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Ideas & Innovation

What Are Facebook Pixels? A Quick Introduction and Usage Guide

What Are Facebook Pixels? A Quick Introduction and Usage Guide
Sep, 21
2017

Facebook Pixel is a cookie served through Javascript protocol from your website to track users and retarget them on Facebook and its Audience network. Technically, it is a 1X1 image that is served to the browser that establishes a connection with your server. Facebook Pixels are far more robust than other advertising platforms as Facebook can track the user across devices. Facebook knows if you are accessing Facebook.com through mobile or through a desktop computer and that is what makes Facebook Pixels powerful. When the same user takes an action on your ads (such as comment or click), on both the channels, Facebook does not count that as two users. This increases the accuracy of the Audience Reach for the advertiser.

Prior to 2016, Facebook had multiple pixels. One of these pixels was for creating a retargeting audience (Custom Audience) and for every conversion you needed one pixel. Then Facebook started changing its server architecture and now it has one-pixel base code which tracks conversions and creates Custom Audiences for your campaigns. Facebook changed the Pixel architecture to improve the load speed of website pages, to avoid conflicting response from its ad servers, and to make it easy for eCommerce companies to create dynamic retargeting ads with thousands and thousands of products.

Why Use the New Facebook Pixel?

The new Facebook pixel loads 3X faster than the older ones, it is unified for conversions and audiences, and you can track the Facebook Events. An event is any action on your website that can be tracked, such as when someone clicks a button or visits a page. With Facebook pixel, you can identify the events that matter to you, and those that reflect a visitor’s action. Following 9 events can be used for tracking conversions:

  1. Page View – When a key page is viewed such as a product page, e.g. landing on a product detail page. The parameters we can use in this event are value, currency, content name, content type, content ids, and content.
  2. Leads –  When a sign up is completed, e.g. click on pricing, signup for trial. Parameters we can use in this event are value, currency, content name, and content category.
  3. Search – When a search is made, e.g. when a product search query is made. The parameters we can use in this event are value, currency, content category, content ids, content, search string.
  4. Purchase – When a purchase is made or checkout flow is completed, e.g. landing on thank you/confirmation page. We can use the following parameters: value, currency, content name, content type, content ids, contents, num items
  5. Checkout Initiate – When a person enters the checkout flow prior to completing the checkout flow, e.g. click on the checkout button. The parameters we can use in this event are value, currency, content name, content category, content ids, contents, num items.
  6. Add to Cart – When a product is added to the shopping cart, e.g. click on add to cart button. The custom parameters we can use in this event are value, currency, content name, content type, content ids.
  7. Add to Wishlist – When a product is added to a wish list, e.g. click on add to wishlist button. Parameters we can use in this event are value, currency, content name, content type, content ids, contents
  8. Complete Registration – When a registration form is completed, e.g. complete subscription/signup for a service. Parameters we can use in this event are value, currency, content name, status
  9. Add Payment Information

How Does the Facebook Pixel Code Work?

When the pixel is on your website, Facebook knows when someon9e visits. They know what page they visited and when. This helps you create some amazing audience set for your website or eCommerce store. Here are some of the examples for you to think what kind of audience you can create:

  1. All your website visitors during the past 6 months.
  2. People who visited a page or group of pages such as a category or sub-category.
  3. People who visited a page but not others. Highly useful for a company such as ours where our services are in UI/UX and digital marketing. These are intertwined but still distinguishable SBUs.
  4. People who visited during the past 180 days, but not lately
  5. People who downloaded a PDF file from an iPhone.
  6. Most active 5% of your website visitors.
  7. People who typed in to the search box.

I always create different Custom Audiences for the Leads vs. Non-Leads. Excluding Leads and customers makes sense. Your message to prospective buyers can be significantly different from your message to people who have already bought from you. I target people who have visited at least twice or are in the top 25% of most active visitors when promoting a product or a service.

For your success, the Custom Audience can be different from mine. However, the key to any success with Facebook Marketing is, to continuously update, research, and use the custom audiences.

What is Advanced Matching on Facebook Pixel Code

The Facebook pixel has an advanced matching feature that enables you to send your data that you receive through login or through filling of a form, with Facebook users. With this additional data, you can report and optimize your ads for more conversions and build a larger re-marketing audiences. You can pass the customer identifiers such as email, phone number, first name, last name, and gender that you collect from your website during the check-out, account sign-in or registration process as parameters in the pixel.

Currency and Value Parameters in Event Code

Currency and value form a part of the Custom Conversions on Facebook. You can create custom conversions by adding these parameters within the event code of the events such as purchase, checkout initiated, leads, and even the Add to Cart. It is important to understand the “why” of using Currency and Value. Say if you want to design campaigns that will specifically retarget users who bought products above or below a $ figure, use these parameters. If you are selling in multiple countries and want to target your ads to people buying in a currency, here too you could use these event parameters.

Hope this guide gives you some good understanding of the basics of the Pixels. Smart marketers delve deep into the functionality and test their ad sets, campaigns, audiences, and conversion data to see what works and what doesn’t. What works for you? Tell us. And as always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate in asking us.

About Author

Ashish Roy

Ashish Roy

CTO & Co-Founder

Since founding Cibirix, Ashish has leveraged his marketing degree to lead the agency in crafting meaningful digital marketing experiences for clients. His results-driven approach is a unique mix of analytical thinking, crisp visual aesthetics and a desire to simplify frontends while developing robust architecture. With a passion for design, technology, & marketing, He leads each aspect of the agency’s business and oversees its talented team of digital professionals.

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