Facebook Aims To Simplify Page Analytics

In its latest step to simplify advertising and marketing on Facebook, the company on Wednesday announced updates to its analytics tool for brand pages on the social network. The changes, which will be rolled out gradually over the summer, are aimed at helping marketers better develop content and connect with users through clearer, more useful metrics.

“We've been gathering feedback about our Page Insights tool. What we heard is that we need to make Page Insights more actionable. It should be clearer to businesses how to use this information to drive the results they care about,” stated a post today on the Facebook Studio blog.

One of the main changes involves the People Talking About This (PTAT) metric, a key measure introduced in 2011 to help companies track engagement on their page. It creates a score based on interactions such as the number of Likes, responses to events, comments and other performance indicators as a proxy for word-of-mouth about brands. 

Now Facebook will break out the separate elements that go into a PTAT score to give marketers a more granular view of engagement from check-ins to mentions of a page. PTAT as a combined metric will be phased out when the analytics updates go fully into effect. 

Additionally, the virality metric in the Page Insights tool -- often used as a benchmark for the quality of posts -- will now also include the number of clicks. The “virality” measure will be renamed “engagement rate” to help reflect the change.

To make it easier for brands to gauge which posts are resonating with users and which aren’t, Facebook is combining positive interactions (likes, comments, share, clicks) and negative ones  (hide post, report as spam, unlike page) in a single scorecard. “This will help Page admins better identify content people interact with, produce more of it, and enjoy increased reach and impact on Facebook,” the company stated.

As a further enhancement, page owners will also get deeper insight on their audiences. Beyond a demographic breakdown, including data like age, gender, language and country, marketers will be able to see how different audience segments are interacting with page posts. A sample screen shot, for instance shows 72% of all those who engaged with a brand’s posts were women, compared to 57% among their fans.

Separately, Facebook on Wednesday began letting users add photos to comments through a new Attach a Photo button.

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