Generating genuine sales-qualified leads is the ultimate name of the game when it comes to social media marketing – but it’s tricky.

You know you’re creating great content – you write entertaining and informative blogs, you craft data-driven infographics that prove your business’s value proposition, you’ve got a strong video campaign that’s proving popular, and you’re making the effort to engage your fans on social media. But it’s often the case that despite your best efforts, the only number that seems to be growing is the one that accounts for your social media following.

digital-marketing-1497211_640 Facebook Custom Audiences: How to Retarget Your Facebook Leads

Now, don’t get me wrong – having tens or even hundreds of thousands of fans across your social networks is a good thing. But, if for all of these marketing efforts you are not acquiring new paying customers, then the achievement of garnering a large following is only superficial.

Vanity Metrics

Here’s a joke for you about the modern startup model (and apologies if you’ve heard it before):

10,000 people walk into a bar. Nobody buys anything. The bar is declared a lavish success.

It’s a good joke because it illustrates the problem that a lot of social media marketers face – it’s relatively simple to build a strong audience, but converting a significant proportion of that audience into paying customers is a different ball game altogether.

Put simply, if all you’re focussing on is the number of followers you are generating, then you’ve become obsessed with vanity metrics – and vanity metrics don’t pay the bills.


What’s needed is a way to determine which of your followers have a genuine interest in buying something from you (i.e. your sales leads), and which aren’t.

When social media marketers learn how to do this, they can then begin to craft content that is specifically tailored towards those leads, rather than solely relying on the more generalised inbound strategy that appeals to the masses, yet in isolation can be a bit hit and miss when it comes to conversions.

This is what’s known as retargeting (or remarketing as some people call it). Basically, retargeting is a mode of online marketing that targets those users who have already shown an active interest in your website or social media content. Many of your followers won’t actually have made any engagement at all with your output – they are just passive users with no intention to buy anything.

Retargeting, therefore, is all about getting new content in front of those other users who have shown some sort of interest. Perhaps they’ve watched a video or read a blog. Maybe they’ve mentioned your brand name somewhere, or pinned something of yours on Pinterest. These are the people that deserve your greatest focus, and determining who they are and retargeting them with fresh content is a valuable conversion-driver.

Thankfully, our favourite social network has got us covered. Facebook has devised its very own retargeting features for marketers that can be used to sift the wheat from the chaff and help us deliver the right content to the right leads at the right time.

And make no mistake – retargeting works. Indeed, it can lead to a 147% higher conversion rate!! My goodness – imagine that!!

So let’s now look at how you can start using Facebook for retargeting.

How to Retarget Your Facebook Leads

Facebook Custom Audiences

First up, Facebook Custom Audiences.

Here’s how Facebook describes this feature:

“Custom Audiences allow advertisers to target their ads to a specific set of people with whom they have already established a relationship on/off Facebook. Audiences can be defined by either email address, phone numbers, names, date of birth, gender, locations, app user IDs, Apple’s Advertising Identifier (IDFA), or Android’s advertising ID or by a combination of rules used to identify users who took specific actions on your website.”

Simply put, Custom Audiences is Facebook’s very own retargeting tool.

To get started with it, you will need to install a Facebook pixel. What’s a pixel, you ask? Well, retargeting is essentially a cookie-based technology which uses a small piece of JavaScript code (i.e. a pixel) to ‘follow’ your site visitors once they leave again to explore the rest of the web. explains the concept succinctly, and provides the following graphic for further illustration:

retargeter-story-1 Facebook Custom Audiences: How to Retarget Your Facebook Leads

(Image source:

“You place a small, unobtrusive piece of code on your website (this code is sometimes referred to as a pixel). The code, or pixel, is unnoticeable to your site visitors and won’t affect your site’s performance. Every time a new visitor comes to your site, the code drops an anonymous browser cookie. Later, when your cookied visitors browse the Web, the cookie will let your retargeting provider know when to serve ads, ensuring that your ads are served only to people who have previously visited your site.”

The Facebook Pixel

Facebook provides its own pixel that you can install on your website. Here’s the explanation:

“The Facebook pixel is a piece of JavaScript code for your website that enables you to measure, optimize and build audiences for your ad campaigns. Using the Facebook pixel, you can leverage the actions people take on your website across devices to inform more effective Facebook advertising campaigns.”

And here’s the explainer video:

Once you’ve installed the pixel, you can now start creating your Custom Audiences.

You will need to define your audience. For the purposes of retargeting, you will need to select the behaviours of your visitors that you want to follow. For instance:

  • Anyone who has visited your website in the past 30 days
  • People who visited your pricing page but didn’t convert
  • People who watched your product video but didn’t convert
  • People who read your blog

In each instance, you can and should allocate the specific domains of your various web pages for tracking – this way you will know which visitors have engaged with which content, and from there can create your new retargeted content based on these insights as you move to strike for a conversion.

A Final Word On Producing Content for Retargeting

Now that you’ve got your Facebook pixel gathering lots and lots of useful data about your audience, you can now analyse it and use it to send out tailored content to those who have shown a clearly defined interest in your output.

But you need to bear a few things in mind when you do this.

First, you must remember that retargeting is about reaching a specific segment of your audience that already knows who you are and what you do. This means that they don’t need the general inbound, brand awareness stuff, or any content that gives an overview of your company.

No, when retargeting, you are reaching people who are a little further along the sales funnel, and should therefore create content that is more directly pointing them towards making a purchase.

For example, you could hit them with customer testimonials, produce an infographic that explicates how much money people save by signing up to your service, create a product-demo video, or create a case study success-story to convince these new prospects that you’ve got what they need.

In short, avoid at all costs anything introductory, as these people are already aware of your brand – now you need to up the game and go for the sale, and pretty soon you can start celebrating new customers alongside your new followers.

Installing pixels and creating Custom Audiences might all seem a bit daunting at first. Here at My Social Agency, we can take care of any of the technical stuff for you, and create the retargeting content you’ll need to convert your Facebook leads. Get in touch to find out more.