How to run retargeting with your advertising

Want to reconnect with people who have previously engaged with you on social media. We'll show you how.

Hannah McKernon avatar
Written by Hannah McKernon
Updated over a week ago

Retargeting is a powerful tool in digital marketing, allowing you to reconnect with individuals who have previously interacted with your business. Here we delve into the intricacies of setting up a Facebook advertising campaign for retargeting through your Business Manager.

Understanding retargeting

The essence of retargeting lies in its ability to present your advertisements to audiences who have already shown interest in your business. This can include interactions on Facebook and Instagram pages, visits to your website (tracked via Facebook Pixel), and contacts in your database who have consented to marketing communications.

Creating target audiences

To commence, access your Business Manager at and navigate to the audiences section. This is found under the ‘burger’ menu, characterized by three horizontal lines. In the audience area, opt for a 'Custom Audience' to connect with people who have demonstrated interest in your business or products.

Selecting sources for custom audiences

The primary step involves choosing the sources for your custom audience. You have the option to select from website visitors (tracked by Facebook Pixel), Instagram and Facebook page interactions, and your customer list. Additional choices like video viewers, lead gen ad responders, or Instant Experience ad engagers are available, depending on the nature of your past advertising.

Detailed source selection

  • Instagram account: Include everyone who engaged with your professional account over the past 365 days. You can refine this by specifying a shorter engagement period.

  • Facebook page: Target everyone who engaged with your page or narrow it down to specific interactions like post engagements or clicks on call-to-action buttons.

  • Website visitors: Effective only with an installed Facebook Pixel, this option lets you target all visitors or those visiting specific pages. You can also target based on time spent on your site.

  • Customer list: Utilise your database for retargeting, ensuring GDPR compliance. The list should ideally be in CSV format containing essential details like names, email addresses, and potentially additional data like postcodes or birthdates.

Setting up the campaign

With your audiences ready, shift to creating the retargeting campaign in Ads Manager. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Campaign creation: Start a new campaign, choosing an objective that aligns with your audience size and business goals. Engagement or awareness objectives suit smaller audiences, while larger ones may benefit from conversion objectives like sales.

  2. Budget considerations: Retargeting campaigns don't require large budgets. Start small, adjusting based on the ad frequency and audience response.

  3. Audience selection: Import the custom audiences you created earlier. Ensure country settings are accurate, but avoid further refinements as the audiences are already defined.

  4. Ad placements: Opt for 'Advantage Placements' to allow Facebook to optimize placement based on performance.

  5. Creating the Ad: You can use an existing post or create a new one. If using an existing post, you can add call-to-action buttons and links as needed.

  6. Final touches: Apply website tracking and ensure the pixel is correctly set. Review all settings before publishing.

So that's a quick walkthrough of how to create your audiences for retargeting and how to set up a campaign to apply that retargeting to them. By carefully selecting your audiences and tailoring your campaign settings, you can effectively reconnect with interested individuals, enhancing your marketing efforts and potentially increasing conversion.

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