December 7, 2011

Which Facebook Insights metrics matter to your nonprofit?

  • Buffer
  • Buffer

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, cause organizations, businesses, brands, social media managers, Web publishers, individuals.

John HaydonNow that Facebook has rolled out the new Insights to all Pages, you’re probably wondering what some of these new metrics mean.

But you’re also wondering which ones really matter.

Yes, you can still view how many fans you have, and you can even see how many collective friends your fans have! But these numbers really don’t matter if no one cares about your organization.


The Insights metrics that matter

Some of you might be saying: “Yeah, but this Page has over 3,000 fans!” Still others might be saying “3,000 is nothing…We have over 50,000 fans.” Whether you have 3,000 fans or 50,000 means nothing if:

1. No one’s seeing any of your Page stories.
2. No one’s talking about your organization.
3. No one’s telling their friends.

How many people are seeing your Page stories?

One thing that really matters is if people actually see your Page stories – right? Insights shows you how many Facebook users are seeing your Page stories in their news feed or on your Page. In the graph below, almost half of the Page’s fans are not getting this Page’s updates in their news feed.


Fortunately, many Facebook users are taking action on what they see (commenting, liking, sharing, etc.), and those actions are seen by their friends:


Viral reach (the number of people who see stories about your Page from their friends) is what Facebook is all about!

Metric: People are talking about your Page

So how many people are talking about your nonprofit? And what are they saying?

You can see a rollup of all these actions on the Insights Dashboard, right above data about the posts you’re publishing.


Knowing how much they’re talking is one thing, but knowing what they’re saying is what’s meaningful. Are they liking your post? Liking your Page? Commenting and sharing?


“Talking About This” includes the following actions:

  • Liking your Page
  • Liking, commenting on or sharing your Page update
  • Commenting on or liking a Sponsored Story
  • Answering a Question posted by a Page
  • Posting to a Page’s Wall
  • RSVPing to an Event hosted by the Page
  • Mentioning (or tagging) your Page
  • Tagging a person or Page in one of your photos
  • Checking in (if you have Facebook Place)

So what metrics should you pay attention to?

In one sense, social media measurement is like using a compass. Both answer three essential questions:

1. How far you are from your destination (our compass includes GPS).
2. When and how you need to change course.
3. When you’ve arrived at your destination.

And now the really important question:

What’s your destination?John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter or leave a comment.

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