April 20 2021

The Facebook Pixel: Helping Marketers Show ROI on Social Media

Facebook has become quite a complex platform. With a wide range of features and capabilities, it can be difficult to understand exactly how it fits into your marketing mix. Some businesses are still hesitant to make an entry to social media while others struggle to show return on investment. But there is one thing that may motivate marketers and make an impact on their ability to understand the value of their efforts on Facebook -- the Pixel. Here we’ll explore the significance of the pixel, how to implement it and how to use it to track conversions, create custom audiences and more.

What is the Facebook Pixel?

The Facebook pixel is a snippet of code that is added to each page of your website to allow you to collect important data regarding interactions with your ads and on your website. It uses cookies to track and record interactions for enhanced performance reporting within Facebook.

Why is The Facebook Pixel Important?

You’re probably wondering how the information collected through the pixel is this different from Google Analytics. While both platforms can provide valuable insights, the pixel allows you to see view-through results, rather than just click or visit-based results. What this means is businesses are able to tell if someone was served an ad on their timeline and subsequently took action, even if they didn’t directly engage with the ad. This is important because Facebook is more of a top of the funnel tactic intended to increase awareness and interest.
The likelihood of someone seeing your ad, clicking on it, and immediately taking action is pretty low -- particularly for higher touch products, such as financial solutions. However, it is more likely that someone might see the ad, become aware or interested, perhaps even take a screenshot for later reference, and perform a related search or site visit at a different time. Facebook has an attribution window, often 7-30 days depending on the condition, to help marketers tie future actions on your website to a specific ad. This allows for enhanced measurement of key performance indicators and helps identify trends, including which ads are more likely to generate engagement versus real results.

How Do I Access and Implement the Facebook Pixel?

If you’re using Facebook Business Manager to access your page and presence it is a very simple process. The pixel can be found within settings under Data Sources. Once you create the pixel, you will need to add that code to your website. One of the easiest and most flexible ways to add the pixel to your website is through Google Tag Manager. Facebook offers easy to follow instructions to help businesses through this process. Alternatively, you can manually install the pixel code into to the header of each site template so that it gets incorporated into every page on your website. You may also be able to use a partner integration, depending on your specific site.
If you’re using Google Tag Manager, once the Pixel is successfully added to the site, you will need to replicate any custom conversions that you’re already tracking using the Facebook pixel. Within Facebook, under Events Manager, administrators will be able to set up custom events and conversions (e.g., visiting a certain link, completing a specific action), which allows businesses to measure direct results from each ad. While custom conversions can be created directly in Facebook, users can also pull in any already established events in Google Tag Manager. This is most valuable for tracking more advanced conversions, such as reaching or completing an online application.
To see how each ad is contributing to these defined data points, you can customize your column view in Facebook Ads Manager by clicking the Columns drop down and choosing “Customize Columns.” From there, you can navigate to Custom Conversions from the menu and select the specific ones you want to see for an ad or ad set.

How Can You Create Custom Audiences With the Facebook Pixel?

Once the pixel is tracking visits to all of your website pages, you’re able to create custom audiences based on visitors to specific pages on your website. These audiences can be used for future ad targeting or remarketing purposes, which can help re-engage previously interested consumers with content that is optimized for relevance and guide them closer to conversion.

What Else Should I Know About Using the Facebook Pixel?

If you are using the Facebook pixel, you should let your website visitors know by including this information in your privacy policy or other relevant placement. Facebook provides some guidelines as to how businesses can successfully address these privacy considerations. Some websites use third party consent solutions, which allow visitors to opt in and manage cookies to opt out. If your website doesn’t offer such functionality, you can help consumers optimize their online experience by sharing how they can adjust their ad preferences directly within the Facebook platform.
For more information about using Facebook to achieve real business results, contact us to talk with one of our digital strategists.

  • Social Media

posted by
Brenna Kelliher
Brenna Kelliher
Associate Director of Marketing

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.
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