You’ve probably heard it thrown around, whether just the term “Facebook Pixel” or perhaps others talking about Facebook Pixel for advertising. But how many authors actually have one installed on their site? The truth is many authors don’t and when you don’t you are missing out on a very crucial and FREE advertising benefit this piece of code gives you. Authors, you need to be using a Facebook Pixel as soon as you have a website set up, and I’m going to give you some of the cool reasons below.
WHAT IS A PIXEL?
A facebook pixel is a line of code you install into your website. The main Facebook Pixel is installed into your sites header area. This main code tracks any visitor to your site, any page of your site. From here you can create secondary event pixels that you install on your pages/posts to target specific page views, actions (clicking a button) or inactions (someone who went to a product page, but never clicked through to purchase). OR you can sometimes skip the second event pixel and instead create a custom conversion audience, or a website custom audience based off the actions of your visitors.
You can also set up ads that track conversions so that Facebook can better target who they show your ad too. Ever go to a website and look around, then go back over to facebook and suddenly see an ad from the same website? That is the Facebook Pixel at work. Facebook Pixel’s are powerful, and there is A LOT of ways to use it. What I talk about here just a bit of the basics of what you can do.
WHY IS THIS AWESOME AND WHY USE IT?
If you read my post here about Marketing Basics for Author then you might remember two terms I mentioned about warm and cold audiences. When marketing you will tend to find better results if you target your ads to a warm audience, or those who have had some interaction with you before. The idea being people who have interacted with you in the past are more likely to buy from you than someone who hasn’t.
With a Facebook Pixel installed you can create a website custom audience. A website custom audience is a way for you to target people who visit your website, on Facebook. So this is a way to take someone who is already showing some interest in you and retargeting your website visitors through showing them your ad on Facebook.
side note: custom audiences are dynamic. If you target for people who have visited in the last 30 days it shifts the audience along as time goes forward.
The amazing thing with this is you can get specific on targeting and not just target everyone who has visited your site but people who instead has visited a certain page of your site. Say you have a new book releasing. You’ve been redirecting to your book’s page and also set up a Chapter One reveal page for the book. You can choose to target only the people who visited your book’s page, or even the chapter one reveal, thus hitting an audience who has already shown interest in your book.
Also, this is a great tool to allow you to create a look alike audience from once you have exhausted your warm audiences and want to try and expand to a cold audience similar to those who already enjoy your books.
Isn’t that awesome?! This is data, information you can be collecting from day one of your site being live, and working to your benefit.
SO HOW DOES ONE INSTALL THIS MAGICAL CODE?
As stated above, the Pixel needs to be installed in the header code of your website. I’m going to link to some tutorials on how to do it below.
First, how to obtain your pixel:
The above also gives some information on installing. However, I know it still is rather incomplete. Below is a link on how to do it if you have a square space account:
If you are on Squarespace:
Installing your Pixel on a Square Space site
If you have a self hosted WordPress site:
The way I install the main pixel is with the plugin Insert Headers and Footers. I’m not a coder and too afraid of breaking sites if I try and edit the main code and that plugin allows me to insert the Pixel code without fear into the header section. I’ve also used that plugin when setting up my domain with Pinterest and there is a code to verify your domain with them that must be inserted. Of note, you access this plugin from your settings menu (am I the only one that often activates a plugin and then must go on an annoying hide and seek mission to find where it installed?). I do suggest before installing the plugin to also check and make sure your theme’s customization section doesn’t also have a spot to insert code. Though if that is where you install it, be mindful of that then for if/when you ever change you theme because your pixel might not transfer.
CHECK THE INSTALLATION
Once you’ve installed it, I recommend using the Google Chrome plugin – Facebook Pixel Helper to check and make sure the install is registering correctly.
You can go back and check that your visits are being tracked by going back into your Events Manager >>Pixel and seeing if the graph is populating yet. It can take up to 24 hours for you to start seeing events being tracked there, though many will start seeing it within a few minutes of install.
NOW YOU’RE IN BUSINESS
Tell me the idea of being able to retarget website visitors on facebook doesn’t tickle your fancy? Not only that but being able to build a look alike audience based off your own audience that you know is interested in your product?! BUT, this also means making a bit of a mind shift in how you link things. You want to try and drive traffic to your site when possible. Sharing the first chapter is a great way to get a target of people you know are interested in that book. Making sure you share a graphic of the first chapter reveal to all your social media sites and Pinterest (optimized image!)