How to on-board an existing Facebook account – Top 5 areas to focus on

July 12, 2019

When onboarding a Facebook ads account from someone else there are 5 things that you should first look at; the pixel, conversion tracking, account structure, ad variations, and audiences.

I. Pixel Set-Up

When you first get access to a new Facebook account you should always check and make sure the pixel is working properly. This is a quick and easy check, but if it is not working properly or even at all, it could really hinder account performance. To quickly check simply follow these steps:

  1. Log into the Facebook ads account
  2. Click the hamburger menu icon and go to Pixels

Once you’re there you’ll be able to see if the Facebook pixel is receiving any signals from the website. If so, it should look something like this:

If you see something like this, with a warning saying “No events received”…

That means that the Facebook Pixel of that ad account is not set up properly OR the website that it’s installed on has not received any traffic, which is unlikely, but possible. Refer to my other blog on How to Confirm Your Facebook Pixel is Working to finish out checking on the Facebook Pixel. If you need to set up a new pixel all together, refer to Facebook’s Pixel set up help doc.

With the Facebook Pixel properly set up you’ll be able to build remarketing audiences, track page events as conversions, and track what happens after a user clicks on your ad. These are all key things to success in Facebook which is way when you get a new account you should always Q&A the pixel set up.

II. Conversion/Event Tracking 

Your pixel may be set up properly but are your conversion events? The easiest to check are the custom conversions, which track conversions through a simple page view such as a thank you page. To check these:

  1. Log into the Facebook Ads account
  2. Select the hamburger menu icon and go to Custom Conversions

From here you will be able to see all of the custom conversions that have been set up and their activity. Facebook will show you when the last time the event was triggered and whether it came from a Facebook ad or not. If you see current activity you can be assured it’s at least being recognized by Facebook. PRO TIP – You should also click into the event to make sure it was set up properly. You’d want to make sure that the custom conversion rules are set up correctly and follow the website’s naming conventions for thank you pages.

The next conversions you’ll want to check are the events that the Facebook Pixel is tracking. These events all require coding and will require a bit of dev work to dig into, but you can still get a good feel on if they are working or not from the Facebook Pixel Details section within the Facebook Ad account. To get there follow these steps:

  1. Log into the Facebook Ads account
  2. Select the hamburger menu icon and go to Event Manager
  1. Then on the proper pixel select Details 

From there you’ll be able to see all of the events that have been set up for the Facebook Ad account. Each event will have a View Details button you can click into and dig a bit deeper to help with your Q&A’s. 

From within the View Details section you’ll be able to get a check on how much volume the specific event is receiving as well as see from what URL the event is firing on. If the URL’s don’t make sense then you may need to rework the code to fix the issue.

Ensuring that your conversions are set up properly will allow you to properly track and report performance. PRO TIP FOR AGENCIES- Even if the events have been set up prior to you getting access to the account you’ll still want to Q&A them. We’ve seen plenty of times where the prior agency or in house team had been double counting conversions or had other issues with instrumentation that caused inaccurate conversion metrics or audiences.

III. Account structure

When you first get access to an account it may seem like a DISASTER, to you. It’s important to take time and try to understand the structure, if there is any, of the account. This will help with fine tuning and optimizations during the first few weeks of onboarding. A few key things to look for are: are there campaigns that can be consolidated into one, how many different campaign objectives are there, what is currently live, what is currently paused, as well as checking what had been deleted prior and if you can gain any learnings from that. 

Once you have an understanding of why campaigns are organized a certain way in the account and what they’ve done prior you can begin to make adjustments that follow your new plan. You’d want to make use of as much as you can that’s already in the account to not restart Facebook’s algorithm too much. Yet you were hired for a reason, so don’t be to scared with deleting and creating new elements.

PRO TIP – Some campaign and ad set settings CANNOT be changed after they are posted. For example, you cannot change frequency caps once a campaign is posted. If you’d like to change a setting like that but don’t seem to be allowed to, simply duplicate the campaign or ad set and then make the adjustments before pushing live. This will keep everything from that level of the account and below the same and will allow you to make adjustments to things like the frequency cap.

IV. Ad variation

After you’ve checked the pixels, conversions, and account structure you should finally look at the ads. In specific, how much ad variation is there in the account. 

The first part of variation is the creative itself. Are there multiple images in use? Are there variations of ad copy in use? If an account as only one ad running across the entire account that would be a major red flag. 

Before you sound the alarm, make sure to check which ads have been deleted, as a good AM will keep an account clean and delete old ads that under performed. 

The next note of ad variations deals with ad types. Does the account only make use of one ad type? You’ll want to make sure that multiple ad types and variations of those ad types are used throughout the account. You can set up an A B test or simply launch multiple ads in an ad set and let Facebook optimize to the better performing ad. 

The reason for checking ad variation of a new account is to get a feel for what’s been tested, and answer questions like: Do certain ad types not perform well? This will help aide you in developing new creative, if needed, when onboarding. 

We suggest having at least 3-4 different ads in each ad set and every 2-4 weeks making new ads to rotate in. Facebook is a very visual heavy platform so it’s important to always be testing new images and keeping the content fresh for users.

V. Custom Audiences

The last thing to check in a new account are the custom audiences. This is important because you’ll quickly see which audiences you have available to use and which audiences you may want to request from the client. To see all available custom audiences:

  1. Log into the Facebook Ads account
  2. Select the hamburger menu icon and go to Audiences

Once there you can see all of the custom audiences that have been created. You can utilize filters to quickly check if any customer lists have been uploaded or any lookalike audiences have been made that you may want to add to your Facebook strategy. You may even come across a few audiences that you didn’t consider in your pitch and may be worth adding to your overall strategy.

All in all checking custom audiences that are available to use in the Facebook Ads account will help you when it comes to planning. You’ll know what you have and what you may want to request from a client moving forward.

On-boarding a new client can be stressful, from getting the contract signed to meeting a whole new team. That’s why I wrote this blog, to help ease some of the stress and give you a quick list to run through when on-boarding a new Facebook client. If you’ve already on-boarded your client and need optimization help or some new ideas for strategy don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Four15 Digital.