Advanced Matching in Facebook Pixel - What and Why?

Jose Kantola Sep 05 2016 4 AM | 3 min read

Facebook launched an advanced matching feature in their conversion pixel (known as the Facebook Pixel) that enables you to send your customer data through the pixel to match more website actions with Facebook users. Why should you, as an advertiser, get excited and implement it right away? I’ll explain this in more detail below, but in a nutshell, it improves your ability to track conversions and can increase advertising reach by 5-25%!

What’s new?

The power of Facebook advertising is in understanding users across devices, which not only enables very accurate conversion tracking, but also building high quality target audiences for your ads. A challenge is that the user must be logged into Facebook in order for all of this to work, which limits the quality and amount of data available.

The advanced matching feature of the pixel allows you to send hashed email, name, gender, city, state, zip code and date of birth as additional conversion tracking pixel parameters. With this data, Facebook can match conversion events to your customers. This also works in situations where the Facebook pixel fires but the event is unmatched, such as when a Facebook user uses multiple browsers or mobile only.


How does this improve advertising performance?

It has two immediate effects. First, it allows you to match more users to your retargeting audiences used in Dynamic Ads and Website Custom Audiences. These are often the best performing and most profitable target audiences, so increasing reach by up to 20% can have significant impact on your overall advertising performance. In Dynamic Ads campaigns you will also have more complete and up-to-date information about which products the people are interested in, so you can serve more relevant ads to them.

Second, matching more conversion events to people also improves the quality and quantity of data available for optimization purposes. As you may have heard, Facebook’s bid optimization algorithms work much better when you reach certain conversion rates and daily conversion amounts for the target action. Thus the more data points you can offer them, the better the algorithms work and your advertising performance improves.


Is my customer data secure?

Any customer data you pass through the Facebook pixel is hashed locally on the browser before it goes to the Facebook servers for matching. This hashing process turns your data into short encrypted messages that cannot be tampered with. Facebook uses these hashes to match actions people have taken on your website with people on Facebook. Then Facebook deletes all matched and unmatched hashes within 48 hours after the matching process ends. Facebook does not collect or store any personally identifiable information on their servers.


How can I do this?

Getting started with this new possibility is quite easy, simply modify your existing Facebook pixels. You can modify the code of any pixel event that is triggered on a page where the customer is usually logged in or has provided personal information. The code should be modified by adding as many of the available new parameters as possible. Detailed instructions are described in the Facebook documentation.

As a best practice, it’s recommended to always provide first and last names with a date of birth, or a zip code with city and state to achieve the best match rate. Email address is the best match key for advanced matching, but Facebook will create the best combination of match keys based on the data you provide.

What do you think about this improvement? Have you already seen its impact on your campaigns?


You might also be interested in: The Simple Guide to Using the Facebook Pixel with Google Tag Manager

   Retail Re-UP: Adjusting to the Next Normal of Social Advertising CHECK IT NOW
Jose Kantola

Read Next