As someone who has been working on the Facebook ad platform day in and day out for the last two years, I was pretty excited when Facebook rolled out their conversion tracking. It meant that finally I could track conversions from within Facebook like I used to in Google Adwords, instead of heading over to Google Analytics to see how my Facebook campaigns are doing. Being a part of an ecommerce company helped me to work with the beta testing of their conversion tracking.
You might want to read: What is a Conversion
However, I was let down pretty badly once I started using it. The account manager associated to our account could be of little help. She asked us to recheck if the conversion pixel was placed correctly, whether it was firing correctly etc. While we were doing everything right, the Facebook conversions reported were utterly incorrect. It meant that I had to rely on Google Analytics for accurate data (which is exhausting!).
To this date, I still use Google Analytics for checking performance as well as optimizing all my Facebook ad campaigns. Facebook in complete cognizance of this issue, continues to maintain that it is an implementation error from the advertisers end – while its not.
Facebook conversion tracking invariably reports a higher number of conversions and not by a plus/minus 10% margin, the difference is usually pretty huge.
Like any diligent digital marketer, I also tried to understand Facebook conversion tracking via their FAQs and it was not very helpful. My advice to any digital marketer trying to rely on their Facebook conversion data to work on campaigns – stay away. It is absolutely inaccurate, you might as well consider it as random numbers Facebook shows you. Always use Google Analytics to measure the performance of your Facebook ads.
As proof, have a look at the conversion data that Facebook provided me for one of my campaigns:
A Cost per acquisition (CPA) of Rs.12 ($0.20) (mind you, I have the checkout pixel set as my conversion rule). It is impossible and it is stupid, anyone who has ran a PPC campaigns will tell you Facebook is massively incorrect with their Facebook conversion tracking system. CPAs of Rs.12 are unheard of and will probably remain that way for a long, long time.
The only good thing, that has come out of this is the Facebook conversion optimizer ads, that I can personally vouch for being more effective than the usual CPC Facebook ads.