Facebook is rolling out a new way for advertisers to track the effectiveness of their ads. In addition to their conversion tracking tool you’ll also be able to track via the “View Tags” system.
What Do View Tags Do?
The view tags system allows FB to drop a cookie on folks that see specific ads, but don’t click. Then later when if the FB user purchases that product or service, the advertiser knows which ad the conversion came from.
Say for example you see an ad with view tags on it but don’t click. You’re immediately tagged as someone that viewed a specific ad. Then if you ever buy that product say the next week or even the next day – the merchant knows you saw their ad on FB.
Why Is Facebook Releasing View Tags?
As usual there are always two sides to the story. On the surface it looks like this:
View Tags could help Facebook keep Google from claiming responsibility for driving sales triggered by the social network’s ads.
When you take a look at how the view tags work though, you may see a different picture. One that’s a bit more about driving revenue (and increasing shareholder value).
View Tags In Action
Advertisers are putting view tags to use. Some are seeing what appears to be excellent results
SocialCode ran an ad campaign for a consumer packaged good company looking to get people to redeem an offer. Thanks to View Tags, it found that of the total 5,924 people who redeemed the offer, 5,127 had only viewed the advertisement, compared to 797 users who clicked through to the offer directly from the ad.
It’s an interesting way to track conversions to say the least. Though it’s not a new concept entirely.
These view tags may “appear” effective. But there is a lack of conclusiveness for the advertiser in the end. How would an advertiser say that this view tags conversion was the reason someone bought the product?
Who’s to say that ad was really the reason for the conversion? Maybe that person saw a TV ad and bought? Maybe that person was recommended the product by a friend?
None of this is to say that view tags are worthless. I don’t know that. I haven’t used them. But what seems apparent is that they are more of a brand awareness tool than a specific ad tracking tool. Maybe I’m all wet on this one. Time will tell.