Facebook Attribution Tool – A Complete Guide

We love living in the darkness – said NO.ONE.EVER!

How likely are you to believe us if we were to tell you that Facebook is a giant-wizard-marketing-platform that doesn’t only predict your future but can track the history of your customers too?

Well, it wasn’t just blowing Facebook’s trumpet for no reason.

Here’s the deal.

We had Facebook’s back right from 2017 when they rolled out this new wizardry tool – Facebook Attribution Tool.

That’s right; we’re talking about the tool that tracks your conversion’s past.

Are you ready for a plethora of information simplified and structured for you?


Let the drive begin.

Facebook Attribution Tool

Say, you are a business running in the 21st century (or the lucky advertiser of one such business).

How are you most likely to market the business?

If you asked us the same question for the same role-playing, the answer would have been:

We’d research the business, and the audience meant to flourish it. Based on where the audience hung out the most, we’d design a strategic plan for multi-platform audiences to target them everywhere they are!“.

Now, that’s the right kind of strategy, we’d say. (And we are not alone in saying that; it’s a tried, tested & recommended strategy of most sane marketers).

Targeting the audience doesn’t always involve paid marketing. At times, organic results also contribute a lot to convert a potential into a client.

Even if some of those channels do not contribute to the sales directly, they might do indirectly.

How does *playing some role in shaping the mind of the potentials to make the purchase* sound?


The role of Facebook Attribution Tool in the story

Back to you being the business owner (or the marketer, well!).

Running across different platforms IS a tricky job. Therefore, the rewards ought to be REAL GOOD!

Yes, they are; like said earlier, it helps improve the conversions.

But how do you know what content, platform, ad, or effort; what exactly helped in the process of a complete sale?

How do you know what is the most productive effort in your journey?

How can you really track that, if at all? What would be a fruitful future strategy for you?

Well, that’s where Facebook’s wizardry comes in to play in the name of the Attribution tool. 

Facebook Attribution tools track all the touchpoints in the journey of a prospect to becoming a client.

And that’s one of the top reasons we are a fan of Facebook Marketing.

Here’s what Facebook says about attribution:

“Facebook attribution allows us to see the full picture of cross-device measurement and make the right marketing decisions based on user behavior,” says Elina Prave, VP Marketing, airBaltic. 

Consider this example:

When a prospect first interacts with your add – say a Facebook conversion ad – he might not necessarily buy right away (or at all). 

But why does it bother you? Why does it matter in the first place?

It matters because there still is a high chance of converting that prospect.

But how do you do that?

Corner the prospect with your retargeting efforts.

You might want to send some more ads; Facebook, Google, Instagram, every platform that might feel useful! When you notice some interest, you might want to use Email marketing. Throughout the whole process, you’d send some landing pages their way too.

And ultimately, you score one more!

Great. Right?

But what has actually caused that sale? What platforms have helped the process? Which of your content have the prospects interacted with, and in what order before ultimately hitting Purchase?

That’s all your Facebook attribution tool tells you.

And how does Facebook do it?

With 2 tracking methods!

Keep reading to find out what those tracking methods are!



1- Cookie-based tracking:

Using cookies to track prospect’s actions is a common method these days.

However, is this an appropriate method?

Yes, but probably not the most appropriate one.


So, what’s wrong with cookie-based tracking?

You only get to track the steps that have cookies. 

But, there might have been other interactions too. Those untracked interactions might have been more decisive in the purchase process.

So, what’s the other option?

2- Multi-touch tracking:

Multi-touch tracking tracks all the actions and interactions between the first and converting interaction.

And nothing can be more valuable than that.

How or why is that important, you ask?

Because knowing the exact customer journey for every customer helps you optimize and redirect your efforts.

And now that you know, you are dying to know how to set up the attribution tool. 

So, let us not keep you waiting and jump right into that.

Setting Up Facebook Attribution Tool

Before heading that way, you need to have a Facebook Business Manager account ready. That check!

Next, your Ads account in place? That, too, check!

Well done!

Let’s turn over to the set up in question.

1- Head to the *Business Manager* scroll down on the left top and click on the *Attribution* under the *Measure & Report* tab.


2- The next page gives a brief on your line of action from here. Hit *Get Started* if you are ready, or quit if you are not.


3- Based on who you are or what you do, you’ll pick an appropriate option from the next page. Hit next.

For holding personal business/es, the first 2 options define you. Say, you are aspiring to be a marketing agency, the last option is for you.


4- Pick the right Ad account to connect the attribution to. Hit next.


5- In the next 4 steps, you’d repeat the same process for:

  • Pixels
  • People
  • Time zone & Currency
  • Line of business name

While the pixel and people could be changed later, time zone and people couldn’t be changed once you cross this stage.

Also, pick an appropriate name that defines your line of business, so you don’t have to keep playing the guessing game when you have a long list.

This is where you’d find yourself standing.


6- Hit finish And wait for as long as Facebook wants you to wait. 

Facebook just asked you to keep calm for the next few hours while Facebook is collecting data.

As Facebook suggested, keep reading to find out more about the attribution.


7- On the next page, click on the *ad platforms* at the top.

You’ll see a list of 32 ad platforms (if you click on the *see all* option) that could be included in your attribution map. The window would also show you 5 platforms not supported by the publisher (including LinkedIn).


8- Hover over the platform you want to add to your tracking journey and hit *connect*. Hit *I agree* to proceed.



Depending on what platform you pick, you’d have to take different simple avenues, and you’d have all the ad platforms added in the attribution map. 

This means that once a prospect interacts with the ad of a chosen platform, you’d see that interaction (with its sequence in the overall events line) in the customer journey presentation.

Having added all the ad platforms now is the time to seek peace in rest.

That’s all!

Facebook Business Attribution-Understanding the relevant Concepts

But you can’t make the anticipated greatness out of it without having good know-how of the related concepts.

Here are the basics you need to know:

Attribution Models:

What are the attribution models?

The variety of models that show which of the interactions and touchpoints of prospects with our content have been the most useful in generating conversions.

These are the attribution models that Facebook offers:

  • Last Click

As the name employs, whatever content got the last click gets the credit for the conversion.

You got it!

The whole concept of attribution points to the fact that a single click doesn’t lead to conversion. It is a process, so the last click doesn’t get the full credit – unless it is the last-click attribution model we are talking about.

  • Last Touch

In the case of the last-touch model, the credit goes to the last interaction instead of just the click. It could be the last view etc.

And our disagreement with the concept doesn’t change here either.

  • Equal Credit 

Now, this might sound like a logical model to some, while most would disagree with this as well.

As per this model, all the touchpoints are equally credited to a conversion.

  • Promotional 30%

In the promotional 30% model, the first and the last touch points before each conversion get 30% credit. In contrast, the rest of them all get 70% credit, divided between them all.

  • Promotional 40%

If you got the concept of Promotional 30% attribution model, this should be no brainer.

The first and the last touch points get 40% weightage while the rest divide 60%.


  • Time decay (1 day)

According to this model, the efforts/campaigns/touchpoints closer to the conversion are more important in driving the conversion. Therefore the touchpoints closer to the conversion (towards the end) get more credit than the ones towards the beginning.

As per 1-day time decay, the touchpoints within one day before the conversion have 50% credit, and those within 2 days before conversion get 25% credit of the conversion.

  • Time Decay (7 Day half-life)

Like the last model, this model also gives more credit to the touchpoints closer to the conversion.

The difference between this model and the previous model is that the touchpoints within the last 7 days of the conversion get 50 credits for the conversion. The touchpoints 14 days before the conversion get 25% credit.

The stats Facebook shows you depend on the model you pick in the settings.

You can pick whatever you feel is better for you, but most marketers prefer the time decay models.

Attribution Windows

Attribution window refers to the time between someone interacting with your ad/content and taking a conversion action. 

When Facebook gives you the option to choose your attribution window, what does it mean?

It means you are given a chance to choose for what frame of time before a conversion do you want to give the credit of that conversion to the interactions.


These are the Attribution Window Options that Facebook offers you:

  • 28-day click and visit, 1-day impression.
  • 7-day click and visit, 1-day impression.
  • 14-day click and visit, 1-day impression.
  • 28-day click and visit, no impression.
  • 28-day click and visit, 4-hour impression.
  • 7-day click and visit, 4-hour impression.
  • 14-day click and visit, 14-day impression.
  • 7-day click and visit, 7-day impression.
  • 14-day click and visit, no impressions.

And so on, until 90 days attribution windows.

What attribution window you choose depends mainly on the kind of ads you are running and the products.

For instance, you can’t expect your targets to buy your shirts 14 days after they saw your shirts-ad. For such production, you definitely want to keep your attribution windows short. Similarly, the impression based ads can only afford short attribution windows. In contrast, the interaction-based ads may go with the longer ones.

Wrap up

In this blog post, we have tried learning about the Facebook attribution tool, cookie-based single interaction or non-cooked-based multi-interaction touchpoints, and setting up the attribution tool.

We have also tried learning the relevant concepts, including attribution models, attribution windows, etc. 

What next?

Knowledge is power. 

Knowing everything about Facebook attribution tools and how to set it up, you are all set to set up your own attribution tool.

Have you started yet? What seems like the most difficult step throughout the process, to begin with?

Shoot us a comment if you are still stuck anywhere. We’d love to help you carry out your Facebook marketing processes, independently. 

But, it all starts with small steps. Lucky for you, we are working on creating guides on each small step for you.

If you are planning to master Facebook Business Manager, give these useful resources a quick read:

Keeping Up with Facebook Business Manager Updates

What is Creative Hub? Does your business need it?

Leveraging Facebook Audience Insights in 2020 and beyond

Happy tracking your efforts 🙂

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