Ask a manager how they measure their company’s Facebook page performance and I bet you an awful lot of them will turn around and say by the amount of fans. Which is a shockingly awful statistic to measure because it’s very easy to game. Yep buy yourself some likes, give the fan numbers a bump and hey presto, the job is done. There won’t be any user interaction so the actual value of the page to the brand will be very poor. There are other ways to measure your pages performance, so lets take a look.
Social Bakers & Your Social Media Monitor
Social Bakers and Your Social Media Monitor both list brands in terms of popularity. The brand pages are listed out like league tables which can give competitive element to a pages performance. But since these focus on numbers that can be faked, they don’t really give any useful data. I mean what would be more valuable to a business? A vibrant online community of brand ambassadors, or a page with little to no activity? I didn’t say how many fans were involved on each but I’ve seen pages with under 1,000 fans that have a bustling community and pages with over 10K that could really learn a thing or two from the smaller page. However, if you are building a community of fans, these league tables do give a sense of satisfaction when you help the smaller brand to outperform the bigger one, knowing you have made it there by building a strong sense of community.
Good as a guide to see what competitors are doing
Not good as a real performance indicator
Much like the first two point, Wildfire Monitor works off the amount of fans pages have without delving any deeper to see what is really going on. Instead of a league table it will show the performance of up to three pages on a graph. You can sign up to get weekly alerts to monitor your competitors and identify any spikes in traffic they may receive.
community Health Score
Community Health Score, from Momentus Media, is a fairly straightforward measurement tool. Type in the name of your page and an algorithm will give you a ranking based on how engaged your audience are. The results look at how often admins post to a page, the likes and comments to admin posts per day, how often fans post to the wall and how often they respond. While this uses the fan metric as a number to judge interaction against, it can identify good performing pages based on likes and comments. It will rank pages with good levels of interaction higher than pages with;
Fake, or bought likes, because these likes are not people who will add to the conversation
Pages who strive for numbers regardless if the fans they are getting genuinely like their brand. Fans might have joined for a promotion, or because a friend asked them too, but then hide the pages updates from their newsfeed. These types of fans are nothing more than a fan number.
Another benefit with this tool is to measure a competitors performance.
A bad point for CHS was its failure to identify a new page and the rank it was given after its first very busy week alone. Perhaps waiting at least a month to measure a new page’s performance might return a more accurate score.
Much like Community Health Score, Facebook Grader works by entering in the Facebook URL of your page. This is from Hubspot who have a grader for just about everything including Twitter, websites, blogs and a lot more, so you would imagine they know what they are doing. However, unlike Community Health Score it doesn’t really give a breakdown of what the calculations are based on except – the number of fans you have, the power of this network of fans, the completeness of your page and ‘…a few others’. In a test of seven pages, six of them scored very different results to Community Health Score.
Good as a guide
Good to measure against competitors
It’s hard to know if this or CHS is more accurate, since they returned six very different results in my test of seven different pages.
Edgerank is how Facebook grades your page’s posts. The higher the grade, the higher your posts will rank in the Top News section of your fans newsfeed. Since Top News is set to the default view of Facebook, the higher up you get the more chance of your update being seen by fans, which could lead to more interaction and more fans. The algorithm to identify EdgeRank scores is explained like this;
That’s explained a little better by Mari Smith;
Affinity = the relationship between you and each individual fan. That is, how often a fan views and interacts with your Facebook page and individual posts. Plus, how much you engage with your fans: Facebook rewards you for building relationships!
Weight = typically, photos receive the highest weight, followed by videos, links, status updates and apps. Manual posts receive more weight than posts by apps.
Time = the more recent your post, the higher your EdgeRank score. A popular piece of content will stay for a longer period of time in the News Feed of your fans
It would seem that Facebook rewards you for building relationships, which is what it’s about, and means purchasing fake likes and fans could actually go against your marketing efforts because your EdgeRank scores could be lower. Which will result in your updates receiving less prominence.
So now you know the importance of EdgeRank, how can you check your pages score? EdgeRank Checker is an online tool that allows you to check it. You need access to your pages Insights to export data in a .csv file and upload it to EdgeRank Checker to estimate your score.
Its the only measurement so far based on your actual pages Inisghts
It will certainly be more accurate than the league table style measures, and you would hope it to be more reliable than Community Health Score or Facebook Grader
You can export data for any month from Facebook Insights and therefore check how your score has developed over time
You cannot check competitors websites
You have to export data to a third party website, which may be a nono for some
Facebook Data and Insights
Good old fashioned facts, these numbers cannot lie. However the trick is to identify what figures are most important to your pages overall goals. Maybe you sell via your Facbook page, or you can capture data at the point of purchase which identifies what informed the purchasers decision, maybe you have a Facebook only promo, or downloadable coupons that can be tracked, some of these metrics may be very specific to your business. However, I would use these in conjunction with your Facebook page data and Insights. Such as the following figures;
Number of fans
Monthly active fans
Number of comments made by the page
Comments and likes on those comments
Unprompted fan comments, plus their likes and subsequent comments
Amount of negative comments and their likes
Amount of page views
Amount of tab views
Unsubscribers from the page
People who have hidden your pages stories from their newsfeed
Note & explain any peaks and troughs in numbers where possible (eg. sever weather, time of the year etc)
Not all of these might be relevant, and maybe you know of ones that are more relevant (if so please add them below), but this is just a start. On the same date every month sit down and make a note of all these figures to compare over 3, 6 and 12 month cycles. These figures won’t lie, and they can’t be gamed. They might work well also by using CHS, Facebook Grader and Edgerank to give a wider view of your page. You want all rankings to be heading upwards, so perhaps they may work better as part of a team of metrics, rather than standalone numbers.
UPDATE: It might also be worth casting your eyes over this post, which suggests taking certain insights data and displaying them as percentages, so over time you can see in what direction your Facebook page activity is heading. Another suggestion is to do this on a weekly basis as opposed to monthly so faster action can be taken. Really good idea especially for the bigger pages with lots of activity.
7. Virtue Social Page Evaluator
This Facebook page evaluator by Virtue offers a unique take on the measurement process by putting a dollar value on your page. Which, IMO, is pretty worthless. When you can get the evaluator to work, perhaps I was using it on a day there was some bugs in the system. It’s clunky to use and as I type it’s not giving any data on pages it was showing two minutes ago. From what I remember it identifies if you are posting too frequently or infrequently to your page, and the type of content you are posting. This isn’t really anything useful because how often a brand should post, should be worked out by the page admin, as it will differ from one business to the other.
8. Paid For Services
There’s a number of paid for services out there that claim to measure how well your page is performing. One of these is Webtrends. However I have never used any of these paid services so I can’t really give you any more information except to rehash their press releases. And whats the point in that?