All Facebook advertisers can now use the social platform’s conversion tracking tool, ClickZ learned today. A spokesperson for the Palo Alto, CA-based company said the tool officially remains in beta but is now available to all ad buyers following a test period. Authorized testers have been gradually added each month since the capability was introduced in February, the spokesperson said.
Josh Koster, managing partner for Washington, DC-based Chong + Koster, said his digital agency was the fourth company to try the tool. Based on more than two months of results, he predicted that the ability to pinpoint ROI for Facebook.com ad buys by attaching sales to campaigns would cause a seismic shift in how much budget marketers allocate to the social site.
“This is huge for Facebook,” he said. “It means that Facebook is going to be a much bigger player in terms of market share.”
Koster said his mostly political clients have been getting superb ROI after being able to see what ads produced the most donations and form completions. “The minute we got conversion tracking, our clients’ ad buys on Facebook spiked,” he said.
Tracking conversions back to Facebook.com ads and optimizing campaigns on-the-fly had previously been, Koster said, “wildly arduous if clients had a different vendor for their Web site. Now that Facebook has conversion tracking…I think you are going to see a large, large jump in Facebook ad spends.”
The development comes on the heels of Facebook yesterday announcing upgrades to its analytics dashboard for third-party Web sites, app developers, and programmers. The sites using Facebook’s social plug-ins can now see what viewers “Like” and analyze other valuable data. More specifically, the social site’s Insights dashboard has put in the following metrics: daily Likes, daily Shares, feedback per Share, and re-Share rate.
Interestingly, demographic data can be gleaned from the dashboard when domain administrators sync up their third-party domain with a user ID, Facebook page, or application. While the data will not include Facebook users’ personally identifiable information (i.e., name, phone number, home address), the demographics entail a look at users’ gender, age, country, city, and preferred language. (See images below.)
Sites using Facebook Connnect/Log-in with Facebook – such as HuffingtonPost.com, WashingtonPost.com, IMBD.com, and Levi.com – could greatly benefit by getting interest-level information from how their audiences interact with content and products. But they’ll not only be able to understand their audiences’ interests in a static fashion. There’s also nothing stopping their marketing directors and IT departments from putting their heads together for real-time leveraging of the data to target ads or retail products.
As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on May 26 while addressing privacy issues, “So by doing what we are doing to push data portability forward and make these platforms more interoperable, we are actually helping other people compete with us in advertising.”
The upgraded dashboard also lets application developers obtain information about referral traffic, feedback on stream stories and other user engagement data.
Meanwhile, there’s no indication on whether or not the dashboard will have much impact on Instant Personalization partners Pandora.com, Yelp.com, or Docs.com. It’s plausible that they’ve had access to some of the new data options since going live with Instant Personalization on April 20.
Lastly, as marketers dig into the numbers, it should soon be apparent exactly how much online viewers “Like” Facebook’s social plug-ins.
Follow Christopher Heine on Twitter at @ChrisClickZ.
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