What is The Facebook Pixel?

Facebook Pixel (n.) - A piece of JavaScript code for your website that enables you to measure, optimize and build audiences for your ad campaigns and measure cross-device conversions.

The current iteration of the Facebook Pixel rolled out in 2015 and fully replaced the old Facebook pixels in 2016. So while it is relatively new, it has already proven its worth to advertisers several times over.

It’s ubiquitous enough that even if the term “Facebook Pixel” doesn’t sound familiar to you, you’ve likely encountered its results.

Take this common scenario– You go shopping on a website, browse through some products, but decide you’re not ready to buy. You leave the site and go to Facebook and the first thing you see is an ad for the store or products you were just shopping. Those ads are possible because that store’s website has a Facebook Pixel.

Why Your Website Needs a Facebook Pixel

For the savvy social media marketer, Facebook's Pixel offers invaluable information. It shows the behavior of people who visit your website; what pages they visit and where they drop off.

A peek at some of the data the pixel provides. This shows the number of website visits per day.

A peek at some of the data the pixel provides. This shows the number of website visits per day.

If your advertising goals involve driving people to a website and getting them to perform a specific action, a pixel is essential. When fully installed, the pixel will track “standard events” like Add to Cart, Purchase and Complete Registration. Optimizing for these events makes every campaign more effective and provides endless data to analyze and learn from.

Here the pixel shows standard events and how many people complete them. 

Here the pixel shows standard events and how many people complete them. 

With that information, you can build audiences of past website visitors as well as audiences of people similar to website visitors. You can also run ads with conversion goals, which means Facebook can serve ads directly to people most likely to make a purchase (or sign up for a newsletter or read a blog post) rather than those who will just click the link and leave again.

Achieving your goal is as easy as choosing the campaign objective.

Achieving your goal is as easy as choosing the campaign objective.

Still Not Convinced? Some More Reasons the Facebook Pixel is Really, Really Useful

The tactic you encountered in the scenario at the beginning of this post is called a retargeting campaign. It is just one of the things a Facebook Pixel makes possible.

In a retargeting campaign, you use the information provided by the pixel and create an audience of people who have visited your website. It is then possible to serve those people ads for products they have viewed or products you want them to buy instead.

In addition to retargeting, the pixel helps you reach new customers easily and effectively. Once installed on your website, you can build audiences of people who have completed standard events, such as an audience of people who have completed a purchase.

Then, using Facebook’s Lookalike Audience feature, you can create an audience of people similar to your customers. The people in that lookalike audience are more likely to actually complete a purchase than audiences built with interest targeting alone.

TL;DR

If you don't already have a Facebook Pixel installed on your website, install one ASAP. You won't regret it.

Story by: Kelsey Thompson