May 29, 2012

Metrics: Go beyond counting likes and followers

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, anyone with a Facebook page.

John HaydonArchers don’t aim at the point halfway between the arrow tip and the target. If they did, they would never hit the bullseye.

In the same way, many nonprofits still focus too much on counting Facebook likes and Twitter followers as if these metrics are the end goal, and then feel frustrated when they’re not getting the results they expected.

Going beyond counting likes and followers means asking a number of quantitative and qualitative questions about:

Reach: 10,000 Facebook fans doesn’t mean you’re reaching 10,000 people. In fact, a Page with 10,000 fans reaches only about 1,700 of their fans with updates.

Surprise, surprise! Additionally, you want to be asking:

  • Who are you reaching?
  • How are you reaching them?
  • How frequently do you reach them per week or month?

Reaction: 10,000 Facebook fans means nothing if they aren’t talking about your nonprofit. And that’s the whole point of your using social media, right?

People who are talking about you are usually a subset of people you’re reaching. Some questions you want to ask about people talking about you are:

  • Who is reacting?
  • Where are they reacting?
  • What are they saying?
  • What are we saying that get’s them talking?

Action: No amount of followers and fans have any value unless you’re converting people. New members, subscribers, donors, etc. Continue reading

August 31, 2011

Tricks to ramp up your nonprofit’s Facebook Page

Planned ParenthoodPlanned Parenthood had success engaging supporters through its Facebook Page.

How a few simple changes can make your Facebook Page more visible & engaging to fans

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, community managers, marketing professionals, NGOs, businesses, brands.

Debra AskanaseWhat is your nonprofit doing to engage with your Facebook fans? I put that question to attendees during a talk I gave recently at a gathering of New York nonprofit organizations — and heard about some great practices:

Planned Parenthood was able to move its Facebook fans to successfully defend the organization against legislative attacks.

• MASA Israel found that including a media image (photo or video) with every wall post update increased wall post engagement. MASA Israel also developed a successful Facebook application that streamlines the program enrollment decision-making process.

• The Partnership at held a successful Facebook wall chat, most recently with the actress Melissa Gilbert.

The importance of the newsfeed

At the event, convened by my colleagues Michelle Perrault and Seth Giammanco at Minds On Design Lab, I talked about how to ramp up your Facebook engagement. The presentation covered understanding Facebook post engagement, matching goals to engagement, practices and ideas for designing Facebook Page, and how to measure engagement and ROE (return on engagement).

Most fans never visit a Page but instead rely on the Page’s content to show up in their newsfeeds. A recent ComScore study reports that “Facebook users are 40-150 times more likely to consume branded content in the newsfeed than to visit the Fan Page itself.” However, the problem is that not all content will show up in the Top News section of the newsfeed, which is the default newsfeed setting.

Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank that dictates which content will be featured prominently in an individual’s newsfeed. (See J.D. Lasica’s explanation of how EdgeRank works.) EdgeRank takes into account three factors: how recent was the content published (on a site, on a Facebook Page), how much interaction did the piece of content create and how regularly the individual interacts with that organization or brand. Thus, if an organization publishes a video to its Page, and no one Likes or comments on it, the video may never show up in the Top News newsfeed of someone’s home page. However, if an individual often Likes, shares or comments on that organization’s content, there is a higher likelihood that the video will show up as part of the Top News. Continue reading

August 10, 2011

Nonprofits: Are your Facebook fans engaged?



Participation is the key for getting value out of your Facebook Pages

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, brands, businesses, Web publishers, individuals.

Debra AskanaseI‘ve been digging deep into research about Facebook fan activity lately, in preparation for a few upcoming presentations about social media return on engagement and Facebook engagement. I was delighted to find recent research about Facebook fan engagement from Michael Wu at Lithium and from comScore. Placed together, this research offers three very practical takeaways for nonprofits and brands managing Facebook fan Pages: relevant benchmarks of how deeply fans engage with Pages, the effect of fans on website visits, and how likely fans are to engage with your organization’s services or purchase items.

Basic benchmarks for measuring fan activity

1Michael Wu posits that “fan count is only the most superficial characterization of engagement, because it says nothing about the fans’ subsequent action and their interactions.” To measure the real engagement of a fan Page, Michael looked at different levels of fan engagement: active fans (who comment or post a message on a page), what fraction of posts have comments, amount of interaction among fans on a Page, and number of unique fans per conversation. From his research, he found these Page engagement benchmarks:

  • The number of active fans per day (i.e. actively engaging) is about 3.45% of total page fans.
  • About two-thirds of all posts do receive some activity, but it is normal to expect that around one-third will never receive comments and disappear quickly from a person’s newsfeed.
  • Most Facebook fans are not very loyal to the fan Pages. Only about 30% of the active fans re-engage with the fan Page more than once (i.e. through posting).
  • The probability of a fan returning to the same conversation on the fan Page is low, only about 9.6%.

If a fan never interacts with your Page’s content, then the reach of the Page will never grow, either. The more interactions, the more friends of fans will see your content. This correlates to the comScore research, next.

The role of the newsfeed

2Facebook users primarily interact with a fan Page in the newsfeed. What this means is that most fans don’t ever visit the actual fan Page. How often a fan or a friend of a fan will see your Page content within the newsfeed is determined by how often the actual post is shared, interacted with, and Liked. (See J.D. Lasica’s article for an in-depth look at how EdgeRank works.)

The new comScore report “The Power of Like” offers solid data on why fan activity with a Page is so important: reach. This report is focused on how people interact with the top 100 brands, with deeper analysis of a few large brands.

  • Facebook users spend 25% of their time on Facebook interacting with their newsfeed. In May, 27 percent of engagement on occurred on the homepage and newsfeed, followed by profile viewing (21 percent), photo viewing (17 percent) and usage of apps and tools (10 percent).
  • Facebook users are 40 to 150 times more likely to see branded content in the newsfeed than to visit the fan Page itself.
  • Friends of fans is an important potential segment for organizations to reach. Friends of fans typically represent a much larger set of consumers (34 times larger, on average, for the top 100 brand pages) and may receive social media brand impressions through their Facebook friends. In the graph below, you can see that for every fan that visits Starbucks’ Facebook fan Page, 156 others see the brand Page’s updates through the newsfeed.
  • Continue reading

January 19, 2010

How to turn Facebook visitors into fans

This is part of the series 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media.

John HaydonToday we’ll explore how to create an incentive for visitors to your Facebook Page to become fans. This tactic works similarly to offering a free download to email subscribers.

Before we get to the technique, though, think about the last time you entered your email in exchange for a free download. If you’re like me, the value of the download was much larger than the “expense” of joining another mailing list. The same thing works with Facebook. In other words, the technique I’m about to show is worthless if you’re offering subpar content.

First, here’s how the end result will function.

visitors Continue reading

January 6, 2010

11 stats you need to measure on your Facebook Page


How to take advantage of Facebook’s Insights feature

This is day 5 of the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media. Yesterday we spoke about measuring stats on Twitter. Today we’ll measure stats (called Insights) on your Facebook Page only for the purpose of setting a benchmark.

John HaydonBefore we begin, if you don’t have a Facebook Page, and want to start building one, please read these posts:

If you do have a Facebook Page, let’s get started.

First, you want to get a sense of where you’re at with your Facebook Page – soley for setting a current benchmark. With that in mind, let’s keep our focus limited to 11 stats:

1. Number of Facebook Fans


This is an obvious measurement. When someone fans your page, it means that they’ve opted-in to receiving messages about your non-profit or business. Documenting fan growth every couple of weeks can mean three things:

  • People are finding our Facebook Page (duh)
  • People find our content valuable
  • People might even be sharing our content

No fan growth is not good.

The next 10 measurements can be found by clicking on “Insights” for your Facebook Page:


2. Number of Facebook Wall Posts

Wall posts by fans is one the biggest indicators of engagement. Count the number of wall posts by fans only (don’t count your own).

Facebook-Page-Wall-Posts Continue reading