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Facebook Improves Analytics, Should Help Businesses Monetize

Facebook Gives Businesses More Data to Measure

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At this point, most businesses have probably come to the realization that they are missing out on some serious opportunities if they do not have a Facebook presence. Facebook is showing that it will keep growing, despite all of the recent privacy concerns capturing the media’s attention, and more and more sites across the web continue to get integrated with Facebook, which means Facebook is becoming more and more integrated into people’s online activity in general. While this in itself means great things for businesses, Facebook is now offering businesses new tools to better understand data around user engagement with their brands so they can take advantage of it and better monetize their Facebook presence.

Will you place more focus on Facebook marketing with better analytics? Let us know.

Facebook has now made significant improvements to its analytics for websites, applications, and Pages. This means businesses have increased insights into how people are engaging with their Facebook presence on and off their sites.

Improved Analytics

The improved analytics come in the form of the new Insights Dashboard, which shows data for fully-integrated sites and sites that use Facebook’s social plug-ins. You can also add a non-integrated domain. In addition, the Dashboard displays data from application, including canvas, mobile, device, and desktop apps. Finally, it displays data around Facebook Pages – those created on Facebook itself, and those that are part of Facebook’s Open Graph.

To put it into simpler terms, you can view analytics around specific stories that people "like" on your site, or how many users commented on posts made on your Facebook Page. "From there, you will have a better idea of what your audience finds most interesting and capitalize on that content," says Facebook’s Alex Himel.

The dashboard has been around for a while, but now it contains more data, as well as new visualization tools. You can view graphs in full screen, print them, or save them. Facebook has also released a new demographics visualization, which shows more info about the audience that is interacting with your site, your Facebook Page, or your app if you have one. Obviously, this can be of tremendous benefit to your marketing efforts.

Facebook Analytics - Sharing

Facebook Analytics - Sharing

"As a domain administrator, you can now access sharing metrics and demographic information per domain and per URL so you can optimize your content for sharing and better tailor your content to your audience," says Himel. Of course growing your audience brings new opportunities for monetization.

Important Info for Webmasters

Site owners should associate their domain with a user ID, Facebook app, or Facebook Page that they administer. This can be done by clicking the green "Insights for your Domain" button on the dashboard and adding the meta tag that is generated within the <head> tags of the root page on the domain. Note that if your site utilizes subdomains, the root file of each one must be claimed separately.

"If you administer a Facebook Page or have integrated the Open Graph protocol into your Web pages, you can now see analytics for referral traffic and stream stories in the Insights dashboard, as well as tab views for your Page," says Himel. "Insights will capture engagement with Pages regardless of whether an action was taken on or off Facebook."

The Bigger Picture

One of the biggest gripes businesses have had with social media, is a lack of measurement. Clearly, Facebook is doing more to tackle this problem, and Facebook is obviously the social network that gives businesses the potential to reach the largest amount of people. Recent estimates have Facebook with close to 500 million users.

It also doesn’t hurt to keep in mind that Facebook is evolving, and rapidly at that. It is already competing with Google for unique visitors (which really equates to mindshare during time spent online). Some may consider such a comparison apples and oranges, but there may be more to it than that.

Facebook’s share of the search market, while much smaller than Google’s, has been on the rise. Eli Goodman of comScore has a very interesting post about Facebook’s potential in search that makes you think. It looks at the evolution of search behavior, and how Facebook could play into that, capturing user intent via the social graph. Here are a couple of brief excerpts:

…consumers have learned to adapt their searching behavior to reflect the increased specificity the results will convey. This change in behavior enables them to inch closer to a result that reflects the true, original intent of their search. But increasingly there is new information available on the web — especially as it relates to one’s social graph –that offers potential for even greater specificity; one that filters results through the people, and not just the pages, of highest relevance to you.

Facebook must improve their ability to relate your search results, on the first page, to you as an individual. Search engine algorithms do their best to deliver you relevant results based on all of the people that searched on similar terms as you, but Facebook has the unique position with which to analyze your personal relationships and further differentiate results. The Facebook display advertising targeting features are quite impressive, considering factors such as your latest updates, your “likes” and those of your friends…but its ascension as a search property will be directly impacted by its ability to do this same sort of qualitative analysis of you and your entire circle and customizing the search results accordingly. Being that they partner with Bing in order to deliver the web search results, it puts Bing in a strong position from which to innovate using an incredibly large and yet closely personal data set.

Nobody’s saying that Google is significantly threatened by Facebook, in terms of search market share in the immediate future. Facebook would have a long way to go to achieve this (if they even want to). However, increased Facebook usage could only mean good things for Bing as long as that partnership is in tact. That’s beside the point though.

This is about looking at the big picture, and just how big of a role Facebook plays in that. Facebook may mean more to search marketing going forward than we even realize yet. Either way, it clearly plays an increasingly large role in online marketing in general, and the more data that businesses can get around their Facebook efforts, the more that will likely grow.

WebProNews is in Seattle for SMX Advanced this week, and we will be bringing you coverage from that. Do not be surprised if Facebook marketing comes up more than a few times. Stay tuned for articles and videos.

What do you think of the new data Facebook is offering? Will it help you with your marketing efforts? Tell us what you think.

Facebook Improves Analytics, Should Help Businesses Monetize
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  • http://www.qjgk.com Pandu

    Nice News If facebook Improves that we can make much money with them:)

  • http://www.TotalOfficeNC.com Guest

    I am a business owner but this is going over my head. I got lost on Facebook Insights dashboard. I would like to get some help setting this up.

  • http://www.kewltubes.com Kewl Tubes

    I can see people complaining who use FB for personal use only. BUT those of us who use it for business and personal, the privacy stuff is no big issue. Our personal information is all over our business web site anyway…..
    FB is great for business. My being in the golf industry, it has been a big help for me. I am in touch with alot of PGA pros, and many golfers around the world. AND their paid advertising works to. I love it!!! Couldn’t do without it.

    • Chris Crum

      Yes, there’s really no question that there are limitless opportunities for businesses on Facebook. With that user base, how can there not be. Now, if that user base changes drastically, it might be a different story, but even with all of the privacy concerns, Facebook is still growing.

  • http://18www.adovationz.co.nz Digby

    Facebook ads worked for me as they show a small pic, rather than just text (ala Adwords).
    But the bids for the clicks just got too high for my low priced products.
    So I stopped advertising with them
    It is too much having to pay 50 cents just fro a click !

    I think major advertisers will wake up to this one day and realise they are paying far too much for online ads.

    • Chris Crum

      I think advertisers find the quality of targeting that Facebook is able to offer quite attractive. That will only increase as people “like” more things around the web. The company has played down this notion, but Facebook targets ads based on profile information, and the things you like appear on your profile.

  • http://myantiagingbeauty.com Rebe

    I too am looking/researching for a (reasonably priced) resource on how to initially set up a business FB page.

    Although I created a personal page way back when, there have been so many changes since, and following the FB set-up maze is about as clear as mud for the novice (me).

    Any suggestions for clear, step by step newbie set-up from the git go, much appreciated!

    • http://www.facebook.com/geekygirls Geeky Girl

      We are currently helping business’ use Facebook and other social media to grow and expand their business. Please “like” our page and if you need help setting up your own social media we are here for you!

      We offer tips and tricks for all things technical in our posts, and personal or business support personalized for your needs.

  • http://www.sexy-mexico.com Kevin

    Well I am not sure what all the fuss is about, Facebook is not a business friendly environment. First they encourage you to create your page then add your business page. After 2 months online with my personal profile and then added a business “Page” this week I got a message from Facebook that my profile was cancelled because the purpose of my profile was to promote my business.

    What do they think I opened an account for? Look for friends? So after they told me to open my business page I did and then they shut it down because it was for “Promoting my business” add to that the fact that all links on their pages are “NOFOLLOW” which means no love from google and other search engines.

    So other than if you are going to invest in their overpriced per click advertising which is really useless (people just click anyway or don’t pay attention to the ads) they turn off your page that is promoting your business.

    Now facebook obviously didn’t see the big picture, I placed banners linking my business to facebook and encouraging my visitors to sign up if they didn’t have an account and in 2 months I had 200 people sign up for facebook to follow us on Facebook (obviously a very insignificant number in a sea of 500 billion?).

    Anyway, in our latest company blog with 83,000 followers monthly we are encouraging our viewers to close their facebook accounts (again 83,000 in a sea of 500 million or billion or whatever facebook claims).

    Facebook is an overrated hype and a great place to have your identity stolen since they want your real information.

    regards from Mexico
    Kevin

  • http://www.strictlysugarfreecandy.com Irish1kg

    Facebook is the way to go. As far as business goes; Facebook users are very knowledgeable when it comes to the internet and how to navigate. Also, FB offers a more comprehensive PPC program; they can really target your market so that your advertising dollars are put to good use.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vivekrpatel vivek

    ya its a great features if facebook done it till date we use google analytic for our sites so i m thinking abt facebook it can improve the business number of way…..

  • http://defoe-photography.com David

    Improved analytics are great but what about a simple usability for business pages such as being able to “tag” your page in a photo? This would be a big boost to business to generate more activity so we can watch the analytics move.

  • Guest

    Facebook has be pressured for some time to deliver better metrics. And, while this last round of improvements is a step-up, there are a couple big misses – Ability to select a specific date range and to export/email dashboard certainly come to mind. But, what bothers me most is the lack of clairity around what the specific metrics.

    For example, “Tab Views” – this is something I would be interested to know about. If you scroll over the “?” next to Tab Views for the definition it reads: “The tabs that were viewed when users visited your Page.” Are these total or unique views? For what time period? The metrics are all shown as a percentage – when it would also be nice to see actual numbers.

    Photo views, Audio Plays and Video Views are all, within their respective groups, combined. So, which video is a hit with my fans? Which photos should I refresh?

    The Total Impressions and Feedback rate to posts is also something to be used with caution as that post gains an Impression each time it is loaded. So, even if it is way below the fold, below other more recent posts, if a visitor lands on your Page it will count as an Impression. And, since Total Impressions are the denominator in the Feedback % equation you can guess what happens there.

    And folks, I’m just getting started. They’ve made some changes….but have a long way to go.

  • http://www.kontagent.com Albert Lai

    Hey Chris,
    great article. wanted to drop a line and let you know about Kontagent’s Advanced Facebook Analytics. Our system tracks over 60 Million Monthly Active Users across hundreds of applications that rely on us for their analytics needs. The system obviously provides far more than the base line facebook analytics, come check out > http://www.kontagent.com/ and let us know what you think?

  • Rachel

    Has anyone noticed an improvement in accuracy of the new insights???

  • GuestDarrell

    I have tested, tested, split tested landing pages, varied categories, and have not sold a single thing with face book ads.

    now not to boost adwords, but i makes sales every day with google. plus the bid price is way to high on 90% of my stuff.

  • http://vfrankz.blogspot.com Vfrankz

    antastic article thank you. I have shared it across Facebook and will share it in my blog this week.

    Facebook seem to have made a lot of changes and the more I find out about them the more I love them. I can’t believe I haven’t seen this before today, as I read most of the things on the F8 conference.

    Did you guys get any idea as to what is going to happen to the old insights? Will they disappear or stay? Will these insights replace them?

    Thanks.