The Facebook Pixel: What It Is And How To Use It

One of the greatest benefits of social media advertising is the ability to test, track, refine, and target your ads with laser precision. The Facebook Pixel is a data gathering tool that will help you get the most out of your ads on Facebook and Instagram.

If you are using Facebook or Instagram ads now, or want to use them at a later date, the Facebook pixel is a must-have tool. Read on to learn how it works and the key details you need to know about upcoming changes for iOS 14.

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What is the Facebook pixel?

The Facebook pixel is a piece of code that you place on your website. It collects data that you can use to track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads, target audiences for future ads, and notify people who have already taken action on your website.

How does the Facebook pixel work?

The Facebook pixel places and triggers cookies to track users who interact with your company on and outside of Facebook and Instagram.

For example, I recently discovered a very cute bath mat in the Instagram Stories of Interior Design YouTuber Alexandra Gater. (At the time, I was thinking about decorating my apartment, not the Facebook pixel, so I didn't make a screen cover – you just have to trust me.)

I swiped up to check the bathmat and even put it in my shopping cart. Then I got distracted thinking about breakfast and hanging up my cell phone.

The next time I opened Instagram, this ad popped up in Stories:

Source: Baba Souk on Instagram

And the next time I went to Facebook on my laptop …

Facebook Baba Souk advert

Source: Baba Souk on Facebook

This is called Retargeting. This is a handy way for marketers to remind customers to come back and buy all of the items they leave on various shopping carts on the internet.

Remarketing isn't the only function of the Facebook pixel. This is also important for tracking, analysis, and general ad optimization.

The pixel tracks various actions that people take on your website, such as: B. Make a purchase or add something to your shopping cart. Facebook calls these actions "events".

Facebook Pixel Standard Events

The 17 default Facebook pixel events that you can simply copy and paste the Facebook event code for are:

  • Purchase: Someone is making a purchase on your website.
  • To lead: Someone signs up for a trial or otherwise identifies themselves as a lead on your website.
  • Complete registration: Someone is filling out a registration form on your website, e.g. B. a subscription form.
  • Add payment information: Someone is entering their billing information when purchasing on your website.
  • Add to Cart: Someone is adding a product to their shopping cart on your website.
  • Add to Wishlist: Someone is adding a product to a wish list on your website.
  • Initiate checkout: Someone is starting the checkout process to buy something from your website.
  • Search: Someone is using the search feature to search for something on your website.
  • Show content: Someone lands on a certain page on your website.
  • Contact: Someone is contacting your company.
  • Customize product: Someone chooses a specific version of a product, e.g. B. a certain color.
  • Donate: Somebody donates to your cause.
  • Find location: Someone is looking for the physical location of your company.
  • Time schedule: Someone is booking an appointment with your company.
  • Start trial version: Someone is signing up for a free trial of your product.
  • Send in your application: Someone is requesting your product, service, or program; B. a credit card.
  • Subscribe to: Someone is subscribing to a paid product or service.

You can also add more detail to standard events by using additional bits of code called parameters. These allow you to customize the default events based on the following factors:

  • How much is a conversion event worth?
  • currency
  • Content type
  • Expected long-term value

For example, you can use the Facebook tracking pixel to record views of a specific category on your website instead of tracking all views. You may want to separate dog owners from cat owners based on which sections of your pet supplies website they viewed.

The Facebook Pixel and iOS 14.5

Due to changes to third-party tracking in iOS 14.5, some Facebook pixel features will be disabled for updated Apple devices. Before you panic, remember that only 14.7% of Facebook mobile users access the social network through iOS devices.

However, changes that meet the requirements of iOS 14.5 will affect all advertisers. One major change is that advertisers can only Set up a maximum of eight standard events and custom conversions.

Advertisers certainly need to change their minds about the Facebook Pixel as these changes take effect. We're going to cover certain limitations and changes in this post that you need to be aware of.

Facebook Pixel Setup

Now that you know what to pursue and why you want to do it, it is time to do it Create your Facebook pixel and get it working on your website.

Step 1: create a Facebook pixel

1. In your Facebook Events Manager, click Connect to data sources Select the option from the left menu network. click Getting started keep going.

Facebook Events Manager connects a new data source web

Source: Facebook Events Manager

2. Choose Facebook pixel, then click Connect.

Connect Facebook Pixel

Source: Facebook Events Manager

Name your Pixel, enter your website url and click Continue.

Connect website activity using Facebook pixels

Source: Facebook Events Manager

When choosing the pixel name, keep in mind that Events Manager only gives you one pixel for each ad account. The name should represent your company and not 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

In order for the pixel to collect information on your website, you now need to install a Facebook pixel code on your web pages.

There are several ways to do this depending on the website platform you are using.

Install the Facebook pixel code on the website

Source: Facebook Events Manager

  • If you're using one of Facebook's integration partners like WordPress or SquareSpace, choose Use partner integration. This will walk you through a series of steps to connect your Facebook pixel without coding.
  • If you are working 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 none of the above options apply, you will need to paste the pixel code directly into your web pages. We'll show you that in this section.

1. Click on Install the code manually.

2. Click the green Copy code Button.

Copy the base code

Source: Facebook Events Manager

3. Paste the pixel code into the header code of your website just above the Label. You'll need to put it in every single page or in your header template if you're using one. click Continue.

4. Select whether the automatic extended comparison should be used. This option compares hashed customer data from your website with Facebook profiles. That way, you can track conversions more closely and create larger custom audiences. Then click Continue.

automatic extended comparison

Source: Facebook Events Manager

Step 3: set up Facebook pixel events

1. Click on Open the Event Setup Tool Button.

Add events using the event setup tool

Source: Facebook Events Manager

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

Open the event setup tool

Source: Facebook Events Manager

2. Enter your URL and click Open website.

Open Setup-Events website

Source: Facebook Events Manager

3. Facebook offers a list of suggested events. click review Then click next to each event To confirm or Dismiss. click Finish the setup keep going.

If you get interrupted in your Pixel setup, you can always come back to it later by going to Events Manager.

Step 4: make sure your pixel is working with the Facebook pixel helper

Before relying on your Facebook Pixel data, make sure that the data is being collected properly.

1. Add the Facebook Pixel Helper extension to your Google Chrome browser. (It's only available for Chrome, so if you're using a different browser, you'll need to install Chrome to use the Pixel Helper.)

Facebook Pixel Helper Google Chrome Extension

Source: Chrome Web Store

2. Visit the page on which you installed the Facebook pixel. A popup shows how many pixels are found on the page. The popup will also let you know if your Pixel is working properly. If not, error information is displayed so that you can make corrections.

Popup with information about Facebook pixel errors

Source: Facebook Pixel Helper

Step 5: Add a Facebook pixel notice to your website

In order to comply with Facebook (and in some cases the law), you need to make sure that visitors to your website know that you are collecting their data.

This means that you have to make it clear that you are using the Facebook pixel and that their information may be collected via cookies or other methods. You also need to tell users how to opt out of collecting their data.

For full details, go to the Facebook Business Tools Terms of Use and scroll down to Point 3: Special Terms for Use of Certain Business Tools. Or check out Facebook's cookie consent resource.

Why should you install the Facebook pixel?

Increase the ROI of your Facebook ad spend

You can use Facebook pixel data to ensure that your ads are seen by the people who are most likely to take the action they want. In this way, you can improve your Facebook ad conversion rate and get a better ROI.

Even if you are not yet using Facebook or Instagram ads, you should install the Facebook pixel now. Data collection starts instantly so 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 enables you to see how people interact with your website after viewing your Facebook ad.

You can even track customers across their devices. Because of this, I saw an ad for the bathmat on my laptop even though I added the shopping cart on my phone.

This is a great way to see if people are seeing your ads on mobile but switch to a desktop before making a purchase. Or maybe it's the other way around. You can use this information to refine your ad strategy and calculate your ROI.

This Facebook pixel function is affected by the change in iOS 14.5. However, Facebook ensures that advertisers continue to receive some conversion tracking data through the aggregated event measurement.

To make sure that you continue to get the best conversion tracking data, it is important to check your website domain. You'll also need to stick to one domain for conversion tracking as iOS 14.5 doesn't allow tracking across domains.

Use Facebook retargeting

With Facebook retargeting pixel data and dynamic ads, you can serve targeted ads to people who have already visited your website. You can choose here if you really want to get granular.

For example, you can show people an ad for the exact product they placed in a shopping cart or added to a wish list on your website – like the bathmat I looked at before.

Retargeting audiences will shrink as more users upgrade to iOS 14.5. But they won't go away.

Create target groups of the same kind

Facebook can use its targeting data to build a similar audience of people who have similar likes, interests, and demographics as people who are already interacting with your website. This can help grow your potential customer base.

iOS 14.5 affects the input data for lookalike audiences as the tracked audience on which the lookalike is based becomes smaller. However, with iOS users being in the minority, the lookalike features still have a lot of information to work with. You probably won't notice a significant change in functionality here.

Optimize Facebook Ads for Value

Since Facebook collects data on who is buying from your website and how much they are spending, it can help optimize your audience based on value. That means your ads will automatically be served to the people who are most likely to make high-quality purchases

Extend Facebook pixel data with the Conversions API

To counteract the data loss effects of iOS14.5 changes, Facebook introduced the Conversions API. Instead of relying on cookies and web and mobile browsers for data, the Conversions API collects information directly from your servers.

By combining the Conversions API with the Facebook pixel, you have access to more reliable data, even if the pixel loses information.

If you use one of Facebook's integration partners like Shopify or WooCommerce, you can activate the Conversions API without writing any code.

1. In the Event Manager, click Data sources Click in the left column the settings in the top menu.

Event manager data sources

Source: Facebook Events Manager

2. Scroll down to Conversions API Section and click Choose a partner.

Conversions API Choose a partner

Choose your partner and follow the steps. Facebook also provides detailed instructions on how to set up the Facebook Pixel Shopify Conversions API integration.

If you're not using any of Facebook's integration partners, you'll need to write code and likely work with a developer. Follow Facebook's detailed steps to manually implement the Conversions API.

You can use the Conversions API to enter data that your Facebook pixel is missing. For example, in late 2020, bed company Lull found that their Pixel was missing around 8% of purchase events.

After adding the Conversions API, they were able to track almost 100% of the purchase events. They also saw a 12.9% reduction in the cost per action in a one-day click and one-day view assignment window.

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