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4 Ways to Retarget Your Audience on Facebook

Written by: Juliana Casale, Director of Marketing

As the leading social network by global user numbers and amount of usage, Facebook is the logical choice for reaching customers where they spend the most time — but its high-performing native ad units really set it apart as a marketer’s best choice. By leveraging real-time bidding on FBX, behavioral data from websites and mobile app data when targeting on Facebook, marketers have the ability to reach desktop and mobile device users alike, delivering ads that are highly relevant and compelling.

As performance marketers are well aware, the majority of consumers don’t convert on their first visit to a website. Rather than view this as a stumbling block, advertisers are using retargeting methods to reach audiences who have indicated interest and entice them to return and complete an action. A Q2 State of the Industry Report powered by Digiday revealed that 400 media buyers, agency executives and brand executives rely heavily on retargeting for revenue and customer acquisition. Here’s how the usage broke down by percentage:

Usage of retargeting

Acquire customers

Increase direct revenue

Build brand awareness

Since mobile’s on everyone’s minds these days (and 59% of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from portable devices),  here’s how respondents reported they felt about the current  state of mobile targeting:

Mobile targeting in terms of maturity


Still experimental

Standard Practice

While advertisers understand the importance of mobile targeting, but remain hesitant about the technology behind user identification, paid social channels present a reliable workaround.

Here are four other ways Facebook can assist with retargeting to the right audience on desktop, smartphones and tablets.

1. Connections Targeting

Connections targeting  is an easy way of getting back in touch with customers who have already connected with you on Facebook via any Page, group, app or event you are the admin of. Using Advanced connections you can also include people whose friends are connected to your Facebook assets.


Facebook connections

2. Mobile App Re-engagement

With the Nanigans Mobile SDK, you can measure mobile ad performance across device types and retarget or reengage users via Ad Engine. For example, if a user begins to research new dress shoes via their iPhone but shortly thereafter switches to an iPad while they are watching TV, Nanigans can engage that user and advertise the same, or a similar pair or category of shoes they were originally viewing. Google research reveals that 90% of multiple device owners switch between screens to complete tasks, using an average of three different combinations every day. Therefore, being able to track, retarget and reengage your most valuable mobile app users across any number of devices is extremely important.

3. Custom Audiences

Facebook Custom Audiences lets marketers deliver ads to people they have already been in contact with and even further target specific segments by demographics, interests, and actions. Studies have shown that Custom Audiences delivers a much greater return on ad spend (ROAS) — sometimes as high as 6X — than standard interest targeting. By drawing on the power of user segmentation, marketers can build stronger relationships with existing users or leads and target groups of different users using offline databases — based on the actions that they have or have not taken, as well as their current standing as a customer.

For example:

  • Users who have installed the free version of a gaming app vs. the paid version
  • Lapsed users who have made a purchase in the past
  • Top 10% of all purchasing users
  • Users who have installed multiple games but haven’t logged on in the past 30/60/90 days

See also: Website Custom Audiences. Although they’re very similar to regular Custom Audiences, instead of using offline data from a CRM (for example) you can set up rules on your website and automatically build audiences in Facebook based off of user actions. One of the use cases is audiences that have made a purchase, or users that have added an item to cart.

4. Facebook Exchange (FBX)

According to Digiday’s State of the Industry Report, about 67% of marketers are using Facebook’s FBX to reach consumers. For the 33% that are unfamiliar, Facebook opened up its ad inventory in June 2012, allowing advertisers to retarget users at scale based on their browsing behavior or intent shown on websites in real-time (what marketers like to call “demand fulfillment.”) As of March 2014, FBX accounts for about half of retargeted clicks on the web, due to its impressive ROI.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Customer visits a product page for a specific brand; a cookie is set on their browser and a notification request is sent by the DSP to Facebook
  2. Customer logs on to Facebook; Facebook notifies the DSP of the user’s presence, the DSP makes a bid and wins;  the customer sees a product ad retargeted uniquely to them (this all happens in milliseconds)
  3. Customer clicks on ad and purchases the product after seeing the FBX ad

Real-time bidding (RTB) allows an online travel agency to retarget a user who has recently browsed their website for a hotel room with personalized ads as soon as they log in to Facebook. As you can see, FBX is ideal for displaying the right product at the right time to the right user, increasing not only clicks, but consumer purchases, logins, signups, referrals and more.


Using connections provided by Facebook and data pulled into Facebook, you can begin re-engaging users that have indicated interest in your products or services, either by offering incentives, or reminding them that they have not interacted with you and that you would gladly welcome them back. Retargeting methods like Facebook connections, Mobile SDK data, FBX and Custom Audiences ensures alignment with customer interest and real-time intent.

Nanigans Ad Engine is the ultimate tool for recapturing and engaging high value groups of users. Get in touch to learn whether our automation software is right for your business.

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