How to set up the Facebook Attribution Tool

Facebook has recently (oct 19, 2018) launched a new attribution tool and whole new set of attribution models (including data driven attribution model).

This tool is free to use and is available to all Facebook(FB) advertisers.

I spotted this tool in October but waited for couple of weeks to collect some meaningful attribution data before I start blogging about it.

Following are the screenshots of the Facebook ‘Performance’ Attribution Report:

That’s the kind of insight you can expect to get, once you have set up your attribution tool.

Through Facebook Attribution tool, you can measure the impact of your ads across publishers (Facebook and non-Facebook advertising platforms), channels (paid and organic) and devices (mobile and desktop).

Following are the screenshots of the Facebook ‘Cross Device’ Attribution Report:

Though Facebook Attribution tool is available to all FB advertisers, it does not work out of the box.

You would need to spend some time and development resources, in setting up the attribution tool.

What do you need in advance in order to set up the Facebook Attribution Tool?

#1 You would need an active business manager account on Facebook(FB). If you do not already have business manager account, you can learn to create one, from here.

#2 The Facebook Ad Manager account(s) whose data you want to analyze via the attribution tool must be linked to your FB business manager account. Click here to learn, how to add manager account to business manager account.

#3 Facebook pixel tracking, event tracking (you should be tracking all applicable Facebook events) and conversion tracking should already be set up on your website.

#4 If you run an e-commerce website then you should be tracking website sales within your FB ad manager account. This is very important. Otherwise you won’t be able to calculate ROAS within the FB ad manager account, you won’t see sales data within attribution reports and/or correlate FB campaigns and ad sets with sales data.

#5 If your conversions take place offline, the offline conversion data must already be uploaded to your FB business manager account. You can upload offline conversion events yourself or automate the upload process via the Offline Conversions API or partner integration.

Note: If you do not already track your website sales and other conversions data via FB pixel then Facebook attribution tool won’t benefit you much.

#6 All of your Facebook ads are tagged with UTM parameters. This is not absolutely required for FB attribution but the absence of UTM parameters can pollute your attribution data.

#7 Your Facebook pixel tracking, event tracking, sales and conversion tracking need to be 100% accurate. Otherwise you will get muddy insight from your FB attribution reports. Long story short, ideally there should not be any issue with your Facebook pixel:

#8 In order to get a complete picture of your conversion path, Facebook recommends to add impression and click tagging to all your non-Facebook advertising platforms that support Facebook’s click and impression tags.

Following are examples of some popular non-Facebook advertising platforms that currently support FB click and impression tags:

  • Google Ads
  • Google Campaign Manager
  • Google Display and Video 360
  • Google Search Ads 360
  • Bing Ads
  • Criteo etc.

Following are examples of some popular non-Facebook advertising platforms that currently do not support FB click and impression tags:

  • Twitter Ads
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest etc

When you add impression and click tags to your non-Facebook ads, Facebook is able to capture clicks and impression data from the non-Facebook advertising platforms into its attribution reports.

This enables you to compare your ad performance across publishers.

But adding impression and click tags is not easy and would require the help of developers.

There could be significant amount of development work involved here.

However, the good news is that, you don’t really have to tag add impression and click tags to your non-Facebook ads in order to use the FB attribution tool.

You can use the attribution tool without tagging.

You just won’t get maximum advantage from your attribution tool.


#9 You would need ‘Ad account admin’ access for all the FB ad manager accounts whose data you want to analyze via the Facebook attribution tool.

#10 You would need a working knowledge of using the FB business manager account. For example, you must be able to navigate through the business manager account and can assign people, pixels, custom conversions etc to ad accounts, line of business etc.

#11 You or your developer would need admin access of all your non-Facebook ad platforms for the purpose of adding Facebook impression and click tagging.

How to setup the Facebook Attribution Tool?

Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to your Facebook Ad Manager account and then click on the ‘Attribution’ link under the ‘Measure and Report’ column:

Step-2: Click on the ‘Get Started’ button:

Step-3: Once you clicked on the ‘Get Started’ button, Facebook will ask you to create your line of business.

A line of business is a group of ad account(s), pixels, apps and other data sources (like Google Ads, Bing Ads etc) associated with a particular organization.

A line of business can represent a: single business, business conglomerate or marketing agency:

If you only have one business that all of your ad accounts, pixels and other data sources are associated with then select the ‘Single Business’ option.

Select the ‘Separate brands, verticals, or regions’ option, if you are a business conglomerate i.e. you have got multiple businesses or your business is managed via multiple websites and/or facebook ad accounts.

Select the ‘Agency’ option, if you are a marketing agency which is managing FB ad accounts on behalf of their clients.

For the purpose of this exercise, lets select ‘Single Business’ and then click on the ‘Confirm’ button:

Step-4: Name your line of business by clicking on the ‘pencil’ icon and then click on the ‘Set up Line of Business’ button:

Step-5: As soon as you clicked on the ‘Setup Line of Business’ button, you would be asked to select your ad account. Do that and then click on the ‘Next’ button:

Step-6: Select the Facebook pixel, apps and/or offline event sets, you want to include in your line of business:

Step-7: Click on the ‘Next’ button and then select the people you want to add to your line of business:

Note: Only the people you added will be able to view the attribution reporting for the line of business.

Step-8: Click on the ‘Next’ button and then select time zone and currency for your attribution reports:

Note: Time zone and Currency settings can not be changed after the line of business is created.

Step-9: Click on the ‘Confirm’ button.

Step-10: If you want to create another line of business then click on the ‘+Create another line of business’ button. Otherwise click on the ‘Finish’ button:

Note: It is important that you click on the ‘Finish’ button to complete the setup. Otherwise your line of business won’t be created.


Going forward, if you want to create a new line of business, then follow the steps below:

Step-1: Click on the ‘Create a line of business’ link from the ‘Attribution’ drop down menu on the top left of the FB attribution tool:

You will then be redirected to your FB business manager settings page.

Step-2: Click on the link ‘Line of Business’ under the ‘Accounts’ menu on the left hand side:

Step-3: Click on the ‘+Add’ button next to ‘Line of Business’:

Step-4: Name your line of business and then click on the ‘Create Line of Business’ button:

Step-5: Click on the ‘ok’ button.

Step-6: Assign people, ad accounts, apps, pixels, offline event sets, custom conversions etc to your line of business via the menu on the right:

Step-7: Click on the ‘View in Attribution’ link to access the ‘Facebook Attribution Tool’ from business manager account:

Step-8: Select time zone and currency for your attribution reports and then click on the ‘Activate Line of Business’ button:

Once you activate your line of business, you won’t immediately see data in your attribution reports.

It is going to take at least 15 minutes for your attribution reports to receive data from your FB ad campaigns and at least an hour to receive data from non-Facebook data sources.

Facebook recommends to wait for at least an hour.

However, in real life, you would need to wait for at least 2 to 3 weeks before you can draw any valid conclusion from your attribution data.

Step-9: Click on ‘Settings’ and then on ‘Diagnostic’ to see the current status of the data being populated in your attribution reports:

Once your attribution reports starts receiving impressions, clicks and conversions from data sources then the ‘status’ in the ‘Diagnostics’ report should change to ‘Data is Being Received’ and you should be able to see data under the section ‘Data Received Today’:

Step-10: This step is optional but is recommended. In this step, we add various non-Facebook advertising platforms, in order to get a complete picture of our customers’ conversion paths.

#10.1 Click on the ‘Settings’ link and then on the ‘Ad Platforms’ link:

#10.2 Click on the ‘Add a Platform’ button (as shown above).

#10.3 Search for the ad platform, you want to add and then select it from the search result:

#10.4 Click on the ‘Choose’ button.

#10.5 Follow the on-screen instructions for adding impression and click tags to your selected ad account. At this point, you can also choose to email the setup instructions to your developer.

#10.6 Repeat steps 10.2 to 10.5 for each ad platform you want to add to your line of business.

Note: You cannot share an ad manager account with two or more lines of business. If you try to do that, you will see following error message:

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My name is Himanshu Sharma and I help businesses find and fix their Google Analytics and conversion issues. If you have any questions or comments please contact me.

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