Facebook Pixel Helper is a handy Chrome extension you can download which allows you to monitor if the Facebook tracking pixel you set up on your site is working properly. It’s made by Facebook itself, so it’s not a third-party extension: meaning it has access to all the information you might want. Happily, it’s also free. Get it here. If you’re not using Chrome as your browser of choice, you can download it here. Chrome is often used by web developers because of the myriad tools it offers to coders and devs. It’s probably worth having it installed (even if it’s not your primary browser) just for web development stuff.
What is a Facebook Pixel, and Why Should I Want One?
Downloading a helper browser extension is silly if you don’t have a Facebook Pixel already installed on a site you control. But what is a Facebook Pixel, what does one do, and why would you want one?
First off, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a pixel that you add to your website that is connected to Facebook. Adding one of these Facebook Pixels to your site allows you to harvest information from the people visiting your web page, and to track the actions they take while there. In most use cases, businesses install the Facebook Pixel on-site to track conversions and engagement from their Facebook ad campaigns.
Whether they add something to their cart, sign up for a newsletter, click on a pop-up, or engage with an ad while visiting your site: you’ll know about it if you have the tracking pixel installed. The benefits of this are legion. To quote G.I. Joe: knowing is half the battle.
Once you have access to the information, you can start to manipulate and study the data to learn about your customers. You can find out what they are engaging with on your page and what they’re ignoring; learn demographic data about your customers like gender, age, location, employment history, marital status, and whether or not they like the Seahawks. The types of information you can glean from a Facebook Pixel are covered in-depth here, on Facebook’s own site. Note: in order to make use of a tracking pixel from Facebook, you’ll need to have a Facebook page and account, Facebook Analytics and Facebook Ad Manager all set up beforehand.
Sound like a Facebook Pixel is something you want to set up? Here’s where to start. Don’t forget you need to be able to add code to your website in order to get the pixel installed there.
What Does Facebook Pixel Helper Do For Me?
So what does the Chrome plugin Facebook Pixel Helper actually do for you?
Once you download the extension, it should show up in the upper right hand corner of your Chrome browser, to the left of the little grey puzzle piece. If it doesn’t, click the puzzle piece, then find the Facebook Pixel Helper in the dropdown menu and click the small pushpin icon to “pin” it to the browser. To get the most out of it, you want to have it visible in the address bar. When it’s pinned and visible, it will start its work.
FB Pixel Helper is a troubleshooting tool that looks at a page and checks that the installed pixel is working as it ought to. If you’re having trouble gathering the data that you want (on ad clicks, or how many ‘Hawks fans you have) using the helper is a great way to diagnose the issue. It’s quite telling that the first solution listed on Facebook’s support page regarding a tracking pixel is “download our helper extension.” If that doesn’t solve your issue though, contact them.
If you’ve got the helper installed and a Facebook Pixel up and running, but you’re not sure what to do with the data it’s gleaning (or even which data points to start monitoring) you can learn more about telling a “selling” story with data here.