5 top tips for social re-targeting

Social retargeting is a widely popular yet broadly misunderstood area of marketing. While it can be hugely effective if done right, getting it wrong can cost brands dearly. Common complaints from consumers include feeling ‘followed’ by recommendations, such as when ads are targeted at shoppers who’ve already purchased.

This can leave buyers frustrated, and marketers out of pocket, as their investments in retargeting fall on disinterested consumers.

So why should we bother with retargeting? It can be a great solution to the “abandoned basket” problem, as recent research from Adobe has shown the shockingly high percentage of consumers who don’t complete their purchases.

On average desktop shopping cart bailouts range from 74% - 84% depending on the device used, meaning that getting consumers back to the site using retargeting is a great way to convert some of these shoppers into customers.

conversion rates can vary from 0.15% - 2.5% with social retargeting

There are a number of reasons your retargeting might not be working at the moment. The main issue being that not all shoppers visiting a page are intending to buy, but they might with some persuasion. They might be researching a newly launched product such as the new iPhone, following a link to look at a friend’s potential wedding dress, or checking the price of a new coffee machine across different retailers. These activities do not result in a consumer walking down the aisle with an iPhone 8 in one hand and a Nespresso machine in the other.

The consumer journey is far more complicated than that. The question therefore becomes about what has a greater propensity to convert. When a marketer takes this approach, we find the frustration factor is greatly reduced and conversion goes up. 

But social retargeting, when done right, can help you pinpoint just which of those searches are likely to convert. Conversion rates can vary from 0.15% - 2.5% with social retargeting, but that can be greatly increased when we drop the ‘spray and pray’ approach, and look to laser target consumers with a more granular approach.

CACI have worked with a variety of different clients, from fashion brands to financial services, and social retargeting varies hugely depending on the brand. However, there are a few crucial things to bear in mind when looking to start, or develop, your social retargeting efforts.

Understand your audience

This should go into much more depth than just looking for women aged 18-34 who like fashion. Understand your audience, but also understand their user preferences and behaviours. When it comes to targeting, marketers should know not just who they are, but what device they’re likely to use, what their attitudes to online shopping are, how close they were to purchase. In order to ensure that marketers are reaching their key audience, they need to have an all encompassing view of who that audience is and be ready to segment that audience (even for retargeting).

Expand your audience reach

Just because you’re looking to target specific consumers doesn’t mean marketers can’t broaden their horizons. Think about new audiences who might be interested in your product and ensure you are factoring their behaviors and needs into your overall targeting strategy.

Take every opportunity to find more customers, as this is where the increase in sales will come from.

Use marketing collateral already available to develop audiences

If you have effectively built retargeting audience and it is segmented, you will need a lot of content to support effective communication to these audiences. Ensure that key messages and strong images are integrated into social retargeting.

From logos to mission statements, these should be consistently put together with your audiences in mind, both new and loyal. Ensure you’re maximising all the brand assets available to you, as this will develop consumers awareness of your brand, not just your product.

Combine data (CRM and third party)

Using all the data at your fingertips is crucial when planning your targeting campaigns. Source everything possible internally from your business, but also look to collaborate with third party data providers.

CACI have previously used data from our Acorn profiling to select Facebook Partner Audiences and target prospecting users, making sure our suggestions are as tailored as possible. The more you enrich your data, the better the targeting, the greater the improvement in conversion.

Test, test and test again

You can’t expect to see results unless you test your targeting over and over. This should be done across platforms – which means everything from desktop to mobile to livingroom devices and it should be done across social networks.

The most effective message is likely to be different across all of these platforms and networks.  You also need to be testing multiple ad units (carousel, single image, video, canvas), as well as testing variations of messages with all that content you have amassed. What you should be able to find here, is an ultimate creative winner for each of your retargeting segments, hence leading to increase in conversion rates.

Related Stories

Leave a comment


This will only be used to quickly provide signup information and will not allow us to post to your account or appear on your timeline.

11 Sep 2017, 7:10 a.m.

That is really nice.