Lots of people have posted guides to Facebook‘s “new” insights. These are all generally pretty good explanations of the metrics that Facebook provides standard in their Insights tool (both online and in the Excel downloads). If you need an introduction to Facebook Insights, check them out. But if you’ve already been using the new Insights for a while, did you know that there are three key metrics that don’t come “out of the box” from Facebook? You can only get them with Excel (or a calculator, if you have free time). Here they are, how important they are, and how to create them:
- Frequency.This basic metric is the third part of the classic advertising trinity (Impressions, Reach, and Frequency). Frequency tells you how often the average Fan saw your content (posts, check-ins, ads, etc).Increases in average Frequency show that your audience sees your message more often.
In general, this is a good thing (unless it’s accompanied by associated increases in unsubscribes). While we have yet to see a benchmark frequency that’s considered effective, keep in mind that long-standing advertising research says that a rule of thumb for television advertising frequency is that 3 is a good baseline for a strong brand.
Frequency = Total Impressions / Total Reach
- Engagement Rate.Do your competitors have many more Fans than you do? Or a lot less? If so, how do you compare your activity against theirs? Calculate your Engagement Rate:For every 100 fans, how many of them create a story about your activity? The higher the number, the more engaged your audience is with your brand.
This gives you a somewhat-fair baseline for comparison (There’s an advanced version of this that corrects for the fact that large Fan audiences just don’t respond the same way that smaller bases do. Contact me for details).
Engagement Rate = People Talking About This / Fans x 100.
- Overlap. Are you using all 3 of Facebook’s connection tools – posting, sharing, and advertising? If so, you need to know the overlapHow many people are you reaching by multiple methods?
This is the overlap – the number of people who saw both your posts (“organic”) and shares (“viral”) by friends, or your posts (“organic”) and your ads (“paid”). Overlap is really useful to gauge your ad spending – the higher the overlap, the better the opportunity to change your advertising spend (because the people you’re reaching with ads are already being reached in far more effective ways – through your own posts and “virally” – from their friends). The closer your overlap score is to 1 (100%), the less you need to worry about advertising, because your audience is already being reached by more effective and cost-efficient means.
Overlap = ((Organic Reach + Viral Reach + Paid Reach) – Total Reach) / Total Reach
So there you go – three valuable metrics you didn’t know that Facebook gave you! Smart marketers will use them wisely to optimize their social media campaigns.