Even if you’ve never used Facebook Pixel before, you’ve almost certainly seen it at work. You know those ads on Facebook that you swear have been spying on you–otherwise, how the hell do they know the exact shirt you were just looking at from Zara? Or the dress you almost bought from Anthropologie?
Facebook Pixel, that’s how.
So, what is it, exactly?
Think of it like cookies, but much more targeted. Simply put: Facebook Pixel tracks customer activity on retail websites — everything from purchases and page views to items added to cart — and then uses that info to create personalized ads on Facebook, Instagram, and beyond.
Because if you’re anything like me, sometimes all it takes to get me to hit “Complete Order” is a little nudge a few hours later. And I’d be lying if I said social media ads didn’t get me on board for products from companies I’d never heard of before, too. Never underestimate the power of a well-placed social media ad!
Specifically, Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you add to your website. It collects data that helps you track activity on your website, market Facebook ads to potential customers who have already interacted with your website, build targeted audiences for future ads, and track the activity resulting from the ads you place on Facebook.
What the program doesn’t do is just as important as what it does. Unlike your standard cookies, Facebook Pixel won’t stalk your users and customers all up and down the world wide web. It tracks behaviors: your website and your ads on social media. That’s it.
So, where is it, exactly?
Like the perfect coffee shop or a great dive bar, Facebook Pixel can be a little hard to find if you don’t know where to look. It’s tied to your Facebook Ads account and located within your Events Manager page. If you’ve already set it up, you should find all things Pixel there.
If not, no worries. The signup process is super simple. All you need is your business URL and the ability to update its code. Then, follow this step-by-step guide from Facebook; it’s as easy as setting up a personal profile on Facebook. Or Instagram. Or TikTok. Or whatever it is the kids are using these days. (I miss Vine.) If you use platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and WordPress, don’t worry — Facebook Pixel has a plug-in that works for all those and several others. One major exception: Amazon.com (thanks a lot, Jeff Bezos). And thankfully, you can use the same Pixel code for every different type of conversion you want to track on your website.
So, now what?
Okay, so you’ve signed up for Facebook Pixel and installed it on your company’s website or shop. You’re nailing it so far. Now, the next step is to set up events to measure the types of user interactions on your website or conversions you care about. That can include searches, clicking on items, adding them to their cart, making purchases, and more.
There are two main ways to do this: again, manually, or through Facebook’s Event Setup Tool. You’ll use the same pixel code for every type of conversion on your website.
Ummm.. am I doing this right?
You’ve got the basics down. And you’re doing great, babe. But are you making the most of Facebook Pixel? There are a number of steps you can take with the program to get the most bang for your advertising bucks.
1. Shoot your shot with people who want to buy what you’re selling.
It’s great advice for dating and for social media advertising, too. Through Pixel, you can retarget ads to people who’ve interacted with your site already. Whether you’re looking to show people the top they were just looking at, or send previous customers new items similar to things they’ve bought from you before, the program’s conversion data can help you put those precious advertising dollars where they’ll do the most good.
2. Let Facebook do the matchmaking for you.
I don’t know about their new dating service, but when it comes to matching people with ads, Facebook can be a great wingman. With Pixel’s Advanced Matching features, you can combine your company’s customer data with the information Pixel tracks to better understand who’s buying your products and how best to connect with them. And there’s an automatic and a manual installation option, so businesses of all sizes can make the most of it.
3. Get set up with compatible blind dates, too.
You know how dating apps will show you people they think you’ll get along with based on your past matches? Well, Pixel can help you build lookalike audiences of people who have the same kind of likes, interests, and habits that the people who’ve already shopped with you do — which can help you find leads and grow your potential customer base.
4. Don’t sleep on quality potential dates— I mean data.
Okay, I may be in danger of overextending the metaphor here, but bear with me — this is the last one, I promise: if you’re on five dating apps, but you only check one of them on a regular basis, you could be missing out on a potentially meaningful connection. And the same goes for conversions. Put Pixel on every page of your website, so you don’t miss out on any useful data that can help grow your business.
5. Don’t just set it and forget it.
Keep up with your results. I know, I know, it sounds obvious, but especially for small business owners with a lot to juggle, it can be easy to let this ball drop. (I told you I’d move on from the dating metaphors!) But you can only reap the benefits of Pixel if you regularly check the data it tracks and uses it to inform your strategies moving forward. Plus, it can help you catch any errors in your setup. Mistakes happen, but frequent checks can help you catch and fix them sooner. And if you do find some code out of place or a conversion event that doesn’t look right, Facebook can help you troubleshoot.
So, what’s the bottom line?
Facebook Pixel can help you get the most bang for your advertising bucks by tracking conversions and retargeting ads and other strategies based on that data. All of this can help you grow the potential customer base for your brand and your company’s bottom line along with it.
Now that you understand the ins and outs of Facebook Pixel and how to use the data it collects to better understand your conversions and your customers, it’s time to put all that knowledge into action.
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