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What Is the Facebook Pixel? (And Why You Need It)

Akvile DeFazio
May 17th, 2018
Akvile DeFazio

Whether you’re in the social media industry or not, if you’re running Facebook Ads for your business, you need to become very well acquainted with the Facebook pixel.

No, it’s not a fancy graphic design term for social images, and nope, it’s not a merger between Facebook and Pixar.

The Facebook Pixel is a short piece of code for your website that allows you to measure, create and customize your Facebook ad campaign audiences. Not only does the pixel allow your marketing vehicles to talk to each other, but it gives you a wealth of data about your customers and better options on how to reach them.

What are the benefits of installing Facebook pixel?

  • Measure across devices (i.e. seeing how ads perform across phones, laptops and tablets)
  • Optimize your ads so they deliver to the right people
  • Create custom audiences from website visitors
  • Learn about website traffic
  • How does it work?

It would be great to know what happens after a potential customer or client views your Facebook Ad, right? Once the pixel is set up, it will report back any action (or “event,” as Facebook refers to them) taken on your website, like when a visitor makes a purchase or completes a download. Now you’re getting a much larger, birds-eye view of your sales lifecycle. Also, when multiple conversions occur on your website over time, Facebook will get better and better at delivering ads to the people who are the most likely to take the action you’re seeking. Music to any marketer or business owner’s ears!

Do I need to be a crazy talented developer to set this thing up?

No, but you do need to have enough technical skills to feel comfortable in the backend of your site. If you don’t, no problem – you can send the Facebook Pixel code to a developer or you can choose to manage it through an Integration or Tag Manager like Magento, WooCommerce or Shopify.

How do you install it?

If you’re making this a DIY project, all you need is access to your website’s code.

  1. Create your pixel code in Facebook Ads Manager. Go to your Pixels tab in Events Manager > Create a Pixel > Create.
  2. Copy and paste the pixel code in the header section on each page of your site. Look for the “<head></head>” tags or locate the header template in your CMS platform.
  3. Check that it’s communicating back to Facebook. Back in your Events Manager, click Send Test Traffic. If your status says “Active,” you’re ready to go. Remember to give it a few minutes to update.
  4. Track events. This is very important, as this tells Facebook what actions to track from your site. For step-by-step instructions, visit Facebook Help: Use Facebook Pixel.

Ok, I’m feeling better, but I still have more questions.

Don’t fret! Facebook has many resources available that will give you step-by-step instructions on how to get started. To see an example of the pixel in action, check out our post on Facebook Video Ads for Small Business. We’d also be happy to answer any questions you may have – shoot us a note or leave us a comment!


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