Metrics are certainly important in comparing the performance history of a digital marketing campaign. But that comparison is getting harder as customers gain new ways to access online platforms and services.

Facebook has worked to ease that comparison for marketers. The popular social media platform announced a cross device reporting protocol, a means to assess performance of advertising across devices. The cross device reporting will enable marketers to see how people are balancing desktop, mobile and tablet before they make a conversion.

This new cross device solution enhances analytic strategies related to the social media platform.

Connecting the Dots Devices

Facebook’s enormous audience is widely known — and so is the increasing mobile presence of that audience. In 2013, ClickZ reported a study that indicated 71percent of Facebook’s global audience accesses the platform via mobile devices.

What has puzzled marketers is the right connection of dots in how people socialize across devices. Where Facebook users spend time dictates whether they view an ad or sponsored content, both significant drivers in Facebook revenue, as well as desirable options for marketers looking to place the right message at the right place and time.

Moreover, a growing overlap between online social content and user experience is significantly influencing how consumers act and share online. Marketers and web design professionals are discovering user-friendly interface features that work on tablet, and mobile devices. The result is an increase focus on creating a coherent customer experience, one that must be measured in order for a website or product to be successful. 

This is why remarketing ads in Twitter and Google are becoming popular advertising options. In addition, platforms that introduce analytics offer verification tags that can be inserted into a website. Pinterest Analytics is a current example.

A Word About Conversion Pixels

In fact, to initiate a cross device report, users must add a conversion pixel to their website — this is the same type of requirement Pinterest requires for its website verification strategy. The conversion pixel is a snippet of code that is incorporated into a webpage’s HTML code. To create a conversion pixel user select conversion pixel under the advertising menu. There are several choices that match the pixel to the strategic purpose behind the conversion, such as checkouts, leads and registrations. 

After the conversion pixel is created and added to the webpage, the user can view a cross device report by entering the ad reports, clicking the Edit Reports option, then selecting the cross device report on the menu shown.

What users will see is an additional set of dimensions and metrics to select, with the results shown alongside Facebook advertising metrics. The cross device metrics focus on device type, such as Action Device (The device on which a user) and conversions. Interestingly, Facebook provide conversion volume and conversion value. This differs from conversion rate, a standard metric in analytics solutions.

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Better Analysis

The Facebook cross device reporting is meant to address some of the platform's loudest critics: namely, that gaining return-on-investment results from Facebook is impossible. Through cross-device reporting, advertisers can see how different devices influenced a website conversion, as well as assigning a value of the website conversion. 

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This Facebook cross device feature links a cross device strategy. Like Twitter Analytics, the strategy can be combined with a web analytics solution like Google Analytics for a comprehensive look: a look at Facebook activity, followed by influence on site conversions. (See How to Use Sophisticated Dashboards for Sophisticated Marketing for ideas on combining metrics in a dashboard.)

Ultimately, adding a cross device pixel will advance the right holistic view of the data the drives the Facebook segment of your social media strategy.

Title image by Steve Harris (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.