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Extracting Hard Data from Facebook Campaigns

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, June 23, 2010

Tell your CEO that Facebook is going to play an integral role in your upcoming marketing strategy and you may be met with a dramatic—and possibly involuntary—eye roll. Facebook may be fine to support an advertising campaign or to foster community support, he or she might say, but there's really nothing strategic about it. But Facebook offers more solid data, analytics, and tracking options than a billboard could in its wildest dreams.

When I received a copy of Facebook Marketing: Designing Your Next Marketing Campaign by Justin R. Levy in the mail the other day, I naturally flipped right to the measurement section. Like everyone and their mother, I have a personal Facebook account that I use mainly to post facetious links on my friends' walls—but I'm not very familiar with the measurement possibilities that come with fan pages.

Knowing that Facebook pulled in about $800 million in revenue during 2009, I figured there would be many metrics. I was right.

When you create a Facebook fan page, you automatically can access the Insights functionality. This allows page administrators to access a whole slew of stats that will make any marketer's mouth water. They include:

  • How many fans have subscribed and unsubscribed
  • The breakout between male and female
  • The breakout between age groups
  • The number of page views you've received
  • The number of discussion posts
  • The number of posts and updates people have made on your page
  • An approximated score on post quality
  • The number of interactions your community has had on the page
  • The number of interactions per post

Imagine what marketing strategy would be like if you had access to all of that information for every aspect of traditional advertising campaign. This is one of the many reasons advertising is only going to continue to shift toward online—you know exactly who you're reaching and can constantly tailor your message to better connect with them.

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