Beware the Smart Pixel

Before you set a Facebook campaign live, it’s very important to double check Facebook’s automatically placed event pixel—it could save your entire campaign. Left unchecked, improper event pixels can result in significant ad spend dollars being miss-spent and can throw off Facebook’s machine learning to render itself fully ineffective—potentially setting your campaign up for a major loss.

I’ve seen many media buyers nearly miss this step and this early correction can really save a campaign and ensure your valuable ad spend will have it’s best chance at ROI.

As, Peter Drucker, the iconic management thinker famously put it:

This is especially problematic with machine learning, it should read: “Once you measure it improperly, your stuck managing it improperly!”

When we manage a Facebook campaign that was previously set up by the client or even an agency, the first step is to check that we are tracking all the campaign goals and that these goals match business targets.

If the pixel events are set to “view content” and the goal is to “initiate checkout”—this can be a big problem for performance if the wires get crossed.

A great way to ensure the right goals are set for your campaign is to double check the “Smart Pixel” events added by Facebook. It’s surprising to many (maybe it shouldn’t be) how these automatically connected events can track the wrong goals.

Smart Pixel placed events are shown in Facebook with the atomic icon shown below:

It’s key to track all the events and make sure they are firing correctly. We use on-page tools to then test each web page to ensure the right goal is being tracked. If your an e-commerce store and you want to sell shoes and you set your target to “initiate checkout” but Facebook has added this as “Page Likes” instead. You will likely be disappointed with the bottom-line results.

When the stakes are high and you have big goals for your next marketing campaign it can save significant ad spend, time and brand relevancy to work with a professional media buyer that can set, track and deliver on your business goals—the “smart pixel” could perhaps use a name rebrand!