What is Retargeting on Facebook?

Retargeting on Facebook refers to running ads on Facebook and Instagram targeted toward past visitors to your website, app or social media pages (Facebook and Instagram). Let’s say you run a restaurant. You’re getting traffic to your website, but they are not visiting your online ordering page, so you’re losing these customers.

Through Facebook’s tracking pixel, you can identify these visitors and run a targeted ad based on their behavior. For example, you could offer an exclusive coupon to push them towards purchase.

In fact, Facebook allows you to retarget in quite a few ways:

  • You can target prospects visiting your Website.
  • You can target previous Customers through any customer lists that you have on MailChimp or any other source.
  • You can target customers visiting your App.

You can target customers from the following Facebook Sources

  • Video – prospects who have engaged with your videos
  • Lead Form- Prospects who have filled up your lead form
  • Instant experiences
  • Instagram Business profiles – prospects who have engaged on your Instagram posts
  • Events- Prospects who have engaged with your videos
  • Facebook page- Prospects who have engaged on your Facebook posts


Getting Started



1. Setting up Facebook Business Manager

Let’s start from scratch- as a first step, we will show you how you can set up Facebook Business Manager for your Business Pages on Facebook.

Log in to Facebook Business Manager if you already have an account. However, if you do not have one, you can create an account in a few simple steps. (Although Facebook does not mix-up posts from your business and personal profiles, it is still advisable to keep your business account separate from your personal account.)

If you already have a Facebook Business manager account and have added your pages and Ad accounts to it, you may jump to the next section – Setting up your Facebook Pixel.

  • Enter a name for your business,  and enter your name and work email.
  • Enter the information in the rest of the required fields.



Once you have created your account, you need to add your Facebook business page. If you already have a Facebook Business Page, you can add its URL and continue. 

You can only add those pages for which you have admin’s access. If you manage a page for a client, you need to request access to it. Facebook will only allow you to request access to a client’s page only if you have added at least one Business page to your Facebook Business manager ( so you must have one Facebook Page for which you have admin’s access, if you don’t have one, you can create within the business manager by selecting the create page option.)

Note: If you own a  marketing agency handling several business pages, the right way to set up your account is to first create or add a page (If you already have one)  for your marketing agency. This will act as the primary page and then you can go ahead request access to all pages you manage for the clients.

  • Click on accounts in the left-hand Navigation bar on the business setting pages
  • Select pages in the drop-down menu
  • Click on add Page


  • Add the Url of your Facebook Business Page

Note: If you don’t yet have a Page for your business, create one. by selecting the option and filling the required fields.

Once you have added a Business Page, the next is adding an Ad account. Select Ad accounts Under the accounts in the left-hand navigation bar and click on add accounts.

  • You can add an ad account- if you already have one.
  • You can request access to an ad account of your clients.
  • Or you can create a new Ad account


Note: Once you have added a primary facebook business page, you can add or request access to your client’s pages and their respective add accounts.

To Summarize-

2. Setting Up The Facebook Pixel

There are several ways in which you can retarget on Facebook. Using Facebook Pixel is just one of them. Facebook Pixel is basically a tracking code that helps you to track customer behavior on your website or mobile app. All you have to do is copy and paste the code between the header Tags on each page(that you would like to track) of your website or mobile app. 

Note: If you not looking to retarget website visitors or maybe for starters you just want to retarget visitors to your facebook page or by using customer emails that you have at your disposal, you may skip this step.

So, let’s set up our pixel:

To set up your pixel, go to Menu > Events Manager> Pixels

If you have never created a pixel before, navigate to data sources and select create a pixel. Enter a name for your pixel. You can add the url of the website, however, this is an optional step.

If you have already created a Pixel- here’s how you access it.

Once you have created or accessed your existing pixel- click on install pixel.


There are several ways in which you can install the Facebook Pixel on your website.

Facebook currently integrates with BigCommerce, Google Tag Manager, Magento, Segment, Shopify, Wix, and WooCommerce. If you’re using any of these, simply select the relevant platform and follow the instructions to integrate.

If you are not using these platforms, you have the option of copy and pasting the code between the tags on your site. Here’s how:

If you want you can use the Facebook pixel to track specific actions that customers take on your site, like Add to Cart, Purchase Complete, etc. For this, you’ll need to add a few extra lines of code (shown in blue in the pic below) on the relevant pages. 

You can also set up pixel tracking for events. The business manager provides you with a number of options depending on the nature of your business. You can select the relevant option and follow the step-by-step instructions to set up event tracking.

If you are still unsure about how to set up events for your business. You can visit the pixel implementation guide which walks you step-by-step through the set-up process.


If you have a web developer working on your website or you can also simply e-mail the instructions to them for installing the pixel.

Here’s how to copy paste the code on your site- Navigate to the backend of your site

Copy and paste the Facebook Pixel just below the header tag on each page of your website that you would like to track.

You should have a separate Facebook pixel for each ad account-if you want to keep your conversion data separate across domains.

Step 3: Create a Custom Audience

Retargeting on Facebook, as we have already mentioned before, implies targeting a set of people who have visited your website or social media pages. Now the question that automatically comes to mind is that from where do you get this list of an audience who have shown a prior interest in your products. There are several possibilities here; you may be having a list of subscribed customers in your brand’s MailChimp account. Or, you may have customer data available to you via your CMS or other tools. Retargeting Ads allow you to use any kind of customer data that you have at your disposal.

Here are all the sources from which you can create a custom audience.

  • Website traffic
  • Customer List
  • App Activity
  • Offline Activity

Use Facebook Sources

  • Video
  • Lead Form
  • Instant experiences
  • Instagram Business profiles
  • Events
  • Facebook page

 Now, let’s head over to Facebook’s  Business Manager and create a custom audience to retarget.

Go to Menu > Assets >Audience.

Then select Create Audience > Custom Audience


a. First, we will be creating a custom audience based on “Website Traffic.”


Depending on your campaign goals you can select the audience you are looking to target. The Facebook business manager gives you an option of targeting

  • All website visitors
  • People who visit specific pages of your website
  • Visitors by time spent

From any events that you may have set up. In this example, we have set up two events

  • Page views
  • Purchases

Business Manager provides you several parameters, which help you to define your custom audience.
The first parameter as you can see in the pic above is “ANY or AND”. According to Facebook,
“By selecting Any, you’ll include or exclude people who meet any one of your criteria during the time period chosen by you. For example, you can include people who visited your website in the past 20 days or people who added an item to their wishlist in the past 14 days.
By selecting All, you’ll include or exclude people who meet all your criteria during the time period selected by you. For example, you can exclude people who searched for an item on your website in the past 21 days and purchased from your website in the past 21 days. You can track all prospects who visited your website within the last 180 days at the max. “

You can create a  custom audience that includes all prospects who visit your website within a specific time. This is particularly helpful if you want to keep your brand on top of the mind of customers or in the awareness phase. You can choose to show your ads to all customers who may have visited your site in the last 180 days at the max. However, we feel to say more relevant if you restrict yourself to the default 30 or 15-20 days. You can narrow down your target audience by adding another parameter- say for example excluding people who have spent less than 30 seconds on your site or including people who have triggered the page view event.

        Once you have defined your custom audience, you can give it a name and hit save.

The second option – “people who have visited specific pages on your site” allows you to create more targetted ads. Let’s see how this can be done. You can create your audience in two ways:

Now suppose you run a restaurant, you would obviously want to target customers you viewed your menu or online ordering page but did not pace an order. To set this up you can choose to include the keywords #menu #onlineordering and exclude people who visited your order confirmation or Thankyou Page.


Let’s take another example, suppose you own a store that sells home decor and you are planning to offer a discount on rugs and carpets. You would want to show an ad to all customers who have shown an interest in your rugs and carpets but abandoned their shopping carts. You can target anyone who’s looked at both your rugs and carpets AND the checkout page. This tells us that they viewed our products and are interested in them. To control ad costs or avoid showing the ad to customers who may have completed the purchase, you can exclude the people who have visited the Thankyou page.


If you are targeting audience who visited specific pages on your website, the business manager allows you to further refine the audience by frequency and device.

The third option of targeting visitors by the amount of time spent would make more sense if you own an online publication or have a blog where you write about your products. Obviously, a higher the amount of time a spent on your site may indicate that the prospect may be more likely to subscribe to your publication or purchase your products. Let’s say that your website sells men’s health products. The articles on your website’s blog discuss many men’s health-related issues, you can target the prospects who have spent five minutes or more on a page, indicating a definite interest in the topic.

The other parameter you can control here is time.  If you’re retargeting people who viewed your content or blog posts, the default 30 days might be good. However, 10 -15 days is more suitable for cart abandonment ads. Now that you’ve defined your audience all you need to do is name the group and save.

Once you have saved your audience will be lead back to the list of saved custom audiences.   It may take Facebook some time to gather the relevant data, in the interim period you will see a red light and a warning “audience too small” beside your newly created audience set in the availability column. You would have to wait for this light to turn green (this may take up to 30 minutes or more) before you can use this custom audience in any of your ads.

b. Creating a Custom Audience based on App Activity

With the help of Facebook Pixel you can also track the behavior of prospects on your mobile app. You can get more details on this here.

c. Creating a Custom Audience based on Customer files

You can create a custom audience by importing customer files from MailChimp or uploading them manually.

d. Creating a Custom Audience based on data from Facebook sources.

Business manager allows you to track customer behavior on Facebook and Instagram without the use of Facebook      Pixel. To do this you can set up a custom audience based on Facebook sources.

  • Video
  • Lead Form
  • Instant experiences
  • Instagram Business profiles
  • Events
  • Facebook page

Here are a few examples:

1.People who have interacted with your videos.

2. Custom audience based on people who have interacted with a lead form that you have integrated on Facebook.

3. Custom audience based on the people who have interacted with your events in the past.

4. People who have interacted with your Facebook page in the past.

5. People who have interacted with your Instagram page in the past.

4. Set-up your Ad

Once you have created your custom audience you can go ahead and set up your ad. If you are familiar with advertising on Facebook or Instagram, you will not have any problem setting this up.

Head over to Ad Manager within the Facebook Business Manager and click on create ads and follow each step within the guided creation. The basic steps involved are:

    a. Determine Your Objective

Depending on your goals, select your campaign objective and name your campaign.  We have selected Traffic in            this example here.


 b. Select your Audience

You should select the custom audience you set in the preceding step.  You may skip Advanced targeting as it may interfere with the custom audience that you have set up. However, this is totally up to you. Let’s say you have set up a custom audience based on all website visitors who have visited a specific page on your website, but you want to run an Ad offering discount only in a particular location, you may want to filter your custom audience by location.


   c. Set Placements

Again, it is totally up to you, but we generally recommend automatic placements.



           d. Set Your Budget

If you are just starting out with advertising on Facebook, you may want to go with Facebook’s recommendation. Keep in mind that Facebook allows you to set a daily budget and a lifetime budget for your ad. Retargeting ads work well if they run continuously.


e. Create Your Ad

Finally, you get to create your ad. Upload your Ad creative and follow the steps to create your Ad!! don’t forget to check the preview before you hit publish!!! Here is a helpful link


Retargeting Ads on Facebook are a powerful and effective way to convert casual visitors into loyal patrons. So, if are not using Retargeting Ads already, start Now!!!