<< by on September 24th, 2010
Facebook announced yesterday that it decided to end their beta test of conversion tracking for Facebook advertising. While it’s a missed opportunity on Facebook’s part, there are ways to get around this set back. With the help of a back end database like SalesForce.com, you can still collect conversion data from your Facebook ad campaigns. By tagging the destination URL of the ad with a lead source, you can see how many downloads, sign-ups or purchases are originating from Facebook ads.
If you are running a variety of ads with different titles, copy and associated landing pages, you can create specific lead source tags to determine which ad is converting the most. From there, funds can be re-allocated to the better performing and converting ads. This may sound familiar to you PPC folks, and that’s because it is. It’s time to start implementing those tried and true strategies to social media platforms as well.
Information from conversion tracking alone isn’t as valuable as the information you can get from your back end database or CRM system. Lifetime value is just one of the factors that is not able to be determined simply by conversion tracking. When using various methods to market your products, events or services, it’s in your best interest to collect data to determine what method is performing the best. With that data, you can review and then adjust future efforts to get the most out of your marketing budget. So in all of your marketing endeavors, make sure you’re implementing a lead source tag wherever possible.
As an example, here’s how we do that at Search Mojo:
- For each lead source (i.e., Facebook, Google PPC, email newsletter, etc.), determine a code you’ll use for tracking. For instance, Facebook might be “FB”.
- In the URLs you use in each marketing tactic that lead back to your website, append the URL with a parameter for the lead source. For instance, “ls=FB”.
var leadsource = getQueryVariable(“ls”);
var query = window.location.search.substring(1);
var vars = query.split(“&”);
for (var i=0;i<vars.length;i++)
var pair = vars[i].split(“=”);
if (pair == variable)
document.write(“<input type=’hidden’ name=’leadsource’ value=’”+leadsource+”’>”);
- In your back end database or CRM system, make sure you also have a field for lead source and that you are able to process the hidden form field to populate that database field with the value passed on the form.
Obtaining the conversion data this way requires a bit more coordination compared to the tracking data being available in Facebook itself – especially if you’re working for a client and don’t have immediate access to their SalesForce or CRM data. However with a little planning and a little time in Excel, you can analyze and present to your clients exactly how much their Facebook advertising efforts are paying off.
To add some actual data to all of this talk about data, we used SalesForce to track conversions for our recent webinar about Specialty Sitemaps with Amanda Chaney.
- 57% of our webinar sign ups came from Facebook ads
- 29% of our webinar sign ups came from the DC Web Women newsletter
- The remaining 14% came from our PR efforts, LinkedIn event, our website and Facebook status.
With this data, you can bet that we’ll be allocating more time in the future towards Facebook ads. So be on the lookout. :)