Facebook has typically been viewed as a branding and engagement channel—a place to buy “likes” and create more intimate conversations with your prospects and customers. There’s nothing wrong with that view if you don’t care about measuring direct return on investment (ROI). The trouble is, direct response marketing requires very direct ROI measurement—something Facebook never wanted to reveal. Until now.
Conversion Tracking is Key
On January 22, 2013, Facebook announced a subtle feature that was probably overlooked by most analysts, consumers, and tech observers. Facebook (re)introduced their Conversion Tracking Pixel. As defined by Facebook:
“A conversion is an action that a person takes on your website such as checking out, registering, adding an item to the shopping cart…”
So basically, with the placement of a few lines of tracking code (“pixel”) on a website, a marketer can determine how many actions are being driven specifically from their Facebook ads. Further, a marketer can derive the exact cost per sale (or registration) driven from their Facebook ads.
This single, non-innovative, non-sexy feature has been the most impactful feature of the Facebook ad platform (OK, maybe just a smidge short of the introduction of ‘precise interests’ audience targeting).
Before conversion tracking, marketers had to implement manual tracking hacks using third-party tracking tools, like Google Analytics. For any marketer that knows, this creates a ton of friction when trying to evaluate performance and make adjustments in real-time—usually the difference between ROI-positive and ROI-negative.
Now with a few lines of code, any Facebook ad campaign can be measured based on the same ROI calculations you’d use with Google AdWords. Even if you don’t know what your target cost per sale is today, implementing the Facebook conversion pixel is still highly recommended. It will create benchmarks, and start forcing you into an ROI-based analysis of your Facebook ad spend.
We implement it for every client, and it makes all the difference!