Getting Started With Facebook Retargeting (Custom Audiences)

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Getting Started With Facebook Retargeting/Custom Audiences

New to retargeting? Let’s ease into it and take a look at just the basic concepts.

Retargeting is widely recognized at one of the most powerful and inexpensive ways to advertise.  It is also something that many marketers are now doing since it is tough to get your mind around in the beginning.  Let’s see if I can help with that. 

Facebook has their own vocabulary for retargeting.  They call collecting of information about visitors and customers to your Websites creating “Custom Audiences.” You can Promote Posts with advertising in the posts to these audiences and that is generally called “Facebook Retargeting.”

Use for Facebook Retargeting #1

The first use we think of is when you look at a product on the web and DO NOT BUY. You might look at a pair of Blue Shoes.  Facebook Retargeting is when those exact Blue Shoes seem to follow you around the web. Wherever you browse lo an behold the Blue Shoes are there.   The seller of the Blue Shoes has had Facebook (or one of several other companies like Perfect Audience) collect you information as part of a Custom Audience. Now they are advertising to that audience and as a result you see the Blue Shoes.

Use for Facebook Retargeting #2

Not so obvious to those of us of the receiving end is that using Facebook Retargeting the advertiser of the Blue Shoes can create advertisements for a new product (say Red Shoes) and target the same Custom Audience.

HOW Does Facebook Retargeting Work?

The concept is simple and yet the words we use to describe it sound like Geek Speak to those outside the IT industry. I’m going to try to tease out the meaning behind those words.

There are six simple steps involved

Facebook Retargeting

  1. You open up your Ad Manager Account in Facebook and get a snippet of JavaScript.   Usually you will create a Customer Audience and then ask to view the Pixel code and copy (as in copy/paste) this code.

    NOTE: There is only One Snippet of JavaScript per Ad Manager Account. It Doesn’t matter how many websites you manage the code is identical.


  1. You insert this code so that it runs every time a page is displayed. (This is called “putting the code in the Header”). This sets up your website so that a very small image (1 pixel x 1 pixel) is displayed when someone views a page on your website.   A pixel is one of the tiny dots that make up your screen. Our typical monitors have over 1,000 dots going across each of the virtually invisible rows that make up the picture on our screen. This super tiny image is darned near invisible to the naked eye.   This code ends up being called a pixel. It is named after the one pixel by one pixel image that is displayed.
  2. A visitor comes to your website and views a page. The tiny image is displayed on each page they visit.
  3. The image being displayed is not on the website being visited. The website has to go out to another company (like Facebook) and ask for the image. When a website tries to display Facebook’s image, Facebook collects information about the browser and the person viewing the page. For Facebook this means they collect the viewer’s Facebook ID, what page they are viewing and a lot more.   All of this information is stored in a HUGE database. Facebook alone must have trillions and trillions of records in their database.
  4. As the owner of the website and a Facebook account you can ask Facebook to search their database and create a “Custom Audience” of everyone who visited a certain page or a certain website.
  5. When you are ready you make a post on one of your Facebook Fan Pages and pay Facebook to ‘Promote The Post” to members of the Custom Audience.

An Analogy

The Retargeting/Custom Audience Pixel concept is difficult to get a handle on since more teachers dive into the HOW-TO details without clarifying the underlying concepts. Even when they do SAY the concepts they are slippery enough that it is hard to grab hold of them. Here is an analogy that might help.


You are in charge of a large toll road system. Your boss asks how much money you collected in tolls. When you answer $0 he tells you to get busy and do what to takes to collect tolls on your road system.

You find out that all vehicles travelling on this road system must be equipped with little device that is automatically triggered when the visitors pass a Toll Booth. (In Florida these are called Sunpass.)


You quickly contract with a company to build a number of toll booths on the roads. The company only builds one type of Toll Booth, so all of the Toll Booths are identical for every road in your entire toll road system.   (These toll booths are the copies of the Custom Audience JavaScript – called pixels since they display a 1×1 pixel image – that you place on every website you own. There is only one set of JavaScript for each Facebook Ad Account, even if you work with dozens of websites.)

When you contract your Toll Booth Company to put in toll booths for one road, they automatically build one at every exit on that road. (You place the JavaScript on a website and you automatically have a counter on every webpage on a website.)


Once you have Toll Booths built on one of your roads they start sending information to your main office every time a vehicle passes a toll booth. You still are not collecting money. Nothing happens with this data until you tell it how much to charge for each kind of vehicle at each booth and decide to start charging.   (The JavaScript code is sending data to Facebook about every page visit on one of your websites.)


You must contract with the Toll Booth builders for each road you are in charge of. If they don’t put the booths on one of the roads you will never be able to charge for traffic on that road. (You must put the JavaScript on each website you want information on.)


At your main office you program your system to bill different amounts at different toll booths and start to create bills for the owners of the vehicles.

At this point you are collecting tolls from vehicles passing at least some of the booths. If you want to, you can activate charging at all the booths. (Going back to Facebook this is where you create a Custom Audience.) You might have a toll for vehicles that go past any Toll Booth on one of your roads (all visits to your website). You might have another toll for vehicles who enter a certain town (all visits to a specific web page).  In our Toll Booth example if a town should receive 50% of the revenue generated by vehicles entering the town, you would have to run a report to extract the data from selected toll booths.  In Facebook terms, this would be a Custom Audience.

The bottom line is that if you do not start the process of recording who passed each booth (tell Facebook which Custom Audiences you are interested in) the data doesn’t don’t do anything for you.

In our Toll Road example we would start billing the owners of vehicles based on where they traveled. In our Facebook situation we would create selected Custom Audiences and start creating posts and promoting them to those audiences.

BTW One more thing. How would you tell which vehicles stopped in a certain town.   You would identify all those who entered and all those who exited. Those who entered and didn’t exit are still in the town.   In our Facebook example we want to know who purchased an item. That one is easy. We just look at the Thank You page associated with the sale of that item. The only way for a visitor to get to that Thank You Page is to have bought the item.   Now the question is “Who was interested in the item and did NOT buy?” We can find out who landed on the sales page for the item and subtract those who landed on the Thank You page. These remaining visitors were interested enough to look at the sales page but not motivated enough to buy. These are the customers you usually “retarget.” You create posts reminding them about the product they looked at and only display that post those people who looked but did not buy.


Once you start collecting data on a website, you have the data on all pages on your website. You just need to ask Facebook to create custom audiences for the pages you are interested in and then market to those pages.


  1. You obtain a snippet of JavaScript from Facebook.
  2. You install this snippet on a website
  3. Visitors visit your website
  4. Data is sent to Facebook every time they view any page on your website.
  5. You ask Facebook to create Custom Audiences for certain pages.
  6. You create Facebook a post and have Facebook show them to the people in one of your custom audiences. (Rinse & Repeat).

 In the next Blog Post we will look at the steps you go through (with Screen Shots) to actually get the JavaScript Code, Install it in a Website, Create a Custom Audience and Create an Ad for that Audience.  Click here for Action Steps


Until Next time, you have a Great Day!  Oh Hale Yes!

↓ ↓ If this post gave you some ideas – Go ahead & comment below.  ↓ ↓

Hale Pringle

Hale Pringle Ed. D.

Hale Pringle – Hale Yes!


Skype hale.pringle



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P.S. If you are working to move sell your products on Amazon and it just isn’t working, I can help!  You can also take a look around, especially the resources menu option. You will see that I am a Certified eCommerce Coach with Ann Sieg and the Head Coach for Ecom Masters – FBA Edition.  We are selling lots of things online – mostly using FBA through Amazon.  In addition to eCommerce I specialize in list building, am a Certified Internet Marketing Trainer with Ann Sieg and an award winning blogger. I’ve also written three books on AWeber (AWeber: Quick Start) and over 20 others. You can email me or give me a Skype call. I’ll give you the benefit of my years of experience and many thousands of dollars in training and searching the rabbit hole called Internet Marketing and especially selling physical products online.  My Cell is 321 279 9615

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About Hale Pringle

Dr. Hale is an Internet Entrepreneur and Network
Marketing expert. His greatest pleasure is
helping people and he does just that, drawing
upon the immense resources that he has gathered
over the years in his unquenchable thirst for

Dr. Hale lives in beautiful, sunny Florida with
his wife, two dogs and a cat. His four children
are grown and are scattered around the state.

An eternal optimist you will hear him say
regularly: “Is this a Great Day?” The answer is
always, “Hale Yes!”

If you need help with your online marketing or a
network marketing opportunity Dr. Hale is the go
to man. “Hale Yes!”