Webtrends Adds Facebook Measurement Capabilities

Analytics solution now gives even broader view of total online marketing strategy by including major social network.

Social media measurement is one of the holy grails of web analytics. Webtrends is donning its Indiana Jones hat by integrating a new Facebook measurement feature into their analytics solution. Here's what it measures:

  • Custom applications, Facebook page tabs, and Facebook ad click performance
  • Facebook Fan page activity overlaid with corporate blog posts
  • Twitter activity driving to Facebook Fan pages
  • Conversion performance if it happens in Facebook

"The ability to have concrete measurement on investments within Facebook and compare them apples to apples with other digital channels is critical to marketers," said Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, vice president of marketing, Webtrends.

Facebook Applications are pretty easy to track in the context of current web analytics methods. Javascript is allowed and the Facebook Terms of Service allows for user data collection. (Users opt-in to data collection when they begin using a Facebook application.) Because of this, Webtrends says it can measure any type of application built on the Facebook platform.

Measuring Facebook Fan Pages isn't so easy. Traditional Javascript-based methods don't work because Facebook doesn't allow Javascript. Plus, user privacy settings come into play. Instead, Webtrends uses the Facebook API to bring data into their Analytics program. There, Webtrends measures tab views and segments by fans and non-fans. Plus, it counts clicks on buttons and links.

"Our comprehensive approach to measuring Facebook, beyond just applications, allows marketers to understand the broader picture of how their Facebook investment is performing," said Kaykos-Wolff.

With this new feature, Webtrends clients will be able to see their Facebook analytical data right along with website analytics. This creates a comprehensive dashboard to get a big picture of a multi-faceted online marketing approach.

It's where web analytics has been headed for awhile. And it's a reminder that the lines of search and social continue to overlap and blur. If you're not engaged in Facebook, let Webtrends announcement be a reminder to get engaged with that audience sooner rather than later.