Social Media Advertising 101 – Facebook Pixel

When talking to clients, I’ve noticed that when I ask about what they’re doing on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms, they typically say something to the effect of “Oh yeah, we’re on Facebook” or “We’ve got over four thousand likes!” or “Oh yeah, we’re really making an effort with LinkedIn this year.”

When pressed for more information on how they’re making that effort though, the response typically is that they’ve made a commitment to posting regularly, and not much more. I’ll ask questions like: How are you targeting your ads? Have you built custom audiences? Do you have the retargeting pixels installed on your site and are you retargeting using them? And in return I get a lot of confused looks.

Simply put, many of the clients I talk to are under the impression that content marketing is all there is to social media marketing, and are unfamiliar with social media’s advertising tools.

This series of blogs is meant to help demystify social media advertising in an easy digestible way, and hopefully open the door to a new audience that was once unreachable.

Facebook Pixel Retargeting

What is the Facebook Pixel and What Does it Do?

The Facebook Pixel uses black magic (and probably some other stuff) to identify anyone logged in to Facebook who visits your website. It passes information about the visitor into your Facebook Asset Manager, and from there you can do some exceptional things.

Why Add the Facebook Pixel?

With the pixel in place to track your visitors you can use that information to build custom audiences in Facebook Asset Manager. Of course these custom audiences will be made up only of people who were interested enough in your brand to visit your website, and knowing that you can craft your messages with more precision than you might have done in the past. The pixel will also identify actions the visitor took on your site, like if they’ve viewed a specific page, added an item to their cart, or made a purchase. The second reason, is that it’s free to put in place. As smart marketers we want as much customer info as we can gather, even if we’re not planning to use it right away - you can add the pixel now for nothing, if you’re capable, and start collecting data that you might not plan to use until Valentine’s Day.

How Do I Implement the Facebook Pixel?

An important thing to note is that Facebook wants your business to use their advertising services – it’s how they make money. Because of this I’ve found that most of their services are easily accessible and are pretty well documented. There are a few steps to the process (and each platform is different), but it pretty much goes like this:

  1. 1. Log into your business manager in Facebook and navigate to “pixels”
  2. 2. Create the pixel for your business, which takes almost no time at all, like 15 seconds.
  3. 3. Determine which events you want to track.
  4. 4. Copy the script on to your site, either directly in the code, by using an extension/plugin, or in a tag manager.

How Can I Check to See if My Facebook Pixel is Working?

There a pair of simple ways to verify that your pixel is installed and tracking correctly.

The Facebook Pixel Helper extension for Google’s Chrome browser is a handy little tool that sits atop your browser and lights up to tell you that events are being tracked on your site. It shows how many pixels are present, the pixel ID (verify that it’s actually your ID, just in case), and which pixel “events” are firing.

The second way to verify that your pixel is tracking the right events is within Facebook Business Manager itself, on your pixel page. If events are being received you will see it here, with some helpful data and graphs to show time of day and date that the pixel is firing most often.

What are some ways I can use the Facebook Pixel?

Once implemented properly, you can start designing and deploying ads specifically to your site visitors. You could target people who viewed specific pages or product categories with ads designed just for those items. Keep in mind too, that you can still drill down further within this audience to specific demographics and behaviors, so you can match the right ad creative to the right audience every time.

There are a ton of possibilities with regard to retargeting in Facebook and Instagram, so get creative and let us know what you come up with!

How ParadoxLabs can assist you?

If you need a hand setting up your pixel tracking or developing a strategy for social media advertising, drop us a line. We're always happy to talk.

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