Facebook Exchange Ads: Good For What Ails You?


While not as heavily used as other forms of marketing even in the social media field, Facebook advertising is still one of the predominant marketing vehicles on the Internet today. Driven by the sheer size of Facebook’s user base and propelled to become even better by the IPO earlier this year, Facebook advertising developed something better: Facebook Exchange.

Facebook Exchange

Exchange is Facebook advertising combined with demand-side platforms (DSPs) to use retargeting to display the most relevant standard Facebook ads to specific users. Interested parties may contact their existing DSP or their Facebook representative to inquire about Facebook Exchange and go on to engage in a marketing model that has been seen to increase return on investment (ROI) as much as 16 times. Facebook standard display ads are used for Facebook Exchange.

The notable differences in Facebook Exchange are the requirement to partner up with DSPs and the use of retargeting on Facebook ads, a technique used in a lot of other ad networks and exchanges for more personalized marketing.


For the uninitiated, the simplest way to explain DSPs is that they are platforms that help businesses and marketers manage their marketing campaigns throughout many various ad networks through real-time bidding, among other services like data gathering and monitoring. In a sense, Facebook Exchange is Facebook’s ad network where DSPs can help your business display ads that are more likely to be noticed, clicked, and acted upon.

DSPs are essential for retargeting, a method of using data collected from browser cookies (among other legitimate sources) to see which online retail stores and other relevant places users have gone to and then attempt to show them ads that are aligned with their past visits. This mode of marketing creates a personalized, behavior-based marketing experience for users, which means that they are more likely to click on ads because they already showed interest in related products or services. Some of the most popular DSPs today include Triggit, Rocket Fuel, Infectious Media, and DataXu.

The Magic Touch of Retargeting

The retargeting facet of Facebook Exchange is perhaps the most noteworthy factor in play here. Retargeting ensures that your ads will be more noticed and likelier to be engaged with and clicked, and the people clicking these ads are also more likely to actually make a purchase or become a lead.

Retargeting may be an old trick, but because of Facebook’s nature it’s a trick that can go a long way. For one thing, Facebook’s standard advertising model has little targeting capabilities. Facebook Exchange changes that and opens up a whole new dimension of data for targeting gathered by DSPs. Another important factor is that retargeting on a social network makes marketing more personal instead of interruption-based. People hate being interrupted for ads but will be grateful to be shown what they actually want or need.

Of course, Facebook Exchange product manager Scott Sharpio himself noted that Facebook’s native tools are better for increasing favorability and awareness in your social graph, where Facebook Exchange is better for conversion outside of Facebook and using external (i.e. DSP provided) data.

Try it out for yourself with a partner DSP; Facebook advertising may just be the golden ticket you were waiting for.