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Facebook Insights Gets Better

Those of you who manage a fan page for yourself or others will be interested to see the changes Facebook have made to their ‘Insights’ platform. The old ‘Insights’ was of limited use, giving a breakdown of fans by gender, country and age. Here in Amp our biggest complaint was to do with the interactive flash graphs which were a constant source of crashing web browsers.

Thankfully the new ‘Insights’ page doesn’t feature these buggy graphs and further improvements come with link-tracking. If you are familiar with Google Analytics (and if you have a website or a blog and haven’t got Analytics installed you should really think about it) you’ll realise how beneficial it can be to learn where your sources of traffic are coming from. The new Facebook ‘Insights’ interface is a lot less complex looking than that of Analytics. It comes in two sections; one focusing on Users (fans / likes) and one focusing on Interactions. I’ll go through each one in turn and look at the new features within them.

Users

In addition to the usual demographic information the new ‘Insights’ page features information about where people are ‘liking’ you from. Are they landing on your page and liking you directly in Facebook? Or is the Facebook badge in your website working for you? If you are receiving lots of hits on your website but still aren’t getting any likes from your site, then maybe your Facebook badge isn’t prominent enough; new Facebook ‘Insights’ can now tell you this.

It can also tell you which are your most popular Facebook tabs in a similar way to how Google Analytics breaks down your most popular website pages. Undoubtedly your Wall is going to be your most popular tab but if you have added additional tabs knowing how they are performing can yield interesting insights. For example, say you have a Facebook tab with a Store embedded in it; you are seeing lots of traffic to this Store tab but not many sales coming through it. Perhaps your Store layout isn’t working properly, or the pricing isn’t suitable for your audience. You know at least that people are attracted to your Store and visiting it, so the problem lies in what they find when they get there.

Interactions

One of my favourite new features is the ‘Daily Story Feedback’ feature, though lamentably it needs more work before it will be prove useful to page admins. It displays the response from fans to each of your Facebook posts and status updates, then charts these across time. It’s an improvement on the old system where there was no easy way within ‘Insights’ to decipher which exact post was the most popular, short of going back to the original post to find out. However, the feature isn’t working so well for me at the moment, as you can see by the preponderance of “n/a”s below:

What I’d like to see is a beefed up version of this feature which displays the number of Comments, Likes and Shares for each post and charts these with speech bubbles referencing the post itself, not the date. Having a more intuitive way to view how effective certain posts are means learning more easily about what your fans respond to. Do they like it when you post about things other than your music? Do they respond to sales pitches? Is there a pattern to their responses; do you get lots of ‘likes’ at the weekend, but not during the week? Do you get more responses when you post rarely or regularly? Knowing this information can provide rich insight into how best to communicate with your fans so that they stay with you and engaged with your music.

These new changes to Facebook ‘Insights’ will be welcomed by page admins all over the world. Handily for those who manage lots of pages there are easy-to-reach links to all of your pages, so you can toggle between them easily. What some might not be pleased about however, is the still-to-be-addressed lag-time in reporting. In comparison to Google Analytics, Facebook ‘Insights’ performs at a snails pace. At 7pm GMT on the 5th August, the latest information available on Facebook ‘Insight’ is for Monday 2nd August; a full 3 days past. Why there is a time delay for Facebook who own all this information in their servers is a mystery. Especially since third party providers such as Next Big Sound and Mmmotion can display the information instantly.

Addendum:

If you haven’t used Next Big Sound before it’s a great free tool to measure band popularity across social networks and allows you to compare performance between up to 4 different artists. Here is a look at the comparison between Irish artists Heathers and Two Door Cinema Club.

If you are an artist and would like to join Next Big Sound you can sign up for free and register your different social sites with them here.

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  2. [...] All in all the new ‘Edit Page’ interface is a welcome
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