Customer Journey

An Introduction to Social Media Retargeting

By Rachel Ryan 14 March 2018

Okay, there’s such a thing as an impulse purchase. But more often than not, customers need a little bit more in the way of encouragement before they actually get their credit cards out. Another way to describe that gentle nudging (towards a purchase and a longer-term relationship) is retargeting.

Your traditional marketing – via print, billboards or television, for example – may be incredibly effective at performing this task. However, it’s difficult to know whether you’re reaching customers for the first, fifth or twentieth time.

The internet, and social media in particular, gives you the power to reach out to individuals after they’ve interacted with you – to retarget them.

What is retargeting?

Put simply, retargeting is marketing specifically aimed at individuals based on their previous interactions with your business – this could be a website visit, or contact details such as an email address or mobile number that they’ve provided.

Perhaps they’ve visited your site several times but have never made a purchase. Or they’ve previously bought or expressed an interest in a particular product or service you offer.

Retargeting is a great way to reengage your customers, giving them another opportunity to decide that your product or service is exactly what they’ve always been looking for. What’s more, as part of a cohesive communications strategy, it gives you the opportunity to build relationships with individuals who have a genuine interest in your business.

Why retarget using social media?

In the fourth quarter of 2017, there were 2.2 billion active monthly users on Facebook and 800 million on Instagram. What’s more, Facebook generated $27 billion in advertising revenue in the first three quarters of 2017. Along with Google, it was expected to account for 63.1% of US ad investment in 2017.

These staggering figures offer unparalleled opportunities for businesses from every sector to interact with vast numbers of existing and potential customers – taking full advantage of Facebook’s ability to specifically target consumers based on their previous interests and interactions.

As a result, it’s unsurprising to see a corresponding rise in global social ad spending. Recent figures reveal that it doubled from $17 billion in 2014 to $33 billion in 2016 and $41 million in 2017.

So, how does retargeting work? By collating previous data using a number of parameters, you’re able to target groups of customers with relevant campaigns – encouraging them to click through when they’re not actively searching for your products and services. Benefits of this type of targeting include generating quick ROI.

How do you make social media retargeting part of the customer experience?

As ever, it’s crucial to view your social media retargeting campaign in the context of the entire customer lifecycle.  All too often, brands make the mistake of taking a siloed approach to social media retargeting, using it as a standalone promotional channel without linking it in to other touchpoints and lines of communication.

You’ll see the best results when you deliver a consistent customer experience. Think about your social media target audience – and consider whether you’re being helpful and reaching your customer on a personal level. It’s not just about promoting your products but about guiding your customers through the different stages of the sales cycle with content that’s targeted and genuinely useful.

For this reason, it’s important to make sure your social media retargeting is integrated into your whole communications strategy. With this approach, it will add value to your customers and increase their loyalty to your brand.

What opportunities does social media retargeting offer for innovators?

Social media retargeting is undeniably an effective way to promote your products, services and content. However, it’s generally promotional targeting that’s applicable to groups sharing certain characteristics. As the need to deliver personalised experiences increases, there’s an opportunity for forward-thinking brands to use social media to deliver service messages.

The use of video is on the rise, too. Customers these days aren’t interested in consuming vast amounts of text in the form of a lengthy blog post. Rather, they’d like to get the information quickly.

What’s more, Facebook’s ability to track the percentage of a video that’s been watched gives you the tools to specifically target which advert a particular customer sees next. So, if a user watched 90% of one of your videos, you could offer them an opportunity to buy or sign up to your services with their next touchpoint.

What’s the best way of developing an integrated social media retargeting strategy?

Working with a retargeting partner like Engage Hub is a great way to deliver a cohesive strategy that’s successful in driving short term sales and boosting customer loyalty for the long term.

Using the Facebook customer audience API, we’re able to retarget your customers using just an email address or mobile phone number. What’s more, this is smart targeting, powered by your contacts on the Engage Hub platform. And, with a minimum daily budget of just $1, it’s an incredibly cost-effective way of communicating with your target audience.

Working with us, you’re able to micro-target a particular demographic – based on age, location, hobbies, gender, marital status or device used to check Facebook, for example.

You’ll also benefit from the use of our ground-breaking Synapse technology, which allows you to automate all your cross-channel communications – ensuring that you deliver the right message to the right person at exactly the right time.

And, with our Touchpoint Tracker, you’re able to see the sequence in which interactions take place on every customer journey, empowering you with the data you need to streamline and optimise the customer experience.

The popularity of social media is increasing all the time, so retargeting is well worth the investment – provided you integrate it into your overall cross-channel communications strategy.

Find out more about how our new Social Media Retargeting feature can help you reach the right customer, at the right time. 

See other posts by Rachel Ryan

Product Manager

Rachel has over 11 years’ experience across the telecoms sector, ranging from Corporate Account Management up to her present role today as a Program Manager. She specialises in strategically developing the Engage Hub Channels for client campaigns that ultimately engage the end-user and drive interactive services. Rachel also plays a major role in Product Marketing, ensuring the Engage Hub platform is always at the forefront of the latest technological advancements.

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