Facebook analytics is retiring. There. We said it. But it’s not time to panic. Facebook can be a great marketing tool for insurance agents, but it’s important to realize that this social media network — and essentially all social platforms — frequently change features.
For example, these networks often adjust their algorithms, meaning that what gets your posts seen by prospects now might not work during the next algorithm update. And these networks also often change the tools provided to business owners. In the latest instance, Facebook announced that Facebook Analytics is retiring as of June 30, 2021.
For those who have yet to use Facebook Analytics, you can think of it as simply a set of tools that help connect what prospects and customers do on and off Facebook to improve your marketing/advertising.
“Facebook Analytics can group together several Facebook pages, pixels, and apps to give a complete picture of user interactions over time.”AdEspresso, part of Hootsuite.
The Facebook pixel, or pixels from other social media sites, are essentially just lines of code that work behind the scenes to connect the dots between social media and interactions across other parts of the web. As Facebook notes, “When someone visits your website and takes an action (for example, buying something), the Facebook pixel is triggered and reports this action. This way, you’ll know when a customer took an action after seeing your Facebook ad.”
These insights can be valuable to insurance agents, such as to know whether one type of Facebook ad is leading to more policy sales than another. That said, Facebook still offers a number of business tools that insurance agents can use to understand things like how their ads are performing within Facebook or Instagram, as well as setting up pixels on agents’ own websites. There are also a number of third-party tools that can help insurance agents understand customer acquisition journeys.
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Why Is Facebook Analytics Going Away?
Facebook has not officially announced a reason for retiring Facebook Analytics. While it’s not exactly clear why Facebook Analytics is changing, it could relate to consumer privacy shifts. In particular, changes to Apple’s operating system for iPhones, iOS 14, require users to opt-in to the type of tracking that Facebook Analytics is based upon. So, while some customers might not mind providing this data, others may be more restrictive with what they want to share.
And while this may be a new feature in iOS 14, it’s part of a long-term trend toward users wanting more privacy and being more transparent about their data collection practices.
Data showing the “conversion path between a customer engaging with a business’s content and eventually making a purchase off of Facebook…has recently become more difficult to track using any tool – with or without Facebook Analytics” due to the iOS 14 update, explains reporter Matt Southern, in a Search Engine Journal article.
Facebook’s Pixel Changes
While Facebook does not specifically say that Facebook Analytics will end due to Apple’s iOS changes, the social media network does note some adjustments due to iPhone users having to opt-in for tracking.
“As more people opt out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, ads personalization and performance reporting will be limited for both app and web conversion events,” notes Facebook.
That said, insurance agents can still gain some insights via Facebook, though the network will make some corresponding pixel updates.
In particular, those who use the Facebook pixel to track conversions will be limited to monitoring eight types of conversion events, such as purchases or link clicks. If you have multiple pixels, you still could only have a total of eight events across all pixels. Among these eight events, you will only be able to optimize for one per campaign.
As part of these changes, Facebook will offer Aggregated Event Measurement to enable marketers to still use Pixels and understand conversions. However, this will be done at more of a private level with a narrower range of data, and some of the specifics remain to be seen. Facebook notes that Aggregated Event Measurement will evolve as internet browsers change “to help our advertisers support consumer privacy.”
To get ready for these updates, Facebook recommends that advertisers:
- Verify your website domain (if you haven’t already) in Facebook Business Manager
- Choose just one domain for tracking when creating ads once Apple enforces its user opt-in
- Install the Facebook pixel using an IMG tag (if you haven’t already) or use Facebook’s implementation guide
What Can Insurance Agents Use Instead of Facebook Analytics?
Although the fact that Facebook Analytics is retiring and privacy changes are causing marketers to adapt, that’s not to say that these changes will be devastating. Whether you haven’t used Facebook Analytics at all, or if you currently use it and want a replacement, insurance agents can still use a number of tools to analyze their marketing efforts, create more effective ads, and ultimately close more deals.
Within Facebook itself, the social media network suggests three other tools to use, including:
- Facebook Business Suite: This suite of tools enables you to manage your business pages on Facebook and Instagram, both in terms of setting up these pages, such as with accurate business information, as well to see insights such as on what your audience is like and how your posts have been performing. Not all businesses necessarily have access yet, but that could change.
- Ads Manager: Insurance agents can use Ads Manager to set up ad campaigns and see detailed insights on how they perform. For example, you can break down performance to see how an ad leads to website clicks when shown to users of different ages or in different regions.
- Events Manager: While you may not get as full of a view of your customer actions without Facebook Analytics, you can still use Events Manager to set up the Facebook pixel and Facebook’s Conversions API for tracking actions on your website.
In addition to Facebook’s own tools, insurance agents can also turn to third-party tools that help to understand both social media activities and website actions. For example, the tech publication Dignited shares five website analytics tools you can use, starting with Google Analytics.
“Google Analytics can be a wholesome alternative to Facebook Analytics,” says Dignited. “This is because it can help you track entire user journeys and customer flows, including acquisition and retention data.”
Broaden Your Marketing
In addition to using Facebook’s tools and other third-party analytics solutions, you can also use a number of other marketing strategies and platforms that fall outside of social media. The decision by Facebook to retire Facebook Analytics serves as a good reminder that while Facebook can be highly valuable for insurance marketing, it shouldn’t be the only thing you use.
Getting too invested in Facebook, only to have the platform change, can be hard. That’s why it’s useful for insurance agents to have other successful marketing channels. You don’t have to be on every social media network — maybe all you need is one or two that you use well — but you may also want to maintain a consistent blog, create whitepapers, network at local events, etc. That way, whether one channel changes, such as with Facebook, or whether your customers’ preferences change regarding the types of marketing they’re receptive to, you have multiple avenues to reach your intended audience going forward.
Leveraging InsurTech tools like Wheelhouse can help you convert more leads as you broaden your marketing. For example, if you create blog content aimed at drawing in specific types of small business owners, such as food companies or professional services firms, you can then create a CTA leading to a custom landing page created through Wheelhouse that’s targeted specifically to particular groups of businesses. From there, business owners can easily generate bindable quotes.
Overall, even though Facebook Analytics is going away, there are still many options for insurance agents to understand and connect with their prospects and customers. You may have to adapt a bit, but there are still great opportunities to improve your marketing and win over more clients.