Facebook has just revealed new tools to help companies, large and small, connect with their target market and better measure the conversations happening around their brand.
Page Insights now includes a “People Talking About This” metric, displayed beneath the “Likes” on every page, to show conversations about the brand’s Page. Facebook has also announced a Page Insights API, allowing analytics developers to create custom solutions for clients. There is also a new Premium ad unit which expands for viewers with friends who are fans of the Page, showing them which friends like that brand, adding a social/word of mouth component to regular Facebook ads.
Facebook’s New Page Insights Focus on Expanded Reach
The new analytics show marketers the number of friends of a Fan of the Page, “People Talking About This,” and weekly Total Reach. In mid-September, Facebook added the View Shares metric and we had speculated at the time that its addition to Insights may have been in the works. The new Insights actually go quite a bit further in helping brands understand how their content is shared and which types of content perform best.
Friends of Fans make up a group up to 81 times larger than a Page’s actual fan base, says comScore, and are “much more” likely to visit a website or store and make a purchase. The purpose of these new metrics is to encourage word-of-mouth conversations and sharing among Fans and their friends, and to be able to measure the extent of that sharing.
“People Talking About This” counts the stories people share that can show up in news feeds; for example, Page Likes, posting to the Wall of a Page, answering a posted Question, etc. It also tracks and displays as a raw number user Page mentions, event RSVPs, Place check-ins, and likes, shares or comments on Page posts, photos, albums, videos, or other posted content.
Facebook’s product manager for Page Insights, David Baser, spoke with ClickZ about “People Talking about This” and why Facebook decided to display the metric publicly on Pages. It allows brands to be more competitive and keep an eye on each other’s level of engagement and he expects people will start viewing this metric as they do the “Likes” tally. "Over time, marketers and consumers will have expectations (on what that number should look like for brands)," said Baser. “A brand’s business objective will help define what the appropriate level is for their page.”
Analytics for Pages now go back as far the last 500 Page posts and have the ability to track the number of unique clicks the post gets. In addition, Pages can evaluate a post’s “Virality;” a measurement of “people talking about this” divided by the actual number of people who viewed it, expressed as a percentage.
New Premium Ads Automatically Expand to Show Social Element to Friends of Fans
Facebook’s newest ad format is similar to Sponsored Stories, in that brands can choose to promote a posted message, photo, video, or other content. It then appears in the right sidebar, however, this new Premium ad automatically expands when it’s viewed by a friend of the Page’s fan, to show them which of their friends like the Page. The content stays at the top of the ad, with a new box just above it showing that the Friend likes the Page, while a box below shows post Comments and Likes.
The new Premium Ad is not available through the self-serve ad platform and must be purchased through the Facebook sales team.