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Have you been to recently?

Or any other large e-tailer website? And after you visited/purchased something, you logged back into…

Voila! Suddenly, every refresh of your feed shows promoted banner posts for the items you just browsed.

I just left after browsing around and deciding NOT to buy the ECHO yet.

I just left after browsing around and deciding NOT to buy the ECHO yet.

You, my friend, are now being targeted by the ‘super cool social re-targeting technology’ promoted heavily by LinkedIn and Adroll, among others.

And more times than not, the problem is the items they are pushing to you OVER and OVER, are the items you ALREADY BOUGHT. Or an item you saw and decided NOT TO BUY. This applies to B2B companies too. If I download a specific white paper from a company’s website, that white paper promo later follows me around!

I got this after I had already placed an order with them

I got this after I had already placed an order with them

Hello… I already got this… But now I wish I didn’t, because I feel hounded and stalked!

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we marketers actually spent some time thinking objectively about this cool technology?

  • What about creating a list of supporting assets to the asset that was touched?
  • What about setting up rules that stop re-targeting if someone registers on your website and hits a thank-you page?
  • Distribute re-targeting ads over a period of time and limiting how many times the same ads are shown to an individual?

Some of the technologies available today do provide the granularity needed to create SMART SOCIAL RE-TARGETING campaigns which feel like a real nurture path, which can provide gentle reminders of your product/services to your prospects and actually increase the chances of your sales team closing deals with them… But the onus falls on YOU, the marketeer, to use these technologies to maximize the effect.

A very smart friend of mine recently made a very unique analogy about social media advertising. It stuck in my brain and became the inspiration for this post:

“You have to consider your social media ads akin to display items along the checkout lane at specialty stores like sports mega stores, electronic stores, home furnishing stores, etc. People don’t have any pre-set intent to buy these items, but they are placed there because the store knows that anyone coming into their specialty store may have interest in acquiring these items if presented right in front of them at an attractive price point.”


It’s an astoundingly accurate analogy, because in today’s age of targeting and re-targeting, we certainly all know (I hope) to determine adequate interest levels and product focus before showing ads to target audiences on social media.

Why is this analogy important? And what should we do if we agree?

3 Tips You Must Implement to Optimize your Social Re-targeting Campaigns

  1. Make sure that what you are offering is a LOW COMMITMENT piece, or a Social Media Adapted version of a lead gen piece from your main website. Something adapted to fit the ‘checkout lane’ display analogy.
  2. Make sure you’re not following them out of the store with a megaphone blasting out offerings. SPACE OUT re-targeting ads so they start showing up after an appropriate time span from first contact (read: remove the stalking effect).
  3. Make sure you DON’T SHOW items that the prospect has already acquired/viewed/downloaded (Untarget).  Not doing this is simply a waste of your money. You might as well set up a direct deposit from your account to Facebook/LinkedIn without showing those ads as they are doing you more harm than good.

My Pick Of the Week for #SuperCool Use of Social Ads as Email Replacement is Microsoft!!

Microsoft Using Social Ads to Alert Users of SQLServer 2005 End of Life

Want to discuss cool social marketing and social selling concepts with me? Just leave a comment here or tweet me @ggoswami.

Till next time…