Social data and insights are imperative to understanding how consumers engage with our content. It’s also imperative for understanding how our consumers react to our product when talking to their respective online networks. The more intelligence we have on the consumer, the smarter our communications strategies will be and, even more importantly, the better our products will be for them to consume.
Fewer places offer as much data on the consumer as Facebook. With an astounding global user base topping 800 million, Facebook is a treasure trove of consumer data just waiting to be tapped for insights. The number of tools that have been developed or are currently under development to mine that data (competitive or for our brands) is astounding. It’s not a trend that’s likely to slow anytime soon, so the big winner will be the company that provides quality data and insights in an easy to digest form. Who that is remains to be seen.
Facebook Insights Bulks Up With Data
One of the key players in the Facebook data and insights race is obviously Facebook. They have all of the data already and, in theory, it should be easiest for them to serve it up to users. The new evolution of Facebook Insights, a free data solution offered to administrators of brand pages, is seeking to answer many questions about our target consumers. Being rolled out on December 15th, there are several new components to Facebook Insights that make us think the new platform will be much stronger for users.
Those new features include:
Richer engagement metrics
The current version of Facebookinsights really only dives into likes, comments and interaction rates to give page owners a deeper sense of engagement. The new “people talking about this” metric is inherently more powerful by looking at overall page likes, comments, shares or likes of posts, answers of a question, responses to your event, mentions of your page, tagging your page in a photo, checking in or recommending your page. By including more engagement datapoints, we should have a better understanding of how people interact with and amplify our content.
Total Reach is stronger
The total reach metric is the number of unique people who have seen any content associated with your page, which includes advertising or sponsored stories pointingto your page in the last 7 days. This metric is more useful than looking at just pageviews or impressions alone because it tracks the entire Facebook ecosystem. More on that in a minute. Now, page owners will have a greater sense of the true reach of their page.
Improved per post data
In the current version of Facebook Insights, data is very surface level (likes, comments, interaction rates) on a per post basis. The inclusion of unique reach, engaged users (the number of unique people who have clicked any whereon your post), the number of people talking about the post and virality (the number of unique people who have created a story from your post as a percentage of the number of unique people who’ve seen it) is great for page owners looking to achieve more clarity on what types of posts perform best.
Better click data
In addition to now receiving link clicks per post (what was provided before was a rolled up clicks figure), we cannow learn what else people are clicking on in a post. The new Facebook Insights will let page owners track the number of times a user clicks on people’s names in comments, clicks on the like count, clicks on the time stamp, etc…
Measuring Branded Content: Opening the Lens
Overall, one of the biggest takeaways is that Facebook is now going to be offering improved understanding of the performance of branded content in the entire Facebook ecosystem. One of the biggest issues with the current version of Facebook Insights is that the data is collected through a very narrow lens — by that we mean what is happening on the page almost exclusively. These new metrics, like total reach, which includes ads and sponsored stories, attempt to give page owners a better sense for how far messaging travels outside of “their four walls.”
If you have had a chance to experiment with the new Insights platform, what do you think? Is the data better?
Image credit: Spencer E Holtway
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