If you haven’t been living under the rock the past few months, you’d probably know about the very public spat between Apple and Facebook. There were many posturing and guideline changes, but it all boils down to one thing: Apple decided to raise the middle finger to Facebook advertisers in their last update.
This means all advertisers who have been using Facebook ads to market and gather leads will now have a much harder time with iOS users. This includes people who are marketing medical spas.
If you’ve noticed some discrepancies in your tracking data lately, then don’t worry. It’s not just you. Hundreds and thousands of businesses were caught with their pants down with this decision from Apple. The thing is, your pixel might only be reporting 50% of the actual data with this development. So what can you do? What can medical spa owners and marketers do? And can you still track your Facebook ad conversions?
iOS 14 and Data Privacy
To know what we can do, we first have to find out what exactly happened. We will also try to do this in the fastest way possible.
It started when Apple wanted all the apps in their store to be more transparent with what they are doing with the data they collect from the users. Apple also added that apps need to ask the user their permission before they can track and use the user’s data. Initially, people thought the issue was about transparency. That Facebook did not want to be transparent with how they gathered data and how they were using said data. Instead, Facebook is afraid that now that people can say no to them, the majority will. Surveys have shown that almost half of people are likely to opt out of tracking if given a choice.
Now that Facebook publicly showed its distaste for this new development from Apple, the phone company now disables any tracking and data gathering from Facebook for all its users. This means Facebook will not track or see data from iOS users - including pixel data.
Should I Be Afraid of Being Tracked by Apps?
The idea of “being tracked” seems like an evil thing, right?
Well, not really.
Apps track your data for a variety of purposes. The most common one is for them to create a specific ad experience for everyone. For example, it does not make sense for a medical spa to show an ad for fat removal or reduction for somebody who is already comfortable with their weight. Tracking ensures the ad that will be delivered to you are all relevant and necessary for you.
That does not sound too bad, right?
Should I Still Use Facebook Pixel To Market My Medical Spa?
While we can assume that you will be missing half of the data you once had on your dashboard, your Facebook pixel is still an important tool.
Also, when these giant companies make decisions, we are forced to adapt and find a workaround. So we got on the case and found different ways medical spas can still use Facebook for marketing. Let’s start a crash course of each one.
Facebook Conversions API
Typically, events are tracked from the user’s device. Now that Apple has stopped Facebook from doing that, the next best thing is to track events directly from your server. You can do this with the help of Facebook’s Conversion API. Conversions API allows you to track actions and events that happen between Facebook’s server and your own. Your Facebook Pixel will be used to measure ad campaigns.
Conversions API works perfectly with your Pixel in giving you excellent data tracking. With your Pixel losing information due to the changes, Conversions API can make up for it.
UTM tags or codes are not new. However, we don’t pay attention to it so much. UTM simply means “Urchin Traffic Monitor.” Simply put, this code or tag helps in monitoring traffic. A total UTM tag comprises a string of extra characters that appear after the main URL. UTM tags can track using five parameters, namely:
- Source - Tracks where the traffic comes from. Did they arrive from Instagram? Facebook? Google?
- Medium - Find out what channel people come from. It could be from an email campaign, social media, the SERPs, or PPC.
- Campaign - Determine the campaigns that funneled visitors into your site.
- Keyword - Be able to track keywords that got the visitors to click on paid search ads.
- Content - This code is optional and is only applicable when you have multiple links pointing to one URL. One good example is if you have a page that has two CTA buttons.
To create UTM tags, you need to go and check out Google’s Analytics Campaign URL Builder. You can then see the data being tracked on your Google Analytics account. With a UTM, you can still track all the information you need to create, perfect, and optimize the ads for your medical spa.
Sure, everybody is having problems with their Pixels, thanks to the iOS update. But you know what doesn’t have a problem with that? Data that you have gathered yourself. First-party user data is the future of marketing, and you should find a way to incorporate it into your system.
As a medical spa, you should have an active campaign that gathers and keeps data of your past, current, and future customers. That way, you won’t get affected by any future data privacy changes these big companies will impose on us.
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