Sending Cohorts to Facebook

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A step-by-step guide to sending cohorts to Facebook

Assuming you've already enabled the Facebook Pixel on your Permutive account, it's easy to start getting Permutive Cohorts into Facebook.

Send Cohorts via the FB Activation Sync

To send cohorts via the Facebook Activation Sync mechanism (suggested), follow these steps:

In the Permutive Dashboard

1.    Login to your project, select ‘Custom Cohorts → Add Cohort’

2.    Set up the properties for your cohort. For more guidance on setting up cohorts, see this guide.

At the end of the cohort builder you'll find the Activation sync:


3.    Slide the Facebook Pixel on (so it turns green) and save the cohort.

Your cohort will now be sent to Facebook using its cohort code as an identifier. 

Note: Activation syncs can be activated when a cohort is created or can be edited after the cohort has been saved.

Send Cohorts Manually via the FB Activation

Alternatively, you can send Cohorts manually via the Facebook Activation

1.    Go to the 'Cohort Activations' part of the dashboard, and click 'Add Activation'


2.    Select 'Facebook - Fire Pixel' under Action, then fill in the details. 

3.   Give the Facebook Event a name (eg. PageView) and pick the cohort you're wanting to send. Set the trigger to 'Every Time'. 

It should look like the screenshot below. Then click create.


The last step is to get the cohorts sent to Facebook. As we currently stand, Permutive will be sending information into your Facebook Pixel. You can now use these events to create your Facebook Audiences.

It's worth noting at this point, you might want to wait a few hours before continuing. This is because Facebook can take a while to show the events coming through.

Find Your Events 

Go into your Facebook Business account.

  1. Click on Business Settings
  2. Head to the Events Manager Portal.
  3. Select your Pixel, in our case we're using Permutive's Test Pixel. 

From this view, you'll be able to see all the events feeding into your account



Set up Facebook Audiences

You can create new audiences based on these events to use in campaigns. 

Select Create Custom Audience and choose the Ad Account you'd like this audience to appear in.


  1. Choose the 'PermutiveSegmentEntry' event.
  2. Click where it says it says 'Refine by'
  3. Select URL/Parameter → segment_id → equals and type in the cohort's code (which you'll find in the Permutive platform).


Name your new Audience and Click Create. This Audience is now ready to be used in campaigns!

Troubleshooting Match Rates

Publishers often find that the uniques in a Permutive cohort do not match the number of users in their Facebook audience, this could be for the following reasons:

  • You don't have the correct Facebook pixel/account ID on your site
  • The audience size estimate is being used to calculate the match rate instead of the actual number of users in the cohort (searchable in the Analytics tab using the Engagement report)
  • The activation to send users to Facebook was set up a while after the cohort was created. Users will not backfill but will begin being sent to Facebook when they enter the cohort/next return to your site.
  • There is a reliance on third-party cookies. If a user does not have third-party cookies enabled or is using a browser that does not allow third-party cookies, Facebook will not be able to match them and so they will not appear in the Facebook audience.
  • If the user has never logged on to Facebook using the browser they used to access your site, there will be no way of matching the third party cookie.

If you have any questions, please contact customer support by emailing or chat with the Customer Operations Team via the LiveChat icon in the bottom right corner of your screen.

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