What the New Facebook Insights Means to Marketers

Graph and Logo ImageIf you’ve ever used Facebook insights, you’re no stranger to its updates and changes. And as you may have heard, Facebook is updating insights again and this time it’s big … really big.

This new version will offer a better view of page activity and user engagement by emphasizing how visitors are interacting with our pages, as well as the reach of our content. This is great news, and a breakdown of the key new features is below. But before we get too deep, you should know one thing about the new insights dashboard: Your current dashboard stopped recording data on Dec.15, and all of the current data being stored will be deleted on Feb. 15, 2012.

Yes you read that right; all of the data you’ve collected up to Dec. 15 will be deleted from your Facebook insights page in mid-February. This means you will need to export all of the data you want to keep as soon as possible because once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.

Now on to the good stuff: What does the new insights function mean to me?

Facebook’s Advertising Communications Manager Elisabeth Diana puts it this way: “One of the purposes behind Facebook Page Insights is to provide all page admins with ways to understand how to reach and acquire new customers.”

You’ve heard marketers talk all year about engagement, engagement and more engagement. Engagement is the key to success! They’re correct, but how do we know if we’re being engaging? The new insights dashboard has taken on the task of offering marketers data based on this most important metric.

Facebook has implemented three new metrics to focus on engagement and interaction:

1. People Talking About This
From Facebook: “People Talking About This is the number of unique people who have created content about your Page on Facebook in the past week. The more people that talk about your Page, the more distribution it will get.”

2. Weekly Reach
From Facebook: “The number of people who have seen your message is displayed in Weekly Total Reach.”

3. Virality
From Facebook: “Virality measures how likely a person is to share something about your posts with their friends. This is a great indicator of the kind of posts your audience responds to.”

There are other new features, but these are my favorites so far. They show how engaging your content is by gathering data on how many people liked your page; liked, commented on or shared your page post; answered a question; responded to an event; mentioned your page; tagged your page in a photo; or checked in/recommended a place. These things show us how people are using our content to tell their story, and how likely our content will be used to do so!

The new features Facebook has implemented should help us as marketers create and focus on content that our audience wants by showing us what and how they consume our content now. Have you updated your insights yet? What do you think are the most important changes, and how will they help us moving forward?