You can’t track ROI from social media right? Wrong. Tracking ROI from social marketing effects is extremely important and especially easy if you’re running Facebook ads! Without tracking the ROI of your ads you risk dumping money down the drain on campaigns that aren’t resulting in conversions (leads or sales). There are currently two simple ways to track ROI of your Facebook ads: 1. Faceook’s new conversion tracking pixel 2. Goals in Google Analytics. Facebook recently introduced Conversion Tracking for its ads (YES –finally!). To use it, simply add a pixel to your website that tracks visitor actions after they click on your ad. While I am glad that Facebook finally allows advertisers to track conversions using their ad platform, I’ve been doing this for a long time using Google Analytics. One reason advertisers should use Facebook as their primary conversion tracking tool is because the platform will auto-optimize ad bids based on conversion rate– which is an awesome money saver! But even as you begin to use conversion tracking in the Facebook ad tool, you should still use Google Analytics because it provides deeper insight into the on-site performance of ads.  Yes, using multiple tools is a hassle, but the combined insights are well worth it.  

Tracking Facebook Conversions in Google Analytics

Step 1: Create a campaign in Facebook with at least two ads in it. Facebook will automatically test ads put in the same campaign against each other based on the number of clicks (and now conversions) the ads get. The ad that gets the highest number of clicks (or conversions if you have conversion tracking enabled) will be shown more often, auto-optimizing the other one out of existence.   Step 2: Use Google’s URL Builder to create trackable links for each ad. When setting up your ads in Facebook you will need to set a URL for each. Since both of my ads are going to the same landing page, I need to create a trackable link using Google’s URL Builder. This allows me to append Campaign code to the URL so that I can track the results of each ad on its own in Google Analytics under Traffic Sources –> Campaigns.   For Campaign Source I usually use “FB” for Facebook and for Campaign Medium I use “CPC” for Cost-Per-Click ad. The Campaign Name should be based on the ad itself – some unique identifying name that will help you correlate a specific ad with its results in Google Analytics. In this example I used “Donate10VersionA” since the ad ask was to donate $10. Version A stands for version A of the ad. The URL for version B will include Donate10VersionB as the campaign name. So the final URL for Ad A would be:   And the final URL for Ad B would be:   Step 3: Make sure your Goal is set up in Google Analytics. Make sure you set up a Goal in Google Analytics to track your conversions.  If you’re not sure how, here is Google’s guide to setting up goals.  Step 4: Analyze results in Google Analytics under Campaigns. Once your ads have been running for a while and you’re generating clicks, you can track their conversion performance in Google Analytics under Campaigns.     If you remember in the example above where I manually created a trackable link I called the Campaign Name parameters “Donate10VersionA” and “Donate10VersionB.” You’ll see both of those listed here with their general stats such as Average Duration and % New Visits. If you click the Explorer tab above this section for Goals (or eCommerce if you’re tracking sales) you’ll see your conversion statistics.   In this example, you’ll see both ads have produced $0 in donations (because this is a fake campaign I created for the purpose of this post). Hopefully you will have better results! This is why Google Analytics conversion tracking is still important even though Facebook is now also providing conversion tracking. With Google Analytics you can see more than just a conversion rate – at a glance you can see revenue amounts, number of transactions, time on site, pages per visit and so on. While conversion is the king, these are all important business and marketing metrics.   Step 5: Pause the losing ad variation and test a new version against the winner. Once your ads have been running long enough that your results are statistically significant, pause the losing ad variation. There is no point in continuing to waste money on an ad that is not converting well. As soon as you pause the losing variation introduce a new ad variation to challenge your current winner. Feed the winners. Starve the losers. You might change the headline, image, body copy or all of the above. Just don’t forget to create a trackable link for it (“Donate10VersionC” or whatever naming protocol you used) so that you can measure the conversion rate in Google Analytics.   Your Thoughts Tracking conversions in social media can be easy through Google Analytics and new features in Facebook ads. Depending on the complexity of your campaigns, managing these ads can be a full-time job! I recommend starting small and outsource to a good PPC management company once your campaigns become overwhelming. Are you tracking conversions from Facebook Ads in a different way? How does your company track ROI from social media? Please leave a comment below and share – I would love to hear from you!  ]]>

TJ has worked in the digital marketing space since 2006. He has worked at a number of agencies and and helped hundreds of clients grow their business through SEO, PPC, Social Media and Content Marketing. He currently lives in Lehi , UT and enjoys spending time with his family.