In 2015, Facebook introduced the new Facebook Pixel to replace the slightly confusing, and time-consuming custom audience pixel. This new Facebook Pixel simplifies the old process, while also bringing in new, more effective tools in targeted ads.
So, what exactly is the Facebook Pixel?
It’s essentially an analytics tool designed to find new customers, and people who have previously visited and/or taken an action on your page, so that you can later target them via Facebook advertising. You can then measure the success of your results by viewing conversions and sales.
How does it work?
You can either install the pixel yourself, get a web developer to do it for you, or use an ecommerce platform such as Bigcommerce to install the pixel without editing your code. The pixel works by dropping a cookie that will track the movement of visitors on your website who are simultaneously logged in to Facebook. This information is then recorded so that you can create custom audiences based on shared behaviours between visitors and target them in future Facebook ads.
Standard Events & Custom Conversions
An ”event” is when an action occurs on your website, i.e. when an item is added to cart. You can then use these events to track conversions and build audiences. Standard events and custom conversion rules can help to define and track the actions that are of more importance to you. Standard events generally require a bit more code, but they don’t need to be tied to a URL. There are 9 conversion types with standard events that tell Facebook what to track.
Custom conversions are a little different; they’re much easier to set up, but they can be less accurate. They’re often tied to completion pages, and are used more when the actions don’t match one of the 9 standard events.
Why should I care?
With over a billion daily active users, Facebook isn’t losing momentum anytime soon, and social media is fast becoming an effective tool for advertising. The pixel is an extremely accurate record of those who have already shown a varied amount of interest in your site, making it more likely they are going to take an action you care about, such as purchasing from your site when they see your targeted advertising.