How to set up a Facebook Pixel and actually use it

 What's a pixel and what does it do for my kids classes and activities?

A pixel is a small piece of code that places an image intended to load upon visiting a location online. Once that pixel loads, or "fires", it tags the individual who visited the page. This tiny line of code then allows advertisers and marketers to follow their visitors around their internet journey, creating an opportunity to "re-target" and collect information about the user. This information can be used to strategically drive leads, sales, and brand awareness by leveraging information about their online activity, demographic characteristics, interests and more. 

So why's this important for a children's activity provider? What we're talking about here is data; data that gives insight to your customers' habits and demystifies their interactions with you. Did someone make it all the way to your booking page and not book a class for their kid? Do you want to market to all the people who loved your latest blog post or video? Pixels are the main tool to help you successfully reach your digital marketing goals.

For this inaugural blog post, we'll be focusing on setting up the Facebook Pixel on your website. The Facebook Pixel is connected to an advertising account, allowing the advertiser to track users in the Facebook ecosystem as well as on their own sites. It's a cornerstone of building out an effective digital marketing strategy on Facebook & Instagram.

What you'll need to begin

Creating and installing a Facebook Pixel is free and simple–you can do this with little to no coding knowledge!

Here's what you'll need to get started:

  1. A website with admin access. This guide assumes the ability to place a code in the "header" of your website. Your header is simply the framework in which all of your pages exists–so anything that you put in the header exists on every page of your site!
  2. A Facebook Page and Advertiser Account. If you don't have a Facebook Page, you can find out how to set one up simply and for free here. If you don't have an Advertiser Account, you can set one up here.

And that's it! For a basic Facebook Pixel set up, that's all you'll need. However, if you're feeling adventurous, it's also helpful to have a customer file. Usually this is from an ESP (Email Service Provider) like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, but in its most basic form, it's an Excel sheet with your customer's emails, names, addresses and any other information they've given to you.

Generating your pixel code

If you do not have a Facebook Page for your business, or an Advertiser Account, please refer to the links before.

1. Go ahead and login to Facebook on your desktop. On the top right of your home screen, you should see a black arrow pointing down. Go ahead and click on that!

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2. Select "Create Ads"

3. Welcome to your Ads Manager! This is your dashboard for managing all your paid activity on Facebook and Instagram.

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4. On the left-hand side, click on the little hamburger icon next to "Ads Manager" and select "All Tools". On the fifth column over, select "Pixels"

5. Select "Create a Pixel"

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6. Go ahead and name your Pixel. Make it something simple, like "Business Name Pixel"

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7. Congrats! You now have your very own Facebook Pixel. Let's put it on your site. Facebook integrates directly with some of the most popular platforms on the web. Just a few are: BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, and WooCommerce. If you don't have one of these sites, you can do it manually by copying and pasting the code. Alternatively, if you work with a web developer, you can email them directly from Facebook. For this post, we'll do it manually! 

NOTE: If you have any difficulty placing the pixel in your site, please feel free to reach out to us for support–we're happy to help!

Installing your pixel

8. Click on "Manually Install the Code Yourself". On your site's CMS, (Content Management System, or "Back-End") navigate on over to your header section. This is the same area where you would've loaded Google Analytics and other software programs (including Sawyer!) Go back over to Facebook and click on the line of code to copy it automatically.

9. Paste that code into your header (between the <head> </head> tags). If you're looking at a wall of gobbledy-gook and have no idea what is going on, shoot us a message–we'll clear things up for you. If you did it–woo! You now have a Facebook Pixel on your site!

10. Facebook lets you test your pixel on that same page by entering in your website URL. Go ahead and do that. It'll let you know if it's firing correctly.

YAY! It's installed. Sit back, grab a coffee, and take a deep breath–you deserve it.

OK. Ready? Great.

What's next?

Now that you have your pixel installed, a whole wide world of marketing opportunities lies in front of you. So what do we do next?

Let's create some audiences.

A Facebook audience is a group of Facebook users that you create in three methods:

  • Core Audiences: These are what most people associate with Facebook. Create an audience based off geographic location, demographic information like age, gender, and marital status, and interests. We're not going to worry about these for right now.
  • Look-a-Like Audiences: These are audiences that Facebook generates for you by taking an already-created audience, and matching their demographic and behavioral characteristics with a much larger group. Again, we're not going to worry about these now (but we'll come back to them in a later post!)
  • Custom Audiences: These are audiences that you create using your audience information and engagement with your content, Facebook Page, and now, because you have a pixel, your website activity!

So, let's create a custom audience from your website!

Creating a custom audience from your website

1. Go back to your ads manager and click on the hamburger menu on the left-hand side. In the fourth column, "Assets", click on "Audiences". Below your Ad Account name, click on the blue button that says "Create Audience" and select "Custom Audience"

2. We'll show you how to use your customer files in a later post, but for now, let's create an audience based on people who've visited your website! Select "Website Traffic" 

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3. Make sure you have the right pixel selected. Facebook will let you track all visitors to your website up to the past 180 days. However, since we've just installed the pixel, it will only populate it with visitors from this point onward. This audience will continue to populate–which is why it's important that this is the first thing you do with your pixel. Change "30 days" to the max 180, name your audience something obvious–Website Visitors is a good one! Now click create audience.

4. Boom! You're done! You'll now have a targetable audience that allows you to send ads to people who visit your site, gather information about them, and create Look-a-Likes to grow your audiences even more! If you're new to the Facebook Ad Platform, we'd suggest clicking around a bit and getting familiar with other features.

In the next post, we'll go through some ways to use these audiences and your pixel to start strategically growing your customer base. As always, don't hesitate to reach out to our team–we're happy to help.

The Sawyer Team

Ben Green