Facebook Lets Brands Measure Earned Media With “People Talking About This” Page Metric

On the eve of Advertising Week, Facebook last night announced that it will provide several new Page Insights metrics to marketers to help them gauge their reach on the social network. Along with total friends of fans and total weekly reach, “People Talking About This” will show the total number of stories published by Facebook users that mention a brand, including wall posts, comments, shares, and more. We’ve learned the new metrics will roll out on Wednesday.

The metrics will help brands measure their earned media on Facebook in addition to their paid ads and owned Page posts. While the Insights tab will only be visible to admins, a simple count of People Talking About This will be publicly available on a brand’s Page beneath their total Like count. This will give businesses some ability to benchmark themselves against competitors. Users can expect more purposefully viral marketing and ad campaigns on Facebook now that brands can accurately track their reach.

The annual Advertising Week sees industry leaders gather in New York to discuss the latest developments in advertising. Facebook has a big opportunity to build its business by increasing the general understanding of its marketing solutions. As we’ve discussed, more businesses might adopt Facebook Ads and other marketing products if they felt confident in how to use them. Facebook is expanding education and outreach efforts through business lobbies to solve this problem. It has also launched a new “expanded premium ad unit” to attract Ad Week attention.

Starting Wednesday, Pages will include an Insights tab in their navigation menu that is visible to admins only. It will show a graph of the Weekly Total Reach and quantity of People Talking About This with dots overlaid to show when the Page published updates. Above it will show these metrics and Friends of Fans numerically with percentage change for a time period. Below will be a list of a Page’s last 500 posts (or all published since mid-July) with reach, engagement, talking about this, and virality scores.

The public will see a “[#] are talking about this” figure above the Page’s Like count. Subtabs of the admin-only Insights Page tab app will breakdown a Page’s reach by Organic (Page posts), Paid (ads) and Viral (Page content reshared by users). This will allow marketers to determine if certain paid and owned efforts have been successful at encouraging viral sharing. Admins will also be able to see the Unique Users By Frequency which shows how many unique users visited a Page once, twice, and more.

Without these new metrics, it was tricky or impossible for a brand to determine its total reach and how frequently it was being posted about by Facebook users. They could see separate counts for post impressions and feedback, media consumption, Page views, wall posts, and mentions, but there was no way to eliminate duplicates or count all types of interactions to calculate total reach. Brands could watch their own Page wall or use third-party social media monitoring software to track public posts that mentioned them, but they couldn’t count private posts or activity stories generated by Likes and other actions to determine their volume of earned media.

Weekly Total Reach will add up all of the users who’ve been exposed to a brand’s owned, earned, and paid media, including those who’ve interacted with a Page’s content or seen its ads. This gives marketers a metric to compare to the reach of other mediums such as television or print. If marketers determine the cost to reach an audience on Facebook is lower than through tv commercials, the metric could help accelerate the shift of ad dollars from television to Facebook.

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