Is Facebook charitable? It sure is giving more and more measurement to the people!

The easy version of social media measurement looks like the new Facebook Insights – offering “democratized” Facebook post and content measurement for all business users to test and learn.

The hard version would look something like me…two months ago I was sitting at my desk crunching numbers and graphing late into the night. We were in a pitch and I was trying to help a potential new business client better understand the “spreadability” of their Facebook content.

Through a painstaking task of analyzing fan interactions in every piece of content they had ever posted (question, comment, image, video and others) we were able to gain insight into the most effective brand-generated communication and implications for future product launch. Then we were able to model that data to project how those interactions would spread – demonstrating the power of Facebook’s ripple effect.

While we were very proud of the metrics we created to measure and predict social media activity, the team was equally uncertain. Would clients buy into our approach? It had few benchmarks and no depth of history to compare cases.

Well, uncertain no more! Facebook Insights has established what looks to be the first per-post metrics for social marketing measurement! And it’s giving it to the people.

This morning I noticed on my family’s restaurant business page a couple of new numbers beneath our latest post. A closer look found these numbers to be one traditional marketing metric – Impressions – and one digital metric – Engagements (called feedback) – newly implemented by Facebook. Would you agree that the implications of these numbers are many!?

Marketers can now see immediately how many “impressions” each post gained as well as the percent of those impressions that garnered a comment or like. Obvious test and learn implications are apparent, but now also it is easier to compare Facebook in context of an of an overall brand campaign when calculating audience reach.

Here is a screen grab of what I saw this morning:

One concern is that it is currently unclear exactly how Facebook is defining an “impression” and if they are unique or duplicated. I wonder if we will ever get to the point where measures are so precise we can know if content was actually read and by whom. 

With these big new updates I’m surprised to find little chatter about this in the industry right now as this will absolutely have major implications for facebook marketing. For advertisers in specific it will offer more credibility as we recommend social ideas and tactics with a “spread” factor.

And, always a bonus, we gain back time as we can invest more time into implications and less on counting posts. Build a simple/smart dashboard from the measurements Facebook provides and voila. Awesome!


About mjkurb

Michael is the Manager of Business Development at Element 79, a full-service advertising agency in Chicago, Illinois, and recent graduate of the Master's program at Northwestern University - Medill School - Integrated Marketing Communicaitons. Running two family businesses - learned to constantly listen and be aware of customer's needs and behaviors. Master's degree Northwestern University | Medill IMC - learned to better understand marketing insight, strategy and measurement. Rest of life - learned that working harder, smarter and faster than others is how you stay one step ahead.
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3 Responses to Is Facebook charitable? It sure is giving more and more measurement to the people!

  1. Shaydon Armstrong says:

    Hey Mike, hope all is well in the windy city. According to Facebook, an impression is the number of times your post has been served to a viewer. It’s like a hit, which are comprised of returning users and new users. In my opinion, a better measure of feedback would be unique impressions divided by number of interactions.

    • mjkurb says:

      Totally agree. A small step, but a good step I believe. The next step might be for Facebook to better understand and offer measurement of influence and spread of user-shared content. For instance, I comment on a brand’s picture – what’s the influence of my comment? Continuing the thought on impressions, that, in my humble opinion, will be the big step because social media offers a ripple effect of shared content that no other can offer.

      That’s why facebook commerce will be getting big in coming days.

      • Shaydon Armstrong says:

        I need to correct my last post, it should be number of interactions divided by unique impressions not unique impressions divided by number of interactions. I looked into a couple of social media measuring companies a few months ago and there are some interesting things going on with those third party vendors, including the ability to measure influence(rs) and sentiment from blogs, blog comments, mentions on Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Digg, Delicious, etc. Some very intersting stuff out there.

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