An amazing new Facebook Marketing and Analytics Tool: Animated Heat Map of Audience Online

When Facebook made an API available that enabled us to analyze when Facebook Fans were online, EdgeRankChecker quickly implemented a new feature called Audience Online (click on the link to see all the feature of the incredible PRO version).

Free Facebook Audience Online

The Audience Online heat map provides a quick, visual way to see when your fans are logging into Facebook. This information can be used to publish posts or identify behavioral trends over time.

The animated Audience Online heat map allows you to see how your traffic patterns change week to week. This allows you to understand how your audience’s behavior may be changing to spot a trend before it becomes the norm.

We’re excited to provide additional value to our free users. If you have any questions on how to use this new feature (which is now live and available in your Page Overview for Free Accounts) Tweet us or leave a comment below.

How To Use

The graph is colored from Red to Green. The green areas represent the times that fans were online above their average rate. The red areas represent times that your fans were online below their average rate. Typically, we see more people online (green) during traditional daylight hours. The change between green to red tends to be more severe when a Page has a very local audience.

The dots displayed on the heat map represent when your Page posted. You can hover over the dot to see more details regarding the post. The size of the dot also indicates how much engagement the post received—dots that are larger had more engagement than the smaller dots.

We recommend looking at your heat map for particular periods of time, as well as looking at how they’re changing. Keep your eye on how the green and red areas are shifting over time.

[Source: EdgeRank Checker]

6 Facebook Metrics You Should (Know and) Be Measuring

Do you feel lost when you’re looking at your Facebook Page statistics?

Well, you’re not alone. Facebook metrics can be overwhelming and most Facebook Insights terminology is still hazy for many of us.

As a marketer, you know that what can be measured can be managed (and improved). So even if it seems complex, you need to measure your Facebook Page’s performance.

What statistics should you measure on your Facebook Page?

First you’ll want to focus on your Facebook post metrics. These are the only relevant indicators of the performance of your content. The other Facebook data can be misleading or gamed. But it’s very hard to trick individual post metrics.

Here are the six key metrics you need to track to understand your Facebook Page performance, why you need them and where to find them.

#1: Fan Reach

Fan reach simply corresponds to the number of fans of your Page who have seen any given post. This is “organic” reach, which means that it only records the views that occurred directly, and not through an action of a friend of a fan (such as a like, share or comment). The views that result from a friend’s actions are recorded in “viral” views.

Where to find your fan reach metrics

The fan reach metric is not available in the Facebook statistics interface; it’s only available in an Excel file available for download.

fan reach data

To access fan reach data, you first need to export the data to Excel.

export insights data

Choose the format, the date range and select “post level data.”

You’ll find it under the label “Lifetime Post reach by people who like your Page.” This is not as user-friendly as the web interface, I know, but it is important enough to spend the time retrieving this information.

lifetime post reach

Within the Key Metrics tab, look for the column labeled “Lifetime Post reach by people who like your Page.”

Why your fan reach metrics are important to know

The per-post fan reach is probably the most important metric. It’s a key indicator. It helps you measure the appeal of your content to your audience and appreciate the quality of your audience.

An audience recruited from an eye-catching contest (or worse, bought through the thousands of questionable sites that sell “fans”) will quickly hide your posts from their newsfeed. If they don’t actively unsubscribe, their lack of interest (and therefore disengagement) will cause them to be effectively unsubscribed from your posts due to Facebook’s EdgeRank feature working behind the scenes.

Fan reach is a key indicator of the health of your Facebook Page. The higher the quality of your audience and the more interesting your content, the more fans (and potential fans) you will reach.

#2: Organic Reach

Organic reach corresponds with the number of people, fans and non-fans, who have seen a given post. As with fan reach, organic reach only records views that are not the result of a friend of a fan’s action (which is counted in the viral reach).

The real difference between the fan reach (above) and this metric is that the organic reach includes views of people that are not fans of the Page but have directly accessed your Page or seen its content in a widget (for example, a “like box” on your site or blog).

Where to find your organic reach metrics

The organic reach is easier to find, as it is located within the Insight interface of your Page.

Just go to your Insights, scroll down to your list of posts, click on the Reach number for each post and hover your mouse on the bar chart for “Organic”and you’ll see the number.

You can also see this stat under each post if you’re logged into your Page.

organic reach

Once on the Insights interface, click on the number of people reached for the post in question and hover your mouse over the “Organic” bar chart, you’ll see the organic reach number for that post.

So, if you have not downloaded the Excel file to get your fan reach as outlined above, you can check your organic reach metrics instead. But remember that your organic reach metrics can be quite different from your fan reach metrics.

The example below shows the differences we found between two Pages when comparing results of these two metrics.

fan reach organic reach

The difference between fan reach and organic reach can vary significantly from one Page to another.

As you can see, your organic reach may not be an accurate reflection of your fan reach. So before relying on organic reach instead of fan reach, check if your Page has a big difference between the two.

Why your organic reach metrics are important to know

Organic reach can replace fan reach in the metrics you want to follow, but only if the average difference between organic and fan reach is not too high with your audience.

Your organic reach metrics can help you identify ways to improve your content’s organic visibility. For example, when organic reach is very close to fan reach, it usually means that people cannot be exposed to your content if they are not already fans.

This could be the consequence of a lack of proper communication about your Fan Page on your other marketing channels. If you have a website, a blog and a newsletter and there is very little difference between your organic and fan reach results, it probably means that you are not attracting a new non-fan audience to your content.

If this is your case, try to better promote your Page on other channels and you should see your organic reach going up.

#3: Engagement

According to Facebook, with regards to post level metrics, engagement is “the number of people who clicked anywhere in your post.

This includes liking, commenting and sharing and people who’ve viewed your video or clicked on your links and photos. And it also includes people who’ve clicked on a commenter’s name, liked a comment, clicked on your Page name and even gave negative feedback by reporting your post.

Engaged users are people who have clicked on this content from anywhere.

It’s the most important metric to know after your reach metric. Reach tells you how many people have potentially seen your content; engagement is the number of people who have interacted with your content.

Where to find your engagement metrics

To see the engagement metric for each post, go to your Insights at the same place where you looked at your organic reach. The number of people who engaged with your content is right there in the “Engaged Users” column.

engaged users

The Engaged Users metric is easy to see on your Facebook Insights page.

Why your engagement metrics are important to know

Engagement—whether the type that implies “acting” on your post by commenting, liking or sharing it, or the type that is more “passive,” such as watching the video, zooming on a photo or clicking on a link—is probably the second most important metric to focus on if you are serious about measuring your Page’s performance.

It’s not enough for your updates to be viewed by a lot of people. You need to make sure that the content you offer your audience triggers some kind of interest. And engagement is the only measurable sign of interest.

When measuring engagement, do not focus on the raw number you see in your Insights. The only way to really understand that metric and compare posts is to look at the number of engaged people and the number of people reached for the post in question.

The only way to compare a post engagement metric with your other posts is to create a percentage. This gives you a number that you can use to benchmark the performance of each of your posts.

formula

Use this formula for each post to compare the performance of one post against another.

This formula helps you understand your results. If you rely solely on the number of engaged users, you’ll never know if good engagement on a specific post is due to the quality of your content, or if it was simply shown to more people.

This gives you a percentage that takes the exposure of the post into account and allows the comparison between posts.

benchmark posts

Creating these percentages helps benchmark posts against one another.

#4: People Talking About This (or Storytellers)

The “People Talking About This” data in Facebook Insights is sometimes referred to as “Storytellers.” This is one of Facebook’s metrics that few people understand.

Here’s what you need to know. This metric is part of the engagement metric. So the number of “people talking about” a post is included in the number of people who “engaged” with that post.

The “people talking about this” metric only measures three types of actions: likes, comments or shares.

What makes “people talking about this” different from the engagement metric above is that it highlights the number of your fans who did something to show engagement to their friends.

Where to find your “people talking about this” metrics

Again, go to your Insights interface where you found your organic reach and engagement stats, and look at the “Talking About This” column. Easy.

people talking about this

When you click on the “People Talking About This” number for each post, you see a breakdown of the type of action made on each post.

Why your “people talking about this” metric is important to know

This is the “viral” metric. One of your motivations for creating a Facebook Page was probably to connect with the friends of your existing fans for free! The “people talking about this” metric is the best for measuring how many people are willing to spread the word about you to their friends.

Remember, when a user likes, comments on or shares a post on your Page, Facebook may decide to publish this to this user’s friends to show that this user liked, commented on or shared a piece of content from your Page. I emphasize the “may” because Facebook is limiting the reach of these stories.

So, don’t expect too much from this metric. Although Facebook is still the best place to leverage viral stories like these, it’s not what it used to be. You used to frequently see in your newsfeed that a friend had liked, commented on or shared a piece of content from a Page. Chances are that you see less of this today.

#5: Click-Through Rate

Here comes a metric that you are sure to be familiar with! The CTR, or click-through rate, has been around for years on the web. It’s used to measure the effectiveness of email marketing, banner advertising, search engine ads such as Adwords campaigns or landing page quality.

The good news is that it means the same thing within Facebook. Click-through rates tell you the number of people who have clicked on a link in your content, watched your video or viewed a larger version of your photo.

Where to find your click-through metrics

Go to your Page Insights interface, click on the Engaged Users number and you’ll find the number of users who have clicked on your content.

If the content is a link, it will be named “Link Clicks;” if it is a video, it will be labeled “Video Plays;” if it is a photo, it’ll read “Photo Views.” Pretty straightforward.

click through rates

Depending on the type of content you are looking at, you’ll find click-through rates shown as “Photos Views,” “Video Plays” and “Link Clicks.”

Why your click-through metrics are important to know

It is nice to know how many people have potentially seen your content (the reach metric), and even nicer to know how many of them were interested enough to act on it (engaged users), as outlined above.

But the bottom line is to know how many people were interested enough to pay attention to your content. And this means watching your video, looking at your photo or checking out your link.

The click-through metric is the bottom of your content quality funnel. Keep an eye on it.

#6: Negative Feedback

Negative feedback is a “negative” action taken by a fan on your piece of content. It can be hiding a specific post, hiding all future posts from your Page, unliking your Page or even worse, reporting it as spam.

Simply put, the negative feedback metric counts the number of users who really did not like your content or the fact that it appeared in their newsfeed.

Where to find your negative feedback metrics

Go to your Page Insights interface, click on the Engaged Users number and you’ll find the number of users who gave negative feedback at the bottom of that window.

negative feedback

Click on the Engaged Users number for each post and you’ll see the “negative feedback” number in small print.

You cannot see the breakdown for the negative feedback number here in the Insights. If you want to know what negative actions were actually taken, you will have todownload the Excel export as mentioned in the fan reach section above.

Why your negative feedback metrics are important to know

Since September 2012, Facebook has given more weight to the negative feedback metric. Posts with a high negative feedback number will have much less exposure through EdgeRank and Pages with an average negative feedback that remains high will have less and less reach over time.

Needless to say, if you want to benefit from your Facebook marketing, you need to keep your negative feedback numbers as low as possible.

As with all other engagement metrics (engaged users, people talking about your Page, clicks, etc.), when measuring negative feedback, do not focus on the number you see on your Insights dashboard.

The only way to really understand your negative feedback metric and compare the data you have for your different posts is to create a percentage score with the number of people who gave negative feedback and the number reached for that particular post.

You’ll end up with a percentage that makes sense because it takes the exposure of the post into account and allows you to compare results from different posts.

When looking at negative feedback in percentages, I’ve found the average negative feedback is 0.1%, but some Pages go as high as 0.7%!

post insights

Look at both your negative feedback and engagement scores in percentages.

Use These Six Metrics to Improve Your Facebook Marketing

Measuring your Facebook Page performance may seem like a daunting task if you have to do it manually from the Facebook Insights interface or the Excel download. And you may find it useful to start doing it that way to understand where the data comes from and what it means.

But once you’re familiar with the metrics, you can use third-party tools to save time. Although there are others, these free tools are a great place to start: Page Analyzer and Simply Measured (free version).

You can also decide to invest in paid tools such as QuintlyPageleverPostAcumenand Wisemetrics.

[Source: Social Media Examiner]

When the Cookie Crumbles: how to measure and validate the accurate delivery of Digital Campaigns

With the rising popularity of social media and online video, along with the growing adoption of smartphones and other connected devices, the Internet continues to consume an increasing amount of time in the daily lives of millions of consumers. For brands around the globe, the Internet has also emerged as a significant advertising channel. Consider that the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported that UK online advertising spending in 2011 was 14% higher than in 2010. In the U.S., eMarketer says online spending will grow by a staggering 23% in 2012, far outstripping the total media ad spending forecast of 6.7% in 2012.

To a large extent, brands are investing in digital advertising based on the results of research showing that online ad campaigns can increase both online and retail sales in a very cost-effective manner. Let’s take, for example, the results of almost 100 comScore studies that measured the impact of FMCG online ad campaigns on retail (i.e. in-store) sales. These show that five out of every six FMCG online campaign generated a positive offline sales lift, with a median in-store sales lift of 21% among households exposed to the digital advertising campaigns compared to households not exposed to the campaigns. Further comScore analysis has shown that one of the main reasons digital advertising works so well for FMCG brands is that more than 40% of the campaign ads include price and promotion incentives (e.g. communication of special prices, discount coupons, price packs, etc.), which have been proven to lift sales quickly when included in other media.

As the industry continues to study digital advertising and we learn more about how online advertising works, there’s been an increasing focus on what I believe to be an essential and foundational part of effective digital media, and one that can generate even stronger sales results. That is, the measurement and validation of the accurate delivery of digital campaigns. I find this aspect of digital advertising to be critical because, if executed correctly, it can allow for even more precise and efficient targeting of ads than is possible with traditional media. Let’s take a closer look at why this is true.

During the early days of digital advertising, it was assumed that display campaigns were generally delivered on target. After all, this was part of the great promise of the Internet as an advertising channel. As branding dollars began to move online, however, advertisers sought third-party validation of their campaign delivery. They wanted answers to critical campaign delivery questions, such as: Are my ads reaching the intended demographic and geographic segments? Are my R/F levels in line with my buying guidelines?

Many advertisers were surprised to learn that, because of the way targeted ads are delivered online, their campaigns were often not reaching their target to the extent they believed. There is one main culprit for this, and that is, the cookie. The cookie is a piece of computer code that is placed on a computer’s browser when the user visits a particular website or performs a certain online activity (e.g. configuring a new car or providing demographic information, etc.). Cookies are also deposited each time a computer receives an ad as part of a specific campaign. The cookie uniquely identifies the computer and browser. In digital ad targeting, the cookie is used by ad servers in an attempt to identify the demographic or behavioral characteristics of the individual using the computer and the number of times the ad server should deliver an ad impression to each computer it sees.

It all sounds straightforward, but there are two main problems with relying solely on a cookie-based approach, and these problems have been illuminated via research from comScore (and other third-party measurement providers). Using comScore’s global research panel of 2 million Internet users who have given comScore explicit permission to install measurement software on their computers, comScore is able to continuously measure browsing activity, with an accurate measurement of individuals’ gender and age, as well as the number of times users receive an ad impression. Using comScore’s technology means this information can be obtained without having to rely on cookies.

To better understand the potential flaws of cookie-based targeting and reporting, comScore first studied the incidence of multiple-user computers and found that about 66% of Internet users are, in fact, on multiple-user machines. This means that using a cookie to identify the demographic profile of a user (as explained above) can be subject to substantial error, and thus can negatively impact the accuracy of one’s targeting. Take for example, a household with three users – a husband, a wife and their daughter. Because each of these three people use the same computer, the cookie cannot differentiate who is on the computer at any given point in time, and the ad server might deliver an ad that is intended to reach the male head-of-house to his daughter. When reporting delivery, the ad server would count the impression as one delivered against the male target, when, in fact, it was never seen by this individual and was instead “wasted” on his daughter.

In an actual example from a recent ad campaign shown below, we see what happens as a result of the inherent flaws of cookie-based targeting. The ad server is clearly unable to accurately identify the demographic characteristics of the users on the machines at the point in time that it delivered the ads.

image1_gian_blog.png

comScore research also uncovered that about 30% of computers have their ad-server cookies deleted in a month, with a frequency of 4+ times per month. This can cause substantial error in the planned delivery of campaign’s reach and frequency. Take, for example, a campaign in which an ad server repeatedly delivers ads to a computer that has had its cookies deleted, believing that it is delivering the ad for the first time, when, in fact, the computer has received the ad multiple times throughout the course of the campaign. This typically causes an over-delivery of frequency and a corresponding under-delivery of reach.

Here is a real-life case example of this very scenario:

image2_gian_blog.png

Using the comScore panel to measure the true delivery of this digital campaign for a client, comScore found that 65% of all impressions were delivered by the ad server with a frequency of 10+ per person, far exceeding the optimal level of 3 to 8 that the media plan required. Because of high cookie-deletion rates, the ad server kept delivering impressions to the same computers, believing that they had not previously received ads, when they actually had. Because the cookies were deleted, however, the technical evidence of the delivery was erased.

So, how should the digital ad industry address these issues to improve the accuracy of its targeting efforts?  At a recent meeting of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Aaron Fetters, associate director of Global Digital Strategy and Analytics for the Kellogg’s Company, outlined how Kellogg’s has attacked the problem. To eliminate measurement skews associated with multiple-user computers and cookie deletion, Kellogg’s tags its ads with a comScore tag, allowing comScore to receive information about the ad delivery. comScore then uses this information, along with its panel, to truly understand who is receiving an ad (i.e. the actual person, not just the cookie) and at what frequency. This information is then fed to Kellogg’s and its ad agency in almost real time so that on-the-fly modifications can be made to the media plan, as needed. These modifications can involve shifting ad dollars from publishers who are unable to accurately reach the target segment with the desired frequency to those who can. By receiving this daily data throughout the duration of the campaign, advertisers no longer have to wait until the end of the campaign to understand the accuracy of their delivery. Instead, they can course-correct throughout the campaign, helping to eliminate wasted ad impressions and to avoid post-campaign ‘make goods’ (as is common with television advertising). According to Kellogg’s, this approach to measuring and validating ad delivery has delivered value in terms of both improved effectiveness and efficiency of their digital campaigns.

As digital advertising continues to evolve to reach its true potential as the most effective and efficient advertising medium, it is increasingly clear that ad delivery measurement and validation is a critical part of the advertising process. By leveraging the inherent ability of the Internet to deliver more ad impressions to a target segment in a given period of time than is possible with traditional media and by relying on third-party sources to verify accurate delivery, digital advertisers will be able to reap additional benefits in terms of even higher returns from their investments in digital advertising.

[Source: ComScore Voices]

This article was originally published in the June 2012 issue of Admap magazine. Reproduced with permission of Admap, the world’s primary source of strategies for effective advertising, marketing and research. To subscribe visit www.warc.com/admap. © Copyright Admap.