Understanding the Facebook Pixel

Pixels aren’t just for graphics anymore. There’s a new pixel in town—and if you use any sort of strategic ad campaign, especially on Facebook, this pixel is something you want to know about.

What Is the Facebook Pixel?

In the simplest terms, the Facebook “pixel” is a small piece of JavaScript code that you place on your website. Hootsuite explains: “It works by placing and triggering cookies to track users as they interact with your website and your Facebook ads.” According to Facebook, you can use the pixel to engage your existing customers, find new customers, measure results, and drive conversions, among other benefits.

Specifically, it can help you to:

Track conversions from Facebook ads. “Conversions” are people who have clicked through to your website from your ads.
Optimize your ads based on the collected data
Build targeted audiences for future Facebook ads
Remarket to qualified leads. “Qualified leads” are people who have taken some kind of action on your website.

How Do I Get One?

Each Facebook Ads account comes with a Facebook pixel. To get yours, simply go to the Pixels tab in the Facebook Ads Manager. You’ll be taken through prompts to name your pixel, accept the terms, and then request the code. Note that you must be able to access your website’s source code in order to insert the pixel. If not, you’ll need to send instructions to your webmaster.

How Do I Use It?

Once you’ve installed your pixel, make the most of it! Remember that you don’t have to use it in every product area—just where it makes the most sense for your business. Let’s look at the different areas where it can benefit you:

Dynamic Product Ads
You can use the pixel to measure the effectiveness of your paid Facebook Ads. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to set up your Product Catalog in the Facebook Business Manager. Once you do this, you can use the data from your pixel to automate delivery of multiple Facebook ads for your product catalog and reach different target audiences.

Website Custom Audiences
Based on the people who have visited your website, the pixel will help to target your Facebook ads to those who have expressed interest in your products. Basically, you’re using the targeting data to build what’s called a “lookalike audience”—people who have similar interests and demographics to those who are already interacting with your website. Not only does this greatly increase the effectiveness of your ads, it helps you find brand-new customers.

With this feature, you can also remarket to people who have already visited your website. Hootsuite explains: “You can choose to get really granular here—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. This capability is why you should create a Facebook pixel now, even if you’re not using Facebook ads yet—so you have retargeting capabilities from your very first Facebook ad.”

Conversion Tracking
This is the area where I see the most tangible benefits from the Facebook pixel. It tracks website visitors who came in from your Facebook Ads, plus any actions they make once they are on your site. You can select which “events” you want it to track—actions like search, add to cart, complete registration, purchase, and more.

According to Hootsuite, “You can even track customers across their devices so you know, for example, if people tend to see your ads on mobile but switch to a desktop before making a purchase.”

Are you using a Facebook Pixel on your business website? I’d love to hear your results!

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  • Author: Angie Dunnigan
  • About Me: Founder of aka Media Marketing, a full service Social Media Marketing Agency, Social Business Coach and Media Manager. Helping businesses connect with their target customer through our ever changing virtual world.