Facebook is now helping retailers close the loop from placing ads to making sales. The social network just announced via blog post that it is working directly with stores to measure the effectiveness of advertising on the social network by tracking when users who viewed a sponsored post actually made a purchase in the real world.
It’s an attribution tactic that all the biggest Internet marketing platforms are looking to develop. Companies like Facebook want to show advertisers exactly how they impact the bottom line.
Facebook is now allowing retailers to run their data on customers —emails, phone numbers— through the social network to see which ones saw an ad and then bought something.
Facebook already provided such a service indirectly to retailers working with third parties, but now it’s open through Custom Audiences, a suite of self-serve retargeting tools on the network.
With Custom Audiences, retailers already plug Facebook code —called pixels— into their websites and are able to serve ads to segments of their customer base on the social network on desktop or mobile. Retailers can also bring their own customer info to retarget on Facebook.
The new offline sales measurement is another tool to track the success —or failure— of marketing. The advertisers with manage accounts are the first group to have access to the measurement reports built with the help of a Facebook representative.
Facebook will share reports with retailers of sales lift following a campaign. The company says it’s doing so with user privacy controls in place that don’t share any more data than is already public and Facebook erases any data retailers share after it issues the sales report.