What is a Facebook Pixel?

Updated: Feb 22

Facebook and Instagram ads are great tools for authors and allow you to reach a wider audience and promote your newest release. But figuring out how to target the right people with advertisements can be tricky. Facebook pixel is an analytics tool that can help you track how effective your advertising campaigns are and your website conversion rates to help you make the most of your advertising budget.

What is the Facebook Pixel?

Facebook pixel is a tool that offers you analytics to help you measure how effective your advertising campaigns are. It’s a piece of code that you can place on your website, and it will track the conversion from Facebook ads and help you to retarget people who’ve engaged with your site with future advertisements. It can assist you with understanding your target audience and how they react to your advertising campaigns. The pixel can be used to ensure your ads are shown to the right audience, which in turn should help to drive more sales for your new book. And since you’ll be able to measure the results of your ad campaigns, you can get a better idea of which ads are impactful to your audience.

How Does it Work?

When the Facebook pixel is placed on your website, it triggers cookies that will track your users as they interact with your website, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. If you’ve ever wondered how Facebook and Instagram can offer you ads that are so targeted to what you’ve recently been viewing online, this is exactly why. For example, if you’ve been browsing for a new book online and swiped up on an Instagram story, the Facebook pixel noticed. The next time you log on to Facebook or Instagram, the chances are that you’ll see another advert for the same book, especially if you didn't buy it the first time. This is what’s known as retargeting, and it can be used to reach customers who didn’t complete their purchase or sign-up on your website. This is important because most people don't buy something after seeing it once. Most of your audience will need to see your book (and like it!) multiple times before feeling enticed to add it to their shopping cart.

Why Should You Use the Facebook Pixel?

There are many reasons why any author should be using the Facebook pixel. Firstly, it will allow you to keep track of your website visitors actions. You’ll also be able to get a better idea about who your audience is and ensure you convert them into loyal readers of your books in the future. When someone browses your book titles but doesn’t go through with the purchase, you can retarget them and try and entice them once again to go through with the purchase or sign-up for your email list, launch team, etc.

When you are considering launching a new high-end offering, such as a subscription service or a limited edition set of books, you’ll be able to optimize your ads for high-value customers. With the pixel, you can get the data you need about these customers and how much they are willing to pay, and then you can optimize ads in the future for this segment of your target market. You’ll find your ROI on your advertisement spending is much improved after using Facebook pixel, stretching your marketing budget further than before. Finally, a nice perk of using the Facebook pixel is that you’ll also get access to additional tools, which can help to make your ads more exciting and effective in the future.

The Facebook Pixel Standard Events

In order to collect data about your customers and the actions they perform on your website, there are 17 standard pixel events built in. You can customize these using parameters, adding information such as currency, basket contents, and content type. To use these events, just copy and paste the Facebook event code onto your site. Doing so, you can retarget people who have performed specific actions on your website!

These are the 17 default events:

  • Purchase – making a purchase on your website

  • Lead – signing up to a free trial or another promotion on your site

  • Complete registration

  • Add payment information

  • Add to cart

  • Add to wishlist

  • Initiate checkout – someone starts checking out on your site but may or may not finish

  • Search – using the search function

  • View content – landing on a specified page on your site

  • Contact

  • Customize product – chooses a certain color of book cover or type of book

  • Donate

  • Find location – searches for your business location

  • Schedule – books an appointment or call with you

  • Start trial

  • Submit application

  • Subscribe

On top of these standard events, there’s also the option to use a Facebook custom event. You can either use these independently or alongside a standard event from the list above.

Adding the Facebook Pixel to Your Website

Now that you know all of the benefits of using the Facebook pixel, you no doubt want to get started with using this handy tool. The great news is that it’s completely free to use, so there’s no reason not to sign up today. You need to start by creating a Facebook pixel, which can be done on the Facebook Event Manager within your profile. Select pixels from the dropdown list under the menu button, and then when the page opens, click “create a pixel.”

Once you’ve created the pixel, you can then add it to your website. The method you use will depend on the type of website you use but can involve integration or the tag manager method, manual installation, or you can ask your website developer to complete this for you. To manually install the Facebook pixel, click “manually install the code yourself.” Copy the code and add it to the header code on your site on each page, ensuring you post it after the opening tag and before your closing tag. Toggle the automatic advanced matching on and click the send test traffic button by entering your website address to check it works.

You’ll then want to select from the standard events we discussed above and toggle the ones you want to use to activate them. Alternatively, set up a custom event in Facebook Events Manager.

While it takes some practice to get set up and to learn to use, it can make all the difference in your social media marketing campaigns!

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