New Facebook Tools & What They Mean for Brands

    October 7, 2011

Facebook’s new Page Insights have a lot of brands excited, and for a good reason. The upgraded tool not only shows impressions and “Like” data, but it also goes beyond these metrics in order for brands to grasp the full reach of their marketing efforts on Facebook.

Have you tried out Facebook’s new Page Insights? Let us know.

Webtrends was one of the select companies included in the Alpha testing of this tool and Justin Kistner, its Director of Social Products, talked with us specifically about how brands could use it. According to him, the most significant part of the improved tool was the new focus on engagement.

Kistner believes there are 4 levels of social measurement including obtaining fans, driving engagement, finding a value proposition, and retaining and growing the value. Up to this point, the tool has been focused on the first level of measurement, but the new Page Insights helps the world understand the importance of engagement.

“In the past, brands have all been focusing on how you grow your fans, and now they’re going to focus on how you grow engagement,” said Kistner.

As the image shows, Facebook also introduced a new metric called “People Talking About This” with the new Page Insights. This metric combines all the levels of engagement including likes, comments, shares, as well as video plays, RSVPs for events, and check-ins. The tool takes this data and displays how it performed on a weekly basis, as seen here:

Webtrends also introduced a tool called Hoverstats that works with Facebook Page Insights to help brands understand more about their pages. Hoverstats, specifically, looks at the effectiveness of the posts that brands push out through Facebook. The core feature of this tool is the Post Strength Indicator (PSI), which scores each Facebook post based on the total reach and engagement.

“Giving them a lot of data actually makes it harder to understand, so what we wanted to do was take all of that and boil it down into a single number,” said Kistner. “That way the page admin can know whether or not the post they put out was effective.”

As Kistner went on to explain, marketers need to understand engagement in order to be effective on the Facebook platform. The way engagement works on Facebook is actually similar to how ranking factors work on Google. For instance, when a brand pushes out a post, it doesn’t immediately reach all of the fans. Instead, a brand needs to have engagement in order to break through Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm and show up in the News Feed.

“So, what this new data is gonna do and what our new tool helps with that new data is really understand how your posts are driving engagement, and therefore, if you’re getting the reach that you so desire from having that audience,” explained Kistner.

Facebook’s new Page Insights are already available, and Hoverstats is available through a Google Chrome plug-in. Kistner told us that Hoverstats would also be available for other browsers in the near future.

In what ways do you see these free tools helping your marketing efforts on Facebook?