The Importance of Facebook Data Tracking – Do Your Numbers Add Up?

With 1.59 billion active advertisers,1 Facebook is an incredibly powerful tool for student recruitment. It offers a wide array of targeting options and ad placements that can help you expand your audience reach and exceed your enrollment goals. But how do you know if it is actually Facebook that is boosting your enrollment, and not some other marketing effort?

That’s where I come in. Or actually, the whole team here at ESM, but as a Digital Media Specialist, I’m especially excited by what Facebook allows me to do for our clients. We find your future students online, pitch targeted ads in their direction, and put sophisticated tracking in place to tie efforts to results. Then, we tweak what we do to bring about even more impressive ROI.

Did I mention tracking? It’s crucial to properly track your results, both within the Facebook User Interface (UI), and within the Customer Relationship Management tool. Without hard, cold data, you can’t connect your investment to the results it produces. Here are just a few steps we take to make sure every penny we spend on behalf of our clients can be tied to the results those pennies produce:


  1. Use the most current Facebook pixel.

The Facebook pixel is a bit of code that is placed on your website so we can track various events that take place as a result of your ad being shown on the platform. We can track prospects as they click and fill out forms once they have seen your ad.

Facebook recently announced that it’s removing the old conversion pixel in early 2017, and will discontinue support for it as of September 2016.2 Rather than wait for the impending deadline, we’re already on board.

The new pixel is far more powerful than the old pixel and has more capabilities. Instead of creating multiple pixels to track certain events, the new pixel is universal, meaning it does everything:  remarketing, conversion tracking, and tracking standard events such as registration completions and purchases. This new pixel also provides up to 20% more accurate data.3 By using the most up-to-date pixel, we’re doing all we can to gather accurate data from Facebook’s UI and drawing a direct connection between action and results.


  1. Confirm URLs and make certain they have proper tracking parameters.

Although this may seem like an obvious step, it’s absolutely vital that you don’t send traffic to a page with a broken URL. This will prevent the desired actions from occurring on your page altogether. For example, if you want prospects to fill out a form on your page but your URL is broken, they’ll be sent to a 404 page and will likely lose interest. Our ad caught their attention and brought them to your landing page, but it’s also our job to keep them on the page and drive them to convert. Broken URLs seriously hinder that process. Once we make certain your URL works, we apply tracking parameters to the end of your URL. These parameters allow us to track exactly where your traffic is coming from within Google Analytics.

  1. Send test leads through on a regular basis.

Even when all systems are go, and there don’t seem to be any discrepancies between data sources, we continually conduct tests to make sure. We don’t want any small errors—that could turn into big headaches—to go unnoticed. That’s why we perform tests every few weeks to make sure all aspects of the lead process perform properly.

When used to its potential Facebook is just amazing! From my perspective, I get to be creative, analytical, and pretty proud of the impressive results we can produce for our clients. Like to learn more about those results? Contact the HigherEd Geeks at Effective Student Marketing today!

~Devon LeGrow