The Facebook pixel provides one of the most advanced opportunities for real estate agents to improve their Facebook marketing.
But there’s a lot of confusion surrounding what the pixel is and how to use it effectively.
Even savvy agents are struggling to fully comprehend the new Facebook pixel and to harness all of the power it provides.
To cut through the clutter, I am creating a series of articles to explain how to install, and use, the Facebook pixel to dramatically improve your Facebook marketing.
What is a Facebook pixel?
The Facebook pixel is a short piece of code that is installed on any website where you would like to track visitor activity. Any time a person interacts with that web page, the pixel reports the activity to Facebook, allowing you to create custom audiences that you can target with ads.
Examples of activity you can track with a pixel include;
- What web pages were visited
- When those web pages were visited
- How often those web pages were visited
- What web pages were not visited
- What blog posts were read
- What forms were completed on landing pages
- What content on your Facebook page was liked, shared or commented on.
- What videos on your Facebook page were watched and for how long.
Think of a custom audience as a mailing, or email, list of people who have visited your website, your landing pages or your Facebook page.
While you can’t identify the actual people by name, the Facebook pixel allows you to track this activity and use it to create highly-targeted ads.
For example, you could use the Facebook pixel to track and create a custom audience of visitors to the seller’s services page on your website.
You could then create an ad, or a series of ads, that promotes your seller representation services and have it shown only to those people in this custom audience.
The reason you would want to use the Facebook pixel is that it is much easier to convert people who are already familiar with you, by virtue of having visited your website or Facebook business page, than it is to convert cold traffic that has never heard of you.
The Facebook pixel makes this easier by enabling you to customize the ad message to specific groups of people versus treating everyone the same by showing them the same ads.
Let’s look at how to create your Facebook pixel.
Creating your Facebook pixel
If you are using the “old” Facebook pixel, you will need to create a new one as the old pixel has been phased out.
In this example, I am using the Facebook Business Manager. You do not have to be using the Business Manager to create a pixel, but the Business Manager does provide a helpful interface that makes it easy to manage your ad accounts and assets, such as custom audiences, images, pixels and more.
To create a Facebook pixel, click on the pixel link as shown below.
If you haven’t created a pixel previously, you will be taken to a screen that looks similar to the one below.
Keep in mind that Facebook makes a lot of changes to their site design and this page is likely to change.
To continue, simply click on the green button to begin creating your pixel.
The next screen will provide a drop down menu displaying your ad accounts.
Most likely you will have only a single ad account, but if you have more than one, select the ad account that you would like to create the pixel for, then click to agree to Facebook’s pixel terms.
One aspect of the terms you should be aware of is a requirement that you provide visitors to your website, or landing pages, where you intend to track visitor behavior for the purpose of creating custom audiences with sufficient notice that you are using cookies, web beacons, etc. to track behavior for the purpose of advertising.
You can read the entire terms and conditions here. Be sure to comply with the information in Paragraph C and provide the necessary language to your website manager so that it can be incorporated into your own site’s terms and conditions.
Failure to provide this notice could result in your ad account being terminated.
The next step will be to determine how you want to install your pixel code.
I recommend that you select the “Copy and Paste the Code” option.
After you have made your selection from the previous step, you will see a screen like the one below that includes your Facebook pixel code.
To copy the code, place your mouse over the area where the code is displayed and the area will turn blue, as shown below.
Clicking on the blue area will copy the code to your clipboard.
You can always access this code in the future by returning to the pixel category in your Facebook Ad Manager or Business Manager.
Installing the Facebook Pixel on your WordPress website
If you are using a WordPress-based website, I highly recommend using the free pixel plug-in from AdEspresso.
It makes installing the Facebook pixel on all of your website pages very easy.
The short video below, produced by Pixel Caffeine developer AdEspresso, explains how their pixel management plug-in works to track site interaction and create custom audiences based on that interaction.
In future articles, we will dive deeper into creating custom audiences and using them to target your site visitors with relevant ads.
To install Pixel Caffeine to your WordPress site, follow these steps;
- From the dashboard of your WordPress site, click on the plug-ins menu link
- Once you are on the plug-ins page, click “Add New Plug-In”.
- Type Pixel Caffeine into the search box and press enter.
- Click on the Install Now button to add the plug-in to your site.
Once Pixel Caffeine is installed, return to the plug-in menu in your WordPress dashboard and click on “Activate” to activate the plug-in.
To complete the setup of Pixel Caffeine, follow the steps outlined below;
First, click on the Facebook Connect button as shown.
Pixel Caffeine will then display two drop down menus where you will select the Ad Account you would like to use and the pixel you created in the earlier steps.
In most cases, you will have a single pixel and once you have selected the Ad Account, the correct pixel will be automatically added.
The last step is to enable both the Facebook pixel tracking and the Custom Audiences tracking as shown below.
We will discuss in future articles how to create and use these custom audiences.
Now that you have completed these steps, the Facebook pixel is installed, and activated, on every page of your WordPress website.
If you do not use WordPress, you will want to discuss installing the pixel with your website manager.
Installing the Facebook pixel on Leadpages landing pages
If you are using a landing page provider, such as Leadpages, to collect email addresses you will also want to install the Facebook pixel on each of your landing pages and confirmation pages.
A confirmation page is the page you set up to let the page visitor know that their request, or registration, has been received, such as a thank you page.
To install your Facebook pixel using the Leadpages templates, click on the Lead Page Options menu item as shown below.
The next screen you will see is to name your page and select the type of option. If you are adding the pixel to an existing page, you will not need to rename the page as this only applies to newly-created pages.
Click on the Tracking Code option and then click the Done button.
Copy your Facebook pixel and paste into the area labeled Head-Tag Tracking Code and then click the Done button.
Your Facebook pixel is now installed successfully on the page. Repeat this exercise for each landing, and confirmation, page that you are actively using.
If you use the Drag-n-Drop method for creating landing pages with Leadpages, click on the Tracking icon as shown below.
The next option you will see is for Page Tracking.
Select the Analytics menu item as shown below and paste your Facebook pixel in the area labeled Head Section Tracking Code as shown and then click the Save button.
At this point you can continue to design your landing page if you haven’t already done so.
Testing your Facebook pixels
To ensure that your pixels are installed correctly, and firing when your pages are viewed, I suggest you install the Facebook Pixel Helper, a free plug-in for the Chrome Internet browser. You can find it here.
The Facebook Pixel Helper installs a tracking script into the Chrome browser that identifies whether a Facebook pixel is installed on any of your website pages or landing pages.
As you can see in the example below, the Facebook Pixel Helper identified two pixels on my home page.
In future articles we will explore the different types of pixel setting you can use to track various interactions with your website pages.
For now, the Facebook Pixel Helper is a useful tool to identify if the pixel is installed correctly.
After installing the Chrome plug-in, simply visit every page of your website and any landing and confirmation pages you are using.
To see if the pixel is installed correctly, check the icon in your Chrome browser, as shown below. It will display the number of pixels installed on that particular page.
To get more information about the pixel, click on the icon.
In this lesson, we have explored how to create, install and check your Facebook pixel.
In the next lesson, I will explain how to use the Facebook pixel to create custom audiences.
If you have any questions, be sure to post them in our Facebook group and I’ll be happy to help you.