The Problem with Facebook Insights

March 6, 2012by hiebing2021

The Problem with Facebook Insights

Recently, Facebook rolled out some great improvements to the user interface.  More importantly to social media marketers, Facebook also rolled out substantial enhancements to its analytics platform Facebook Insights.

The new Insights allows managers of Facebook brand pages to dive deep to see how well content is performing. It allows them to analyze the success of each post and even shows where fans clicked. The new analytics platform also gives marketers insights into what types of content are performing best.

The wow: the new Insights platform will let Facebook marketers prove the ROE (return on engagement) of their Facebook strategies to stakeholders.

The miss: engagement isn’t effectively measured.

One of the new stats Facebook rolled out is the Talking About This metric. In short, it allows all page visitors (not just admins) to see how many people have been talking about the brand over the past seven days. Actions that are counted toward this metric include liking a page or a post, posting to the page’s Wall and commenting on and sharing any of the page’s content. While it’s great that Facebook tracks these actions, it could have gone one giant step further in calculating how engaged a page’s followers are.

Facebook should recognize that different actions on a brand’s Facebook page should be valued differently. It takes far less emotional investment from a Facebook follower to “like” a post than it does to share a page’s post or proactively post to the page’s Wall. As such, the Talking About This metric is incomplete. Engagement should be calculated by a weighted scoring model that values actions based on the level of emotional investment from a follower.

Time will tell if the Talking About This metric lasts beyond the next Facebook update, but brand pages that rely too heavily on that metric aren’t getting the full insight into the performance of their page’s content. However, marketers who recognize this statistical deficiency and calculate engagement with a weighted scoring model will be able to more accurately gauge the success of their Facebook strategy.


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