Recently the Matchnode team has found itself using Facebook Analytics more and more and spending a little less time in Google Analytics and/or Heap (our usual people analytics platform). However I get the feeling that marketers, especially those that aren’t heavy Facebook Ad users, are still in the dark. Facebook web analytics have been around for a while but they were hidden under the Facebook developers platform and weren’t being actively marketed. Recently Facebook moved them to the into the main section of Business Manager and has been adding features. Here is a brief case as to why you should take a look at the platform.
10 Reasons to Use Facebook Analytics
1. It’s Free – What do you have to lose?
Every online marketer has their favorite stack of online apps that are all cheap, yet add up. Practically every day that I read a blog post or a tweet from a marketer of authority where a new app comes up. The vast majority have great use cases and can make my life easier, but at some point your stack fills up. Then it becomes like App Survivor trading one for another in the elusive search for the “Perfect,” setup. When its free I almost as take the, “What do I have to lose?” approach. This is one of those times.
2. Easy setup that is probably already done!
Okay, FREE! turned your head, but you don’t want to deal with the setup and spend more time tweaking a new platform to your needs. One of the best parts of Facebook Web Analytics is that the setup is based on the FB Pixel. The very pixel that is most likely already on your website, NO SETUP NEEDED! All you need to do is select Facebook Analytics in your Business Manager drop down and take look. If you like what you see adding some more advanced options through Google Tag Manager is a breeze. Funnels, Cohort , Retention and even Life Time Value reports can be setup in minutes.
3. The Historical data has been compiling
If the Facebook pixel was already on the site, the historical web data is already there. One of the most frustrating parts of installing a new analytics platform is waiting for the data to build (a cohort report with 2 weeks of data is pretty useless). A lot of sites now have several years worth of data stored on their Facebook Pixel and can access it immediately.
4. Accurate People Based Tracking
Just like Kiss Metrics, Heap and a dozen other platforms, Facebook Analytics is People Based, meaning it’s not dependent on session data and can track you across devices. But it isn’t just a people based solution, it’s THE people based solution due to the fact that it has access to all of the PCs, phones and tablets where we sign in to Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and What’sApp. No other people analytics platform has access to so many different ways to get first party data. Granted, you can’t assign a specific ID and track specific people through a funnel the same way other platforms can, but you can trust that overall people based data is accurate (at least to the extent that you trust Facebook).
5. Better Demographic Data
If you are already a user of Facebook Insights then you know the power of seeing which demographics are responding to your product and then refining your marketing efforts through segmentation. Age, gender, location, job title, relationship status, education level, household income, home ownership, and lifestyle information (including the Pages they like) is all accessible. Everyone who wants to know their customer better should be looking at Facebook Analytics.
6. Running Facebook Ads is easier
Duh. Stop worrying about try to make your ad stats perfectly align with your analytics platform and spend that time digging through the data. The first thing that stands out when comparing it to other platforms is that Facebook traffic actually aligns with the Facebook Ad click data. There isn’t a giant missing delta lost in the black hole known as “Direct Traffic.”
Everyone has their favorite use case, but I particularly love using the funnels to better understand the time it takes for my first click attribution to result in a sale over a period of days.
7. It integrates with your Facebook Page
What’s the value of a Facebook Page? Marketers have been trying to quantify Page efforts for years but this is the first time that you can really begin to see how your page integrates with the rest of your marketing efforts
8. Integration with mobile apps and or login apps
The Facebook Mobile SDK is also already one of the most mobile app platforms and it also fits seamlessly into Facebook Analytics. Pairing App events like Install, Signup, or login with web, fb page and ads provides a much more wholistic view of web activity.
9. Automated Insights
Ever get overwhelmed staring at data and end up with paralysis by analysis? Facebook tries to help out here by trying to pull deeper insights from the data and unearthing them automatically. They are the types of interesting nuggets that clients love to dig into like, “Retention is higher for people ages 18-24 in the United States of America.” The feature is still in beta, but the stream of insights is getting better consistently.
Because every marketer loves a good looking dashboard. Better yet, when your client asks for one you can share it in seconds.
So What’s the Catch?
For all the good, there is of course some bad. I mentioned above that you aren’t able to assign specific ID’s and track specific people due to the fact that Facebook is protecting the identity of its user. This speaks to the inherent conflict always raging within the platform keeping both advertisers and users happy. Facebook defaults to asking both sides for a level of trust. This isn’t an opinion piece on that debate, but it does point out why you don’t want to ditch your other analytics platforms anytime soon.