Popular Facebook Pages Have Fewer Unique Page Views Per Fan, Most Engagement is in the News Feed

New statistics shared with us by analytics service provider PageLever indicate that Facebook Pages with more fans receive fewer unique Page views per fan. This means the focus of Page admins and the Facebook industry on Page tab applications for engagement may be misplaced, as most engagement with Pages with more than one million Likes occurs in the news feed.

The statistics stem from PageLever’s dataset of 400 million Facebook fans from across the Pages of its beta testers. PageLever’s beta product gives admins a wide variety of useful data regarding the performance of their Pages. The data from the test was divided into four buckets of Page fan counts, and each bucket had enough data points to return accurate data, with data on 69 Pages with more than one million fan constituting the small number of data points.

PageLever’s stats also show that larger Pages get a much higher percentage of their Page views from Facebook’s internal referral mechanisms, and the search bar in particular, than from external referrers such search engines and links on websites. Pages with 1,o00 to 10,000 fans received a more balanced 61.26% of their Page views from internal sources, but that percentage swells to 92.61% for Pages with over one million fans

A spot check of 20 Pages with more than one million fans showed that 98% of their internal traffic came from Facebook Search.

This means popular Facebook Pages should be concentrating more on internal Facebook search engine optimization than external SEO for engines such as Google. It also means that links to one’s Facebook Page posted around the web are not driving as many Page views as admins might hope.

Page Views Slip Faster Than News Feed Impressions

As per the chart at the top of this post, you can see that a Page with 1,000 to 10,000 fan has 9.38 daily unique news feed impressions per 100 fans, while a Page with more than one million fans has 2.79, a decrease of 71%. However, a Page with 1,000 to 10,000 fan has 6.30 daily unique Page views per 100 fans, while a Page with more than one million fans has just 0.15, a staggering 97.7% decrease.

Therefore, while the rate of both news feed impressions and unique page views decrease as a Page grows larger, unique Page views decrease much faster. This means money and time may be better spent on planning and executing a successful news feed posting strategy than on designing and promoting Page applications when it comes to engaging existing users.

Contests and sweepstakes apps when combined with ads and viral sharing mechanisms are still important for gaining fans, but once users are fans, they typically only interact with Pages through the news feed. These findings have negative implications for the current strategies of much the Page management, ecommerce storefront tab app, and musician profile app industries. Page tab app developers should consider devoting more resources to building sophisticated widgets that can be published to the news feed.

The low absolute percentage of users who view either a Page or its news feed updates might surprise some. It should be taken as signal that admins need to work hard to produce compelling updates that draw Likes and comments which boost a Page’s news feed visibility, otherwise their efforts might go unseen.

[Thanks to Jeff Widman of PageLever for the data and his expertise]