Retargeting in the News Feed is the next frontier in Facebook advertising. Last week, we announced that advertisers of all sizes can now create News Feed campaigns in the self-service dashboard or with the help of our Account Management teams, and have seen extraordinary results so far. We’re about two weeks in from the launch of our own campaign and wanted to share initial findings.

There are additional considerations when running a News Feed campaign, so we think this case study should be tremendously useful for other marketers who are looking to get retargeting on the News Feed.

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Our first social retargeting ad saw 235 likes and over 100 positive comments in about one week. Thanks for all the great feedback!

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Some of this engagement even contributed to viral impressions of the page post.

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You can see viral reach of the social ad in the same place you can see and moderate comments, the URL of the unpublished page post.

Notifications of comments on the page post will show up on your Facebook page.

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In full disclosure, there were a handful of people who weren’t quite as excited about the launch of these units as we were. Instead of replying to the comments as they came in, we thought we’d address some of these concerns of News Feed retargeting in this blog post and dig a little deeper:

“Advertising Doesn’t Belong in the News Feed”

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Though Facebook launched Sponsored Stories in the News Feed over two years ago, Stuart’s comment is worth consideration. Advertisers running Page Posts with any type of targeting are likely aware of the vocal minority that negatively view Facebook’s decision to place ads in the News Feed.

In January of this year, Mark Zuckerberg addressed these feelings: “we’re surprised that the quality has been naturally high and there’s been basically no engagement hit at all that’s very meaningful.”

We think that social retargeting, if done correctly, should only increase the relevancy and quality of advertisements in the News Feed.

“I’m seeing your ads all the time”

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Etienne, we thoroughly agree and have lowered frequency for our campaign and all of our advertisers’. With retargeting in the News Feed, you pay per insertions, unlike right-hand-side Facebook ads which are often bought on a cost-per-impression basis. Because a section in the News Feed can be viewed multiple times (as a user scrolls through content), one insertion often has multiple views. Additionally, the News Feed retargeting cost is reported as cost-per-thousand-insertions. Because of this, you’re getting more impressions than you would at a similar CPM.

Because the News Feed is the most prominent and engaging area on Facebook, you can be sure that an insertion is going to result in a Page Post getting viewed. Combined, these factors contribute to a much different advertising experience. We’re still thinking about and exploring ways to sequence News Feed retargeting for optimal engagement.

“This is too much”

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Our own retargeting campaigns are self-referential and transparent about the targeting we use – it’s how we showcase our product and capabilities. Though we try to keep our message lighthearted, we take privacy and consumer choice very seriously. We work with industry coalitions and partners (including Facebook) to make sure that we’re giving consumers transparency and choice about which ads they see and why they are seeing them.

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Because of our commitment to privacy and choice we serve all of our ads with the AdChoices logo offering users a way to opt-out of the ad experience.

Take-Aways

Retargeting in the News Feed is still very much in its early days – there’s much to learn. However, we’ve compiled some initial best practices for those getting started:

Include great content in your ads – People are used to content in the News Feed, not just marketing messages. Social retargeting represent the convergence of content marketing and direct response advertising. Use this to your advantage and leverage paid, earned and owned paid by running posts with substance.

Don’t run the same page posts repeatedly – Even more so than right hand side FBX ads, creative fatigue in the News Feed is real.  Run different ads and swap them out frequently so that customers don’t repeatedly see the same message.

Keep an eye on frequency cap and list durations – Advertisers will know if their potential customers enjoy the advertisements or not – customers can easily leave feedback in comments. Keep heed of the social response and don’t hesitate to test and iterate.

Be social yourself – It is Facebook afterall. Have a voice in the discussion and reply to the comments that appear on your page posts.