As marketers and business professionals, we understand that a good portion of the business day is spent on social media. Social media has led to a convergence of our professional and personal lives. Additionally, social media has grown to become a highly leveraged marketing tactic. So it only makes sense that when thinking about where to allocate our advertising spend, social is one channel that is part of the consideration set.

Navigating the landscape of digital advertising on social media, in particular, display retargeting, can be cumbersome.  To help narrow the options down, below is an overview of the offerings available from the three most widely used social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn


Facebook Ad Exchange (FBX): FBX is a real-time bidding ad exchange in which advertisers drop tracking cookies on users' browsers as they engage on the web. They then use these cookies to retarget those users with relevant ads once they enter login to their Facebook account.  To leverage FBX, you must work with a Demand-side platform like Adroll. These ads are constrained to desktop news feeds and the right-hand pane. Here’s diagram of how the Ad Exchange works and an article with more information on FBX

Website Custom Audiences (WCA): Unlike FBX, you don’t need to work with a Demand-side platform, you can create your ads directly through their self serve ad tool (Power Editor).  Marketers can use their own customer data like email addresses and phone numbers to match Facebook users. Audiences can be defined by either email address, Facebook UIDs, phone numbers,app user IDs, Apple's Advertising Identifier (IDFA), or Android's advertising ID. You can further segment using Facebook standard targeting: gender, geography, marital status, and age. In addition to the advanced segmentation and targeting, you are not constrained to retargeting on desktops.  With WCA, marketers have the ability to retarget prospects on their mobile devices.

Here is a great article that breaks down the differences between FBX and WCA



Tailored Audiences: To leverage their offering, marketers must work with an ad partner. Targeting can be done by matching email addresses that exist in a company’s CRM with the email address registered to specific Twitter accounts.  To target specific users, advertisers must upload either a set of cookie ID’s or email address from their internal databases. Ad partners will also collect data that identifies your audience, which you can use to market to your customers. Marketers can then retarget leveraging either a promoted account or a 140-character promoted tweet. They can target Twitter users on either their mobile or desktop. Here is an article that provides more detail on how to use Tailored Audiences and a blog post with more information for advertisers.


LinkedIn Ads: Segmentation with LinkedIn Ads is not limited to location, age, gender, school or “interests”, marketers can further refine and target with companies, industries, skills, and job titles. When a prospect clicks on a shared link, a cookie is placed on their browser, and they may be incorporated into a relevant retargeting campaign. Advertisers can create retargeting pools using shared links and landing page views. 

Here’s an article with more information on advertising on LinkedIn and FAQ’s about LinkedIn ads