Engagement on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are proving imperative to marketers’ retargeting missions.

That is according to a new survey from programmatic ad platform Chango, conducted on 400 media professionals across the US and Canada, which shows 41% naming social ad exchanges as “key” to targeting customers that have declared an interest in learning about a product or company.

Most retargeting is based on a consumer’s previous actions on the internet, and the research claims there are few better ways of contacting these highly motivated groups than through social media.  

By platform

Readings from the study reveal that 56% of media buyers, agency executives and brand executives are now using retargeting to attract new customers, with 42% seeing it as a good way to build awareness around a company.

An additional 11% of brands and 7% of agencies are going down a more cunning route – using the technique to poach business from their competitors.

When it comes to their preferred platforms for marking these connections, the study shows that Facebook is currently leading the pack. A total of 67% of the group said they were using the site’s FBX service to reach customers, allowing them to target account holders based on their browsing history.

Meanwhile 38% were found to be siding with Twitter’s Tailored Audiences tool to power their retargeting quests.

Mobile increases importance

As for their favoured devices, 2014 turned out to be a huge year for retargeting via mobile. Last year it was revealed that 89% of brands has put aside between 0-20% of their online marketing budgets for spend on smartphones and tablets, with just 9% going bolder with a proportion between 21-50%.

In 2014, the proportion of marketers dedicating 0-20% of their online spend towards mobile dropped to 73%, while the number going for a 21-50% share rose to 26%.