FEATURES
4/27/2011

A Little “Insight” Into Facebook’s New Feature

Jean Ann Van Krevelen
Facebook recently unveiled new features in Insights, its analytics program for page administrators. In addition to expanding measurement options for interactions on Facebook, users are now able to track actions on connected websites. This is a huge step forward for small business owners trying to understand the impact of their social media marketing strategy.

Previously, Insights offered a quick way to track the amount and types of interactions by members of a page. Administrators were able to see the number of “Likes” for individual posts, the number of comments and the growth of membership. With this latest release, Facebook offers greater page membership detail with a demographics section and a list of the most active posts. Further, admins can now see how many views (in the Top News stream) each post receives.

But the most exciting component is the new option for integration with offsite domains. Web developers who add a Facebook plug-in, such as the “Like” button, Facebook login or comment box to their website can now track their use, via Insights, to monitor the impact of each action on their Facebook network. Tracking also works in reverse by identifying which content was most effective in motivating page members to click through from Facebook to website.

Case Study: Joe’s Nursery
In order to more fully explain how these new improvements help business owners, we will walk through a short example for a company called Joe’s Nursery. Joe has a Facebook business page and has added the “Like” button on the blog portion of his website. He updates his page three to four times per day with information about his nursery, as well as other helpful gardening content. Today, he has set aside 20 minutes to evaluate the effectiveness of his interactions on Facebook and on his website. Follow along with your own site if you’d like.

Joe heads to his Facebook profile and clicks on the “Ads and Pages” link and is directed to a listing of pages he manages. He clicks on the “View Insights” link under the name of his business page. Once he arrives at the Insights starting page, he sees summary information for “Users” and “Interactions.” This broad oversight gives him information about page trends for the previous month.

Next, he clicks on the “Details” link next to “Users.” He is then able to see the following charts:
  • Daily, weekly and monthly active users
  • Daily active users detail
  • Number of new “Likes”
  • Demographics for page followers
  • Number of people who viewed the page (both Facebook users and people outside the network)
  • Which tabs were visited most often
  • What outside websites referred the most traffic to the page
  • What types of media (photos, video, audio) were most popular
Once Joe has reviewed information about his page followers, he decides to check the analytics for page interactions. He goes to the upper left-hand corner and clicks on the link “Interactions.” He then has access to the following:
  • The number of times page members and non-members have viewed posts
  • The number of times posts have received feedback
  • Detail about which posts had the most views and feedback
  • Summary information about daily page activity
Because Joe has connected his webpage to his Facebook page, he can monitor the effect of promotional efforts both on Facebook and his website. He goes to the upper left-hand corner of the current screen (above the Insights section) and clicks on the button that has the name of his webpage. In so doing, he’s able to switch to Insights for his website. He’s then able to see:
  • The number of times the “Like” button was clicked on his website
  • The number of impressions, or times people viewed content on Facebook that contained a link to his site
  • The number of people who clicked on a link and went from Facebook to his website
Just as before, Joe can also choose to find out greater detail about “Likes” on his website. He can also install other website features or “plug-ins,” such as a comment box that simultaneously updates on his Facebook page. 
Hopefully, our good friend Joe has been of help in illustrating the expanded Facebook Insight services. Though they take a bit of time to fully understand, it’s well worth the effort. Understanding what motivates your followers to take action will improve your web content, as well as affect sales. Using the new and improved Facebook Insights is a fantastic way to utilize real-time market research to improve your profitability! GP


Jean Ann Van Krevelen is the President of White Willow Media. Visit www.whitewillowmedia.com to learn more about using Facebook to market your business.
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