How to Track Calls and Conversions from Facebook Ads

min read
How to Track Calls and Conversions from Facebook Ads

Ads on social media sites can play a big part in expanding the sales funnel — and many social media marketers see Facebook as the pinnacle of the digital advertising pyramid. And why wouldn’t they? It’s the leading social media site, with more than 2.9 billion active users worldwide. But if your Facebook marketing campaigns are driving customers to call your business, how can you track calls from ads and the conversions generated? More importantly, how do you know whether those conversations are driving revenue?

In order to track calls and conversions from Facebook ads, you need to be able to collect offline conversion tracking and conversation data and get it back in the Facebook platform, preferably in real time. This is the only way that you can optimize your Facebook ads that are working well and make sure you’re not wasting money on those that are not performing.

Here’s how you can precisely target the right audiences and track calls and conversations from Facebook ads.

Make the Most of Advanced Targeting on Facebook

With Facebook’s Custom Audiences ad targeting capability, you can:

  • Reach out to past customers or other people who have expressed an interest in your business — such as those who have interacted with your mobile app
  •  Incorporate offline conversion data like purchases that occurred on the phone to build custom audiences
  •  Use Engagement Custom Audiences to target prospects who engaged with your content (e.g., watching a video) on Facebook’s apps and services

There’s also the option to create Lookalike Audiences in Facebook’s Custom Audiences. If you have a good idea of which prospects to target with your campaign, based on what you know about your existing customers’ demographics, then you can use Lookalike Audiences to direct your ads to potential new customers with common interests and traits.

And don’t forget about Core Audience ad targeting options on Facebook like location, behaviors and interests. You can get as broad or well-defined as you like with this type of targeting.

You can learn more about how to drive sales and revenue with your Facebook ads in this post.

Drive Conversions with Facebook Call Ads

There are two ways you can drive calls from ads on Facebook:

Use the Call Now Button

You can use call-to-action buttons in your Facebook ads for various objectives, including “Call Now.” You can set up the call-to-action button to generate a phone number that serves as a unique identifier for your campaign. This phone number simply routes the call to your desired business phone number.

If you use a “Call Now” button, and the prospect clicks to call from their mobile device, then the phone app on their device will open, allowing them to dial the number immediately. You can also set click-to-call ads to activate for users in a specific area, such as a location close to your business or one of your stores. That allows you to be even more targeted with your Facebook ad campaigns and spend.

Use Call Extension Ads

You can also use call extensions to encourage people to call your business to place an order, ask detailed questions, or schedule an appointment. When someone taps your ad, your website loads and your call extension appears at the bottom of the screen with a "call" button. After someone taps the "call" button, the call dialer opens on their device, prefilled with the number you set as the destination. They are then prompted to call, but can still exit out of the screen.

Once your ad begins to run, you can review your ad metrics, including the number of call confirmation clicks. This metric measures the approximate number of people who tap to call on the call dialer. Note that call confirmation clicks is an estimated metric and may be different from the actual number of people who call your business. To get more granular detail about how many people called from your Facebook ads, if they were leads, what they said in the conversation, and if they converted to revenue, you can integrate Facebook with conversation intelligence (more on this below).

Getting Facebook Ad Call Conversion Tracking Data with Conversation Intelligence

Another tip for tracking calls from Facebook ads is to use a call tracking or conversation intelligence platform to get conversion data from the calls. Facebook Ads Manager reporting alone can only tell you how many people clicked the CTA button. Just knowing that the button was clicked does not tell you if the call was even connected, let alone what the nature and outcome of the call was. Without that information, you cannot properly optimize your ads. 

Facebook can be integrated with conversation intelligence platforms like Invoca to automatically detect the disposition of an inbound call. This gives you the data you need to see which ads and audiences are driving sales on the phone, so you can optimize them appropriately. Invoca also enables you to use conversion data from phone calls to build and expand lookalike audiences on Facebook. This is also done automatically with Invoca’s Facebook integration, so you don’t have to export data manually between the platforms. 

With conversion data from Invoca, you can accurately attribute revenue to calls from Facebook ads and calculate the true CPA and ROI of your campaign. Without this data, you are likely overestimating your CPA since you’re not counting phone conversions, and underestimating your ROI because phone sales are not attributable to revenue. Invoca can be used to track and attribute calls from Instagram in the same way.

Give Customers a Convenient Way to Reach Your Business

Recent research shows that 98% of active Facebook users access the social network using some type of smartphone. And since the pandemic began, consumers are calling businesses more than ever. Our data shows that many industries are experiencing increased sales call volumes, even as in-person business restrictions have been lifted.  

In the digital marketing age, it’s easy to forget how powerful a tool the phone can be for connecting customers directly with businesses. But once you learn how to track calls from Facebook ads, it will become clear just how important inbound calls can be for driving sales and revenue for your business. 

Facebook has more than 2.3 billion active monthly users, so of course, marketers flock to the service. But what if your Facebook advertising isn’t leading to conversions? What are you getting wrong—or simply not doing well enough?

Your Checklist to Drive More Conversions and Revenue from Facebook Ads

Now that you know the basics of how call tracking works with Facebook, let's go over some tips and tricks! Below is our checklist for optimizing your Facebook ad campaigns.

✅  I have researched what my competitors are doing.

Creating a winning strategy for your Facebook ads requires understanding how your competitors are trying to engage users. For insight, go to Facebook’s Ad Library — it’s a searchable collection of all ads currently running across Facebook’s apps and services.

You can search the Ad Library by name, topic, and organization. Search results include details on when the ad started running, what copy and images the ad features, and whether multiple versions of the ad exist. You can also view ads targeting users in specific countries (if applicable to the brand’s campaign).

✅  I am building custom audiences for my ads.

You’re not likely to generate meaningful sales from Facebook Ads if you don’t target the right people. So, be sure to take full advantage of Facebook Custom Audiences.

You can use the ad targeting capability to reach out to past customers or other people who have expressed an interest in your business e.g., newsletter subscribers, individuals who have visited your website, or people who have interacted with your mobile app. You can even use offline conversion data, such as in-store purchases and phone orders when building custom audiences. Another targeting option is Engagement Custom Audiences. These audiences are people who have engaged with your content — such as watching a video — on Facebook’s apps and services.

Don't forget about data from phone conversations! With Invoca’s call tracking and analytics solution, you can pass rich caller data to Facebook to create seed audiences for building and targeting lookalike audiences.

I know when my target audience is most active on Facebook.

Facebook lets you control what days and times your ads will appear. But that’s useful only if you know when your target audience is most likely to see your ad. Facebook’s Page Insights helps you understand when your audience is most active on the service.

When scheduling an ad, also be sure to consider the ad’s call to action (CTA). If you’re running a click-to-call ad on Facebook with a “Call Now” button, for example, then you’ll want your ad to run during business hours and peak call times. Call tracking data from Invoca can also help you determine the best times to run your click-to-call ads by aligning your ad run times with the times your customers usually call.

✅  I am employing different ad formats (and using video!)

There’s an array of ad format options on Facebook, from slideshow ads that combine multiple images or videos, text and sound, to carousel ads that let you showcase up to 10 images or videos within a single ad, each with its own link.

The combination of formats you use will depend on the story you want to tell. But be sure to include video, if possible. Look at just about any best practices guide for optimizing Facebook ad campaigns and you’ll find that using video is recommended as a top tactic for engaging audiences.

The Facebook Stories ad format is also worth some experimentation, at least. According to research from Facebook and Ipsos, 62% of people who use stories across the Facebook family of apps have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in stories. And 69% of the survey respondents said brands using stories is a great way for people to get to know new products or services.

✅ I am testing ad performance.

Are you testing what’s working well, or not, with your Facebook ad campaigns? You should be. Split testing (or A/B testing) is an important tool for assessing ad campaign performance.

You can use split testing to show two or more versions of an ad to similar audiences to see which one is more effective at driving conversions or meeting other marketing goals you’ve set. There are several ways to create split tests in Ads Manager, and you can read about them here.

I am tracking attribution.

Tracking attribution is essential if you want to understand whether your Facebook ad campaigns are generating sales. If you’re running a click-to-call campaign, and the goal of your ad is to send people to your website and then to the phone, how can you know if a customer who calls engaged with your Facebook ad first? With an AI-powered call tracking solution like Invoca, you can get full attribution for all click-to-call campaigns on Facebook. You can also determine whether a call from a “Call Now” button led to a sale. Learn more about how to use call tracking data with Facebook ads in this post.

I am retargeting effectively (and using video!)

Not everyone who sees your ad, or even clicks on the CTA or goes to your site and puts a product in their cart, is ready to buy. If you aren’t keeping the flame alive with these potential buyers, then you’re losing sales. Facebook offers several ways for you to remind people that they were, at least for a moment, interested in your product (and what that product was). Upselling and cross-selling products are also retargeting strategies you can use on Facebook.

I am not selling too hard.

Lastly, consider your overall approach. If your Facebook ads aren’t driving sales, it might be because you are focusing more on selling than engaging. Think about some of the basic reasons people use Facebook. They want to connect with, and feel connected to, others. They want to be entertained and delighted—even amazed. They want to learn new things and, ideally, be among the first to know about what’s new. So, your advertising needs to meet at least some of those expectations if you want people to pay attention.

Additional Reading

Want to learn more about Invoca’s Facebook integration? Check out these resources:

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