In case you haven’t heard, Facebook has updated its platform once again. If you want to catch up on all the new features and our point of view on what they all mean for marketing on Facebook, then I invite you to download my company’s point of view on the subject: Major Facebook Changes and What They Mean for Your Brand (1005 downloads). I’ve also just written two other posts about how these changes might impact healthcare. You can check them out here and here. Today’s post will be the final post in this series about the new Facebook Page updates.
This post is going to cover one very specific change to Facebook that’s definitely a positive. I’m talking about a big upgrade to Facebook Insights, which contains all the performance data you need about your Page. All Page admins should now have access to this information. The image at the top of this post (click to enlarge it) shows you what the main Insights page now looks like. Also, you can see that it is accessible in the left column of the page, which shows all of your Page’s tabs. The Insights tab is only visible to admins.
Before I go into some of the changes and why you should pay attention to them, I thought I’d provide you with the brief version. In case you’re not planning on reading this entire post, that’s okay. You can download the brief “Digital Alert” put together by my company, Possible Worldwide, which hits the highlights in about 1 page. You can pick that up here: Facebook Insights Gets an Upgrade (424 downloads).
If you’re still here, I’ll show you a couple of things that didn’t quite fit into the brief alert.
The critical thing about this update to Insights is that it reflects how Facebook is weighting content. How Facebook weights content is important because that is what determines which content appears in users’ News Feeds. As I’ve already written about in the past, if your content isn’t showing up in the News Feed of people, then your Page may as well not exist. The metrics that are tracked in the new Insights data are what you need to be paying attention to as a Page owner.
There are four key metrics that you now need to watch.
- “Reach” is the number of unique people who saw given post.
- “Engaged users” includes any click on the post.
- “Talking about this” is the number of people who have created a News Feed story from your post such as liking, commenting or sharing.
- “Virality” is the percentage of people who saw the post who also created a story from it.
The most critical out of those is probably “Talking about this.” Facebook has chosen to prominently display this number on every Page. You might have noticed this new number in the left column of each Page just below the number of Page Likes. This is from the Dose of Digital Facebook Page:
That “43″ represents the number of unique people that have done one of the following with content from the Dose of Digital Facebook Page in the past 7 days.
- Liking your Page
- Posting to your Page’s Wall
- Liking, commenting or sharing one of your Page posts or content
- Answering a Question you posted
- RSVP-ing to one of your events
- Mentioning your Page
- Phototagging your Page
- Liking or sharing a check-in deal, or checking in at your Place.
These actions are important because they generate a News Feed story, which can be seen by the share’s friends. Because of this fact, it is a critical number to pay attention to and focus on improving.
This number is different from the “engaged users” number. “Engaged Users” is the number of unique people who have clicked on something your Page posted (e.g., a link or photo). When you consider this number along with “people talking about”, you can see that Facebook is focusing on getting people to share content around the platform. That is, they want content to become more “viral,” which likely improves time spent on the site. So, they are rewarding content that enables and achieves this type of sharing. In fact, they have added a “virality” metric to track how effectively you are driving viral sharing.
One other critical bit of information that is now available is the source of all of the traffic (that is, “Reach”) to your Page. Previously, there was no simple way to see if people came to your Page because of a status update, a paid ad, or because of something shared by a friend. Now you can see this data.
Having access to this information can quickly help you evaluate which tactics are working well and where you need some work.
You can also see specific data for each individual post including what actions people took to be counted in the “engaged users” or “people talking about” column. The image below shows what happens when you click on any of the numbers. This pop up shows the breakout of “engaged users.”
One other critical stat that Facebook now shows is “Friends of Fans.” This again indicates that Facebook wants you to consider everyone on Facebook as your audience by showing you that you can successfully reach a huge number of people if you can effectively get your fans to share your content.
So, what should you do with this information?
Here are five simple steps to take:
- Research and understand all of the changes to the Facebook platform. If you need a review of it, then get our paper explaining everything: Major Facebook Changes and What They Mean for Your Brand (1005 downloads)
- Access the new insights data and evaluate what is working and what’s not including which posts are driving engagement.
- Optimize future content based on the metrics that show which post types have been most effective. You can easily see this in the individual post report data, which tells you the content type along with the numbers.
- Encourage fans and non-fans to share your content and to go beyond just clicking “Like.”
- Test different content types and messages with a focus on increasing the number of people talking about your posts.
There’s a lot to learn about the new Facebook changes. I think they are all a big positive for everyone including users and brands. This new Insights data is a big upgrade from what was previously available. Again, if you want the short version of this post, you can pick it up here: Facebook Insights Gets an Upgrade (424 downloads).