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Facebook Insights update: Track virality, impressions, friends of fans, and more

Today Facebook released an update to Page Insights, the metrics that a Page owner sees about their Facebook Business Page.

Hearsay Social participated in Facebook’s Pages Insights Alpha program, in which we provided feedback on the new Pages metrics and were given alpha access to the new Insights API.
As a data nerd, I am very excited about Facebook’s updates. The more data we have, the better decisions we can make on how to reach and support our customers.
The metrics I foresee as being the most useful for businesses include:

  1. Paid vs Organic vs Viral – This breakdown helps distinguish where your audience comes from and is an extremely important part of using Facebook for business. Understanding how your message spreads, whether naturally, by word-of–mouth, or through paid campaigns, will allow you to make better decisions about how to manage your social media efforts.
  2. Unique Impressions – This data allows you to see how many of your consumers actually see the updates you post and how often they see them. Not every fan will see every update you post because Facebook tries to show users the content most relevant and timely to them based on EdgeRank, Facebook’s secret sauce for optimizing the News Feed. The new unique impressions information will allow businesses to measure their actual day-to-day reach. This will help change the focus from fan count, which is a helpful but not end-all metric, to actual reach.

  4. Consumption – Facebook now provides metrics on content consumption, which includes many user action-types that were previously hard to track, such as link clicks, photo views, and video plays. These metrics will offer a better read on who is engaged with content, beyond the people who comment and “like” the content.
  5. People talking about this – This new metric pinpoints how many people are talking about your Page. “Talking about” includes interacting with your content via comments or likes, tagging your Business Page in their own updates, linking to your Page, or tagging visits to your location (formerly called “checking in”). This number is the Facebook equivalent of a net promoter score. It is the group of people that really like your business, those who help to spread the word.

  7. Friends of Fans – This metric shows the number of Facebook users who are one degree away from your Page, which is extremely useful when creating viral content. If a fan of your Business Page leaves a comment on your Page, their activity will appear on their wall and possibly in the News Feed of their friends. This means that, at any point, the possible reach you have is actually much greater than you might imagine. (The average Facebook user has 130 fans!)

What do you think about these new metrics? How do you foresee them helping shape your social media strategy?
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. I’m excited to see how everyone makes use of this new data.