The Facebook Pixel: What is it, and how to use it


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The Facebook Pixel: What is it, and how to use it

Your social media strategy is critical for your success. One of the greatest benefits a sharp social media strategy is the ability to test, track and target your business ads with laser precision – resulting in attracting and retaining more clients.

The best social media strategy includes Facebook and Instagram ads, and you need Facebook pixel – and its data gathering ability – to take your social ads to the next level. Read on to learn how Facebook pixel works, and the key details you need to know about how to use Facebook Pixel.

What is the Facebook Pixel?

The Facebook Pixel is a snippet of code that you place on your website. It collects data that helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize these ads, build targeted audiences for future ads and remarket to clients who have already taken some kind of action on your website (eg. have browsed through it). In other words, it helps you re-attract and retain clients who are already interested in your service.

How does the Facebook Pixel work?

Have you ever found yourself browsing a website, perhaps a retail website, looking at a particular product (but not buying it), only to be hit with an ad for that exact same product on your next visit to Facebook or Instagram?

This is the Facebook Pixel at work.

The Facebook Pixel places and triggers cookies to track clients as they interact with your business both on and off of Facebook and Instagram. The idea is that a potential client looks at your website, but does not purchase your service. The next time they log into their own Facebook account or Instagram account, they will see a targeted ad reminding them of your service – reminding them to purchase your service.

This is called retargeting. It’s how businesses and marketers remind shoppers to come back and buy all those items they leave in various online shopping carts across the internet. In your case, it reminds them that your business – and your services – exist, and are waiting for them. Remarketing is not the only function of the Facebook Pixel. It’s also important for tracking, analytics, and overall ad optimization – tools which, if used effectively, will help you retain more clients.

From what shows you’re watching, to what news articles you’re reading, and what purchases your making, the times in which you shop – almost all the things that you do on your laptop or mobile internet browser are being carefully observed by the Facebook Pixel – so that ads can be specifically tailored and targeted to reach you – and to make you shop.

The Facebook Pixel tracks various actions people take on your website – such as making a purchase. Facebook calls these actions “events.” The 17 standard Facebook Pixel events for which you can simply copy and paste Facebook event code are:

Purchase: The client completes a purchase on your website

Lead: The client signs up for a trial or otherwise identifies themselves as a lead on your site.

Complete registration: The client completes a registration form on your site – eg. a subscription form

Add payment info: The client enters their payment information in the purchase process on your website.

Add to cart: The client adds a product to their shopping cart on your site (but doesn’t necessarily buy it).

Add to wishlist: The client adds a product to a wishlist on your site.

Initiate checkout: The client starts the checkout process to buy something from your site (but doesn’t necessarily complete it).

Search: The client uses the search function for your website

View content: The client lands on a specific page on your website.

Contact: The client contacts your business.

Customize product: The client selects a specific version of a product, such as choosing a certain color.

Donate: The client makes a donation to your cause.

Find location: The client searches for your business’s physical location.

Schedule: The client books an appointment at your business.

Start trial: The client signs up for a free trial of your product.

Submit application: The client applies for your product, service, or program, such as a credit card.

Subscribe: The client subscribes to a paid product or service.

Using extra code, called parameters, you can also add more details to standard events. These allow you to customize the standard events based on factors, such as: how much a conversion event is worth, currency, content type and predicted long-term value – allowing you to make your advertising even more effective!

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to create your Facebook Pixel and put it to work on your website.

Step 1: Create a Facebook Pixel

1 . From your Facebook Events Manager, click Connect to Data Sourcesin the left-hand menu, then select Web. Continue by clickign Get Started.

Source: Facebook Events Manager

2 . Select Facebook Pixel, then clickConnect.

Source: Facebook Events Manager

Name your Facebook Pixel, enter your website URL, and click Continue.

Source: Facebook Events Manager

When choosing the Facebook Pixel’s name, keep in mind that with Events Manager, you only get one pixel for each ad account. Therefore, the name should represent your business, rather than a specific campaign. If you want to use more than one pixel per ad account, you can do so using Facebook Business Manager.

Step 2: Add the Facebook Pixel code to your website

To allow the Pixel to gather information on your website, you now need to install some Facebook Pixel code on your web pages. There are a few ways to do this depending on what website platform you use.

Source: Facebook Events Manager

  • Partner integrations such as WordPress or SquareSpace can help you connect your Facebook pixel without any coding. To select this option, use Partner Integration
  • If you work with a developer or someone else who can help you edit your website code, click Email Instructions to send your developer everything they need to install the pixel.
  • If neither of the above options apply, you need to insert the pixel code directly into your web pages. Read on to find out more:

How to install Pixel code directly into your webpage:

  1. Click Install code manually.
  2. Click the green Copy Codebutton.

Source: Facebook Events Manager

  1. Paste the Pixel code into the header code of your website, just above the </head> tag. You need to paste it into every single page, or into your header template if you’re using one. Click Continue.
  1. Choose whether to use automatic advanced matching. This option matches hashed customer data from your website to Facebook profiles. This lets you track conversions more accurately and create larger custom audiences – and is key for retargeting ads. Then click Continue.

Source: Facebook Events Manager

Step 3: Set up Facebook Pixel events

  1. Click the Open Event Setup Toolbutton.

Source: Facebook Events Manager

Choose your Facebook Pixel ID, then click Settings and scroll down to Open Event Setup Tool.

Source: Facebook Events Manager

  1. Enter your URL and click Open Website.

Source: Facebook Events Manager

  1. Facebook will provide a list of suggested events. Click Reviewnext to each event, then choose to Confirmor Dismiss. Click Finish Setup to continue.

If you’re interrupted in your pixel setup, you can always come back to this later by going to Events Manager.

Step 4: Confirm your Facebook Pixel is working with the Facebook pixel helper

Before you start relying on the data from your Facebook Pixel, you should confirm that it’s tracking properly.

  1. Add the Google Chrome Facebook Pixel Helperextension. If you don’t have Google Chrome, you will need to install it.

Source: Chrome Web Store

  1. Visit the page where the Facebook Pixel is installed. A popup will appear and tell you if your Pixel is working properly. If not, it will provide error information so you can make corrections.

Source: Facebook Pixel Helper

Step 5: Add a Facebook Pixel notice to your website so that visitors know that you are collecting their data. 

In order to comply with Facebook’s terms – and the law in many cases – you need to provide clear notice that you’re using the Facebook pixel and that visitor’s information may be collected through cookies or other methods. You also need to let users know how they can opt out of having their data collected. For more information, go to the Facebook Business Tools Terms and scroll down to point 3: Special Provisions Concerning the Use of Certain Business Tools. Or, check out Facebook’s Cookie Consent Resource.

How many Facebook Pixels do you actually need?
One Facebook Pixel is really all you need. One Facebook Pixel with sufficient data is enough to improve ad targeting and create more effective Facebook ads. Facebook actually allows you to create up to 100 pixels in your account – but you don’t need that many, unless you have hundreds of websites with different audiences. 

Why should you install the Facebook pixel?

Increase the ROI on your Facebook ad spend

The whole concept behind the Facebook Pixel is to ensure that your ad reaches your target audience. This allows you to improve your Facebook ad conversion rate and get better ROI.

Even if you’re not using Facebook or Instagram ads yet, you should install the Facebook pixel now on your webpages. It will start collecting data right away so that you don’t have to start from scratch when you’re ready to create your first Facebook ad.

Use Facebook conversion tracking

The Facebook Pixel allows you to see how people interact with your website after viewing your Facebook ad. Is your ad successful? What demographics is your ad successful with? You can even track customers across their devices – they may be browsing your website on their phone and then receive an ad on their laptop. This lets you see if people tend to see your ads on mobile but switch to a desktop before buying. Or, maybe it’s the other way around. This information can help you refine your ad strategy and calculate your return on investment.

Use Facebook retargeting

Facebook retargeting Pixel data and dynamic ads allow you to show targeted ads to people who have already visited your site – visitors who are most likely to become clients. For example, you can show people an ad for the exact product that they abandoned in a shopping cart or added to a wishlist on your website.

Create lookalike audiences

Facebook can use its targeting data to help you build a lookalike audience of people who have similar likes, interests and demographics to people who are already interacting with your website. This can help identify your potential customer base, target your ads directly to them, and even expand your potential customer base.

Optimize Facebook ads for value

As Facebook collects data on who buys from your site and how much they spend, it can help optimize your ad audience based on value. That means it will automatically show your ads to the people who are most likely to make high-value purchases.

Enhance Facebook pixel data with Conversions API

Recently, Facebook introduced Conversions API. Rather than relying on cookies and web and mobile browsers for data, Conversions API collects information directly from your servers. By combining Conversions API with the Facebook pixel, you’ll have access to more reliable data, even as the pixel loses information. If you’re using one of Facebook’s integration partners, like Shopify or WooCommerce, you can turn Conversions API on without writing any code.

  1. From Events Manager, click Data Sourcesin the left column, then click Settingsin the top menu.

Source: Facebook Events Manager

  1. Scroll down to the Conversions APIsection and click Choose a Partner.

Choose your partner and follow the steps. Facebook also provides detailed instructions for setting up the Facebook pixel Shopify Conversions API integration.

If you don’t use one of Facebook’s integration partners, you’ll have to create some code, and you’ll likely need to work with a developer. Follow Facebook’s detailed steps for implementing Conversions API manually.

Conversions API can help fill in data your Facebook Pixel is missing – allowing you to improve your ads even more! 

Long story short, you need Facebook Pixel, to ensure that you are getting the most value from your Facebook ads. With Facebook advertising, you will have several opportunities to engage and convert visitors into clients even after they have browsed your website. The kind of data obtained by the Facebook Pixel helps you retarget your ads to potential customers in the future – increasing the likelihood that they will become clients – and ultimately increasing your revenue. The analytics tool provides excellent insights into your audience, delivers ads to audiences who’ve shown interest in your business, and enhances the overall efficiency of your ad campaigns. 

Seriously, do your business a favor and start using Facebook Pixel now!


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