Once you understand that Facebook’s main aim in supplying Insight data is to persuade you to take out advertisements with them, you can start to see why they highlight and give Facebook Business Page owners so much demographic data and so on. This is great and some small business would prosper by taking out a Facebook advert. But before jumping in, it is worth spending a small amount of time studying the Insight data that Facebook provides – and for free. This is well beyond the obvious and simple number of page “Likes” and graphical information available when you first click Insights. Examining this information that will tell you what whether you need to advertise at all just yet and if you do, what effect it is having.
28 Days Viral Impressions- A first stage in the ROI cycle
If you have down-loaded your Insight data in the form of an Excel spreadsheet, Column BN shows you what Facebook call “28 day Viral Impressions of your posts”.
This data shows you the total number of times users saw your original posts via stories published by their Friends. This might sound a bit esoteric to the average small business owner, but what it is saying is that your original post has been shared by your Fans to their Friends. If the figures are high and rising, you can be sure that what you are publishing is hitting the mark. And what is more. Your Fans trust you enough to share your content with their Friends. And what is really good about this is that your Fans’ friends stand good chance of becoming your new Fans because they are likely to have similar demographics and buying behaviour. Sweet! This is the very first stage in actually getting return on the time you put into creating good Facebook content. Your Fan’s Friends with similar buying behaviour will most likely become buying customers!
28 Days Organic Reach
This statistic can be found on Column AN of your Facebook Insight download. Reach is an old fashioned Advertising term that was more obvious in the days of mass Print or Television advertising. It is really just the number of people who see your page. Sometime this is called “eyeballs” and advertising sales organisations went to great lengths to estimate this figure to assist in selling advertising. For a Magazine, this is more than the number of people who buy it (the circulation) because many people may actually pick up and read than buy a copy. There is a similar effect on Facebook. On Facebook, it is possible to accurately measure not only how many people actually visit your Post in your Business Page, but also see one of your Posts in someone else’s News feed. The term “organic” is used, because this is your Reach without even placing an advert to try to attract new “eyeballs” and stimulate sales that way.
What is really interesting about this metric is that unlike “Likes” only, it also a measure the number of people who may be reading your content, but just have not become fans just yet. In layman’s terms this is something for nothing. Readership without having Fans. Conversely, it is also measuring the number of Fans who maybe do not see your Post. Most business owners just assume all their Fans will automatically be able to see their posts. Not true! It is estimated that only about 16% of your Fans actually ever see your posts. I think this shows how hard it is to create content for Posts that your potential customer will like, even the ones who are your Fans
For the record, this number helps Facebook determine your “EdgeRank” which is important in the cost of Facebook advertisements. A higher number will lead to better EdgeRank and lower advertising cost per person reached.
If your Organic Reach is low, then now is the time to consider going back to basics and asking your customers what they would really like to see in your Posts. Ah, good old fashioned Market Research- you can’t beat it!