On January 22nd Facebook finally rolled out external conversion tracking across all ad accounts. This was a huge step since it allows businesses to track when a Facebook ad generates a lead, or revenue for them, allowing them to justify the expensive of the ads.
I won’t tell you how to install the tracking code or go through all the details since Facebook has done a good job of that here, but I will tell you how to actually see your conversions in the ad dashboard since Facebook doesn’t explain that.
Once you’ve setup the Facebook conversion tracking code and received a conversion you’ll be able to view that conversion by logging in and clicking on the campaign with a conversion. Then click on the ad title to expand it’s details. On the left you’ll then see all of the usual Facebook social actions as well as your own custom actions which you named when you setup the conversion code (here it’s named Lead):
Without expanding the individual ads all you see is a total number of “Actions”. This number includes Likes, Shares, and other social metrics which are likely dwarfed by the importance of off-site conversions. I believe this is an attempt by Facebook to still keep their own social actions in the limelight, something they’ve always done.
What would be ideal is if Facebook added a column in the ad editor which shows off-site conversions separate from other actions. This would be helpful for optimization in both the campaign and ad management screens.
If you’re trying to optimize one or two ads then this setup might work for you. If you’re like myself though who creates 100+ ads a day then it’s still best to use a third party conversion tracker like Qwaya since you can see the conversion rates of hundreds of ads at once and easily determine which ads are performing best relative to others.