Saturday, January 26, 2013

Facebook’s Web Analytics Tools and Others


When thinking about advertising on Facebook and analyzing your data from your company page it is easy to get lost in the massive amount of research support tools available. While there is an “Insights” link businesses can use on the Facebook website directly, there does not appear to be a limit to the number of companies willing to either do this analysis for you or to make it easier and more efficient.

Similar to the virtually unlimited number of businesses out there promising easy-to-use tax reporting software created behind the complicated tax reporting requirements of the IRS, Facebook has caused a gigantic support industry to be created to support all the many business needing to analyze their Facebook fan page data.

Before looking at some of the many vendors out there wanting to help with the analysis, here are some details on what companies can find directly on the Facebook website. Here is the path for business owners and advertisers on Facebook to find this info for a fan page they currently have:

Your company profile page >> Insights –All page insights >> Export Data

On the “Insights” initial page, demographics [1] are categorized based on fans who either interact with your company or people who are fans of your page but do not interact with your company. The info here basically gives fan count and age ranges by gender. The reports on the other hand are more helpful and the most helpful report provided is called the daily report under the “Fan and Interaction” heading.



The daily report includes a helpful metric of the number of unsubscribes to get an idea if you might be doing something to either offend or annoy your fan base. This is helpful since you never get this from traditional advertising vehicles. It also includes the number of resubscribes, interactions per comment & likes. In addition, it shows unique page views (only counting the first time a user views your page), Page views per day including, audio, video & photo view metrics per day (The video views metric is just like the YouTube metric but measured on Facebook).

 


"Next Analytics" is just one of many companies that not only specialize in social media analytics for Facebook but for every other major social media site as well. They are a one stop shop for social media analysts. Their products retrieve and analyze data from Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others.

Another popular outsourcing option for web analytics for social media is "Sprout Social". This company specializes in outsourced social media web analytics and manages over 150 Facebook pages and many Twitter & social networking pages. They provide reports to many major companies nationwide such as Yahoo, Adobe and McDonalds. [2]. 

Here are some basic resources available to smaller companies with limited budgets who want more sophisticated measurements of their performance than what is provided on Facebook:

A company called "Klout" specializes in providing a numerical measurement of social media influence on a 100 point scale based on 400 variables beyond the number of likes or friends your company has.

Another company called "Edge Rank Checker" interestingly enough claims to be able to tell you the best time of the day and day of the week to post on your company page, make recommendations and provide industry reports.

While the tools provided by these companies seem to be able to cover all the web analysts’ bases, this is still the tip of the iceberg in relation to the analytics support industry created all thanks to Facebook. There are many other firms willing to cater to your web analytics needs and many offer multiple price points based on these needs and the size of your business.

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