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What on Earth is a Facebook pixel and why should you have one?


Posted: 17th April 2018
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I have never hidden the fact that I love the Facebook advertising tool and I know that with the recent algorithm changes it looks like we are going to have to love Facebook advertising even more and increase our spending on the platform. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be spending your money wisely, so how can you make sure you are doing just that? Well this is where the Facebook Pixel comes in.

Let me introduce you to the ‘Facebook Pixel’ (that’s if you aren’t already acquainted)

The Facebook Pixel can help you to effectively track how many people are being prompted into activity (by visiting your website) from your Facebook ads; it can also help you to build appropriate audiences for your advertising practices, and can help you to re-market your products and services to ‘qualified’ leads – that is, people who have already visited your website following a previous advertising activity.

If someone has gone to the effort to go to your website and have a look round then there is a fair chance they are interested in your product/service and having the ability to track them and then advertise to them in Facebook is a great way to capture some of these leads.

So how does it work – sorry the next bit is a little techie!

If you are familiar with the back-end of your website and feel confident making basic changes to code, you will be able to add your own Facebook Pixel to your website quickly and easily.  Start the process by clicking into ‘Ads Manager’ from your Business Facebook Page, selecting the ‘Pixels’ tab under the heading ‘Events Manager’ and choosing to ‘Set Up Pixel’.

The step-by-step details to manually install the Facebook pixel code yourself are simple to follow as long as you understand how to make relatively simple website edits, as you will be given some unique code that you need to install in the global header of your website to make the pixel work.  If you need some additional help to install the code, you will have the option to email the installation instructions to your developer to complete the task and there are also some platforms that integrate more easily with the Facebook Pixel, like BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify and Woocommerce, etc. – each of these platforms has their own step-by-step guides, accessible from the ‘Set up’ tab to make the process of setting up your Pixel as quick and simple as possible.

Once your pixel is set up, it’s important to test that it works before preparing any new adverts! Click through from your Business Facebook Page to your Business Website, and then check back in with your Facebook Pixel Page – if the Pixel has a green circle next to it and is showing as ‘Active’, the installation has been successful.

So once it’s set up, what does your Facebook Pixel do? It works by attaching and triggering cookies to track users as they interact with your business website after they have been served an advert by Facebook.  This makes it particularly useful for reaching out to people who have already looked at specific products/services on your website, as it means that you can promote that service to them again in a highly targeted advertising campaign.  You can also reach out to a new audience of potential customers that closely resemble your most engaged current customers/website visitors.  Facebook is able to do this by looking for patterns within your current engaged audience – not just gender and age, but interests and hobbies, level of education, etc. – and matching these exact characteristics with new individuals who ‘fit the profile’ precisely.

If you’ve already got tools like Google Analytics in place, which provide some level of information about traffic to your business website from social media sources (including Facebook), you might be wondering why you should set up Facebook Pixel too? The answer is in the detail.  Facebook holds a huge amount of information about all its users, and that information makes it easier for their software to establish patterns within your demographic that you hadn’t even realised existed! Facebook Pixel is also free and simple to install, so if you advertise (or are considering advertising) via Facebook to encourage people to visit your website or buy products, it’s well worth ensuring that you’ve got your Facebook Pixel set up properly to help you advertise as cost effectively and successfully as possible.

I know the pixel can sound a bit heavy going – however I promise it is worth it!

If you haven’t got a Facebook Pixel set up yet and are looking for a little extra guidance, why not pop us a message.