Media

How To: Retarget Your Advertising On Social Media

In a recent subscriber newsletter’s Resource Roundup, I talked about 3 video tools for small businesses, and I put together a simple demo video. 

RELATED POST: 5 Ways to Create Video Content (when you don’t like video)

I shared my video on my Facebook page and then I boosted it as a paid ad. Did you see it? Let me know if you did. Creating that ad made me think about the power of retargeting and that’s what I want to talk about today. 

Are you thinking about advertising on social media? Whether that’s a “Hells, yeah!”, a “Errr, not right now”, or a “Are you insane?!”, stay with me... We’re playing the long game here and even if your first Facebook ad is a year off, it’s never too early to lay the groundwork. 

So, first things first. 

What is ad retargeting?

I’m assuming that if you’re reading this post that you a) have a business; b) have or are considering marketing your business on social media; and (optional) c) have a Facebook business page. I’m going to use Facebook as an example in this post, as it’s one of my preferred platforms and because I’ve done paid Facebook ads. 

I’ve talked before about social media engagement and Facebook’s complex algorithms which mean that, among other things, your posts are only shown to people with a history of engagement and interest in your page. 

RELATED POST: Social Media: How to make the most of your Facebook business page

Here’s an example. Every time I play Facebook Scrabble, I see ads for the clothing company, Birdsnest. (You now know two of my vices - playing online Scrabble and shopping at Birdsnest!). 

I’m sure this scenario has happened to you many times too; while innocently scrolling through a website, an ad pops up for something you were just looking at earlier that day, or that week. And I’m sure you’ve thought, ‘How the heck did they know?’ 

That, my friend, is targeted advertising

When you set up Facebook ads, you can choose the general demographics, interests and likes of an intended audience; Birdsnest’s for example may be ‘Australia, women, 25-65 years’. I’d fall into that demographic but so would millions of other people. 

What is your Facebook advertising objective?

While it may seem like a good idea to have your ad seen by a big and broad audience, it doesn’t necessarily result in a successful campaign. It really depends on your advertising objective. If you have a new business, for example, and you just want to get your brand and message out there, then yes, the wider your ‘reach’ the better. 

But Birdsnest is already a well-known brand with tens of thousands (or more) customers. Their pop up ad on my Scrabble game has a different objective. They’re not simply raising brand awareness. They want viewers to a) click their ad and go to their site; b) buy something; c) (long term) become loyal customers. 

They’re interested in their ‘cost per click’ results; that is the number of people who click on their ad vs the cost of the ad. The more people who click on the ad, the more cost effective their Facebook ad is. 

Find your real targets on Facebook

It’s said that people needs to be exposed to a concept or idea 7 times before it sinks in that they should take action. So it makes sense to bombard people with continual offers and services. But you don’t want people to feel like they’re being hounded. And the way to avoid that is to target the people who you know like your business

So, the people who are most likely to click on these ads are those who already know and like Birdsnest. 

Once you’ve found these people, your cost per click rates are likely to be much higher than a general demographic target would be. 

Birdsnest is retargeting a niche of their broader ‘Australia, women, aged 25-65’ audience. These niche people are gold because Birdsnest doesn’t have to work like a slave to attract them. They’ve already demonstrated that they like doing business with them. 

Now isn’t that a way more effective use of advertising dollars? 

And it’s perfectly possible for you to target your niche in a Facebook ad. 

Now, if you're wondering how Facebook knows what’s happening over on the Birdsnest website to such a degree, then you’ll want to read all about the Facebook pixel in my upcoming post. 

Oh, and if you’re feeling like Big Brother’s getting a little too close for comfort… I’m afraid I don’t have anything very reassuring to say. Stop using the biggest social media platform in the world? 

Probably not. Let’s instead figure out how our businesses can use some of this data monitoring to our advantage. 

Hit me back and tell me, have you figured out your niche on Facebook? 

About the author: Lilani Goonesena is an Australian freelance writer, SEO copywriter and Squarespace web designer based in Vientiane, Laos. She loves boosting freelancers and small businesses with web design, SEO content and digital marketing strategy. She writes an awesome weekly newsletter on digital marketing, social media, blogging, web design and "all that online stuff". Lilani also blogs at the delectable Eat Drink Laos, just for fun.