Connecting the performance of your Facebook efforts to your real-world business results has always been a challenge. How do you measure the effectiveness of a Facebook ad when users generally don't click on a Facebook ad and then immediately make a purchase?
Because of the varying nature of the modern discovery and purchase process, it's hard to connect an actual dollar figure to your Facebook performance, but The Social Network has been adding in more and more tools to help in this regard.
In line with this, this week, Facebook has announced an update to the Facebook data tracking Pixel which will provide additional options for businesses looking to work with third-party providers to merge point of sale data with Facebook performance.
As explained by Facebook:
"The Facebook pixel and offline event sets track signals across both online and offline channels and help businesses understand how people are interacting with their business. These sources can then be used to help you run more relevant and effective ads. We know some businesses share pixel or offline event data with other businesses, like ad agencies or marketing partners who may run campaigns on their behalf. To make this process more transparent, we’re rolling out new requirements in the sharing process."
The new process will require businesses to explain their relationship with the partner organization they want to share data with, and reaffirm their compliance with Facebook's Business Tools Terms of Service.
The option will facilitate such data sharing in a more accountable, transparent way, meaning more businesses will be able to utilize the process to improve their Facebook ads.
And Facebook's also announced another, likely more significant, online/offline connection tool that will spark a lot of interest.
In a separate announcement, Facebook has outlined the launch of its Instagram Account and advanced Page analytics beta program.
As per Facebook:
"At Facebook Analytics, our core quest is to help marketers understand how their content and channel strategies actually drive real business results. As part of that charter, we're excited to announce a major addition to Facebook Analytics: our Instagram Account and advanced Page analytics beta! Instagram Account analytics are a brand-new addition to our suite, and Facebook Page analytics are expanding to cover all the ways people engage with your business through your Page."
Via the new Instagram analytics, advertisers will be able to:
- Discover whether people who comment on or like Instagram posts have higher retention rates.
- Compare the lifetime value of people who interact with your Instagram account to those who don't.
- Create segments: e.g., all the people who commented on one of your posts—and analyze the value they bring to your business.
- Understand your Instagram audience overlaps with the people downloading your app, or visiting your website, or even engaging with your Facebook Page.
The new data options will provide more transparency for Instagram marketers, and with more than 25 million business profiles already active on the platform, it makes sense for Instagram to provide new options to help refine platform strategies and encourage more activity - and ad spend.
That last element is key - with Facebook's revenue growth slowing, it'll be looking to ramp up its monetization efforts in Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, using the massive reach of its key platforms to show how it will offset potential stagnation in Facebook's business performance.
Definitely, you'd expect there to be significant interest in the Instagram Analytics beta in particular - if you're interested, you can sign up to the Instagram/Page Analytics beta program here.