Facebook Launches Public-Facing Buzz Metric and Enhanced Ad Feature

by Pamela Vaughan

Date

October 3, 2011 at 3:00 PM

And the Facebook announcements just keep on coming. Today, we learn about Facebook's new metrics within the Insights tool, a new premium ad unit, and the Facebook Insights API.

Let's dive right into what these new features are and what they mean for marketers.

New Metrics in Facebook Insights

In addition to existing metrics provided by Facebook Insights, Facebook is now also providing three new metrics: 'People Talking About This,' 'Number of Friends of Fans,' and 'Weekly Total Reach.'

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1. 'People Are Talking About This' Metric: Slated to roll out to users this week, this new metric measures 'stories,' or content users share on Facebook that can be featured in users' News Feeds. In other words, it's a metric that counts instances of people liking your page (i.e. becoming a 'fan'); posting to your page’s wall; liking, commenting on, or sharing content (posts, videos, photos, albums, etc.) on your wall/Page; answering a question you posted; RSVPing to your events; liking or sharing a check-in deal; or checking in at your place.

What's important to note about this metric is that, not only will it be available in Facebook Insights for page administrators, but it will also be visible to page visitors as a publicly facing metric on your Page below your Facebook fan ('Likes') count. To us, what it sounds like is a public-facing version of Facebook's EdgeRank, Facebook's algorithm for determining what gets displayed in users' News Feeds.

2. 'Number of Friends of Fans' Metric: This new metric gives page admins a count of the total number of friends a page's fans have collectively. It gives page administrators more insight into the potential reach of their page.

3. 'Weekly Total Reach' Metric: Facebook Insights will now also report Weekly Total Reach, which is a measure of how many total people have posted something about your page, how many news organizations within Facebook have referenced it, and how much viral distribution the elements of your page have generated.

Facebook's Expanded Premium Ad Unit

Today, Facebook has introduced the Expanded Premium Ad unit, which combines a business page's posts with social context. The new ad unit will not appear in a user's News Feed, but it will expand if a user's friend has liked it, allowing users to comment, like it, and see other comments related to the ad.

premium adFacebook Insights API

Facebook also announced that all the existing and new metrics available in Facebook Insights will now also be available through the Facebook Insights API, which is available to the analytics developer community.

Marketing Takeaways

Facebook's new metrics and advanced advertising functionality means a number of important things for marketers.

While the new metrics available to Facebook page administrators is helpful for marketers to measure and understand how effective their content is at engaging fans, the 'People Talking About This' metric is particularly noteworthy. Because it will be visible as a publicly facing metric, marketers must understand how this will affect their ability to attract new fans. New visitors to your page may start using the metric to gauge whether they want to become a fan, so the higher your score, the better. Because a more engaging page with more likes, comments, and interaction will mean a better 'People Talking About This' score, marketers must focus on creating a page that generates more engagement and interaction.

In addition, Facebook's new premium ad unit can be very beneficial to marketers, as it leverages the power of social recommendations. According to research conducted by Nielsen, when Facebook users see their friends’ names on Facebook social ads, they’re twice as likely to remember the message and four times more likely to buy the product. This means marketers' Facebook ads might be even more effective if they're created using Facebook's new premium unit.

What do you think of Facebook's new announcements?

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