Setting a New Standard

The Holy Grail of social media advertising has always been to test, track, refine and target your ads with total precision. When the Facebook pixel was introduced in 2013, it started the data-gathering revolution and a profound shift in ad targeting. Designed to make the most of your ads across Facebook, and, later, Instagram, Meta pixel data makes sure your ads are seen by the people most likely to engage with your ad and buy your product. It’s powerful tech that allows you to improve your Facebook ad conversion rate and get a better ROI.

What is the Meta Pixel?

The Meta pixel is a lightweight snippet of javascript code that allows us to track website activity. It works by loading a small library of functions that you can use whenever a site visitor takes an action on a specific page (Event) that you want to track (Conversion).

Here are a few ways we’re deploying the newly named (but basically the same) Meta Pixel:

1. Cross-Device Conversion Tracking

The Meta pixel shows you how people interact with your website after seeing your Facebook ad. But, as you’ve no doubt experienced, it also tracks customers across devices. Here’s an example: I saw an ad for a resort in Cancun on my laptop, even though I searched for Cancun resorts on my phone and saved one to view later.

Here, the use case is robust and helps predict buyer behavior along the customer journey. If, for example, people tend first to see your ads on mobile and then switch to a desktop before buying, you have insights into how to build the conversion funnel. Or, if it’s the other way around, this insight can make a case for a refined ad strategy.

2. Meta Retargeting

Meta’s retargeting pixel data and dynamic ads are built to show targeted ads to potential customers who have already visited your site. This can get granular. For example, let’s say someone clicked on an ad, added it to a shopping cart and then abandoned the shopping cart. Or maybe they just added it to a wishlist on your website. Retargeting will show them the exact product they were looking at. As they say in Media 101, it’s all about the impressions. But in Meta Media 101, the impressions, the timing, and the content make the difference.

3. Create Lookalike Audiences

Meta amassed all of its data and came to an AI conclusion. It can use all the pixel targeting data ever assembled to help you create a lookalike audience based on people with similar likes, interests, and demographics as those already interacting with your website. Your potential customer base just blew up!

According to a recent Hootsuite article, “iOS 14.5 will affect the input data for lookalike audiences because the tracked audience the lookalike is based on will shrink. However, because iOS users are in the minority, the lookalike functions will still have plenty of information to work with. You won’t likely notice a major change to functionality here.”

How Other Social Networks Are Shaping Up

It is also important to note that while this article has focused on the Meta Pixel, each of the social networks has a pixel that can provide valuable information. Below are just some of the benefits of installing pixels (on Meta and other networks):

Show your Ads to the Right People: Find new customers or people who have visited a specific page or taken a desired action on your website via Remarketing audiences.

Optimize Delivery: Ensure that your ads are shown to the people most likely to book a hotel room or experience.

Measure the Results of Your Ads: By measuring what happens when people see your ads, the Facebook pixel is the only way to measure true return on investment (ROI) and the effect social media advertising has on your business.

Create Custom Audiences: Dynamic ads help you automatically show site visitors the specific products (properties or rooms) they’ve viewed — or related ones— on your website.

Drive More Sales: Set up automatic bidding to reach those most likely to make a purchase or room booking.

Measure Cross-Device Conversions: Understand how your ads help influence conversions across mobile, tablet, and desktop.

Meta Pixel Standard Events

There are 17 most-used Meta pixel events — all set up so that you can copy and paste the event code:

  • Direct Sales
  • Generate Leads
  • Email Registration
  • Add payment info
  • Add to cart
  • Add to wishlist
  • Initiate checkout
  • Search
  • View content
  • Contact
  • Customize product
  • Donate
  • Find a location
  • Schedule an appointment 
  • Start a trial
  • Submit an application
  • Subscribe to a paid product or service

Finally, Let’s Talk Pixel ROI

Conversion rates on all of the events listed above are fairly easy to measure. However, you can also add more details to the standard events by adding extra bits of code called parameters. These parameters let you customize events based on ROI factors like:

  • How much a conversion event is worth
  • Predicted long-term value

A future article will discuss that level of pixel tracking on Meta and how to leverage pixels across all of your social networks for ROI. For now, enjoy all of the ways the pixel can optimize your ad campaigns–and even better, prove that the ads are working!

About the Author

David Pico
Director of Paid Media
BCV, A RateGain Company

David Pico has been a paid media expert for 15 years, working at leading media agencies across multiple markets in the US, Europe, and Latam, and including a portfolio of Advertisers and Brands that included Singapore Airlines and Marriott International.

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