We all track referrals from Facebook to our websites as a matter of course, but how many of us track referrals to Facebook? It is something all of us should be doing! In understanding where traffic is coming from we can engage and exploit those sources better, convert more visits to followers and build more engaged fan bases.
How do we do all of this from a data point of view? It’s pretty simple really, you identify your external and internal referrers and you develop and build on them. Here is a detailed guide on how to get this data and then how to use this data.
How to get the referral data
This is split into external referrers (i.e. other websites) and Facebook referrals. We’ll start with external sources.
It is hugely important to know your external referrers so you can continue to grow them. You can find out the number of referrals from the whole spectrum of sources: websites, search engines, Twitter (t.co), blogs and lots more. To do this, whilst in page view: ‘Insights’ > ‘Reach’
In finding out where people are visiting your page from within Facebook you can build relationships with these individuals or pages. A good start is to look at the number of people who are exposed to posts which reference your page which are not made by your page. To do this, whilst in page view: ‘Insights’ > ‘Reach’ > ‘How You Reached People’ > ‘Stories by others’
When you have pulled up these statistics look at ‘Reach’ rather than ‘Frequency’; you will be able to see the number of people who have been reached by user-generated stories. You will be able to see if this is a significant figure or not. The question you will ask yourself is: How do I find out where these posts are coming from? Whilst some people and pages will tag you in their posts, lots of others will not, so you will have to go out and find as many (public) posts as you can. Here are 3 ways:
- Search public Facebook posts for mentions of your page name both on people walls or timelines and in groups
- Sign up to receive daily email alerts when your page is mentioned: http://www.hyperalerts.no/
- Search through Facebook posts from the last week: http://youropenbook.org/
How to use the referral data
- Websites and Blogs: After you find out which websites these are you can engage them, build relationships and gain more traffic from them. Was there a specific event, promotion or news story that they were interested in? What you may find is that they are posting your web articles or other assets on their Facebook page that you haven’t thought of doing. If they are engaging with you on Facebook you could look into reciprocal marketing.
- Search engines: Unfortunately you are only given the search engine and not search terms. Whether you are receiving no search engine traffic or lots of search engine traffic you should SEO your Facebook fan page (this post is coming up soon so make sure you subscribe).
- Twitter: Are people talking about your Facebook page on Twitter? If they are and you are not tracking these conversations then it is time for you to do this in a serious way. Facebook does not provide breakdown of Twitter referral in terms of specific links or users. This is where you have to make sure that your Twitter analytics and tracking are up to scratch.
- Facebook: Once you have found out the topics and the styles of posting that people are using to post about you on external pages using the methods above you can use the data in several ways:
- If you are able to find out a type of post that is most shared by individuals on Facebook, try and post this kind of content on your page and ask people to share it.
- If you are able to discover pages that are talking about you engage with them and be proactive in targeting pages similar to the ones who are actively engaging with you.
Once you are able to draw more of the conversations already happening on Facebook onto your page you have to make sure that you are converting them into Facebook fans so they continue to receive your status updates; lucky for you, I’ve got a blog post on just that!
We all have a pretty good idea of who is engaging with us on Facebook. Okay that’s not true… but many of us think we do! Luckily with Facebook Insights you can quickly and easily get accurate information on who is following and engaging with your Facebook page.
These two audiences (fans and people actively engaging with you on Facebook) are not always the same. This guide will teach you how to track these audiences and give you 3 simple ways to overlap them with the overall aim of increasing the number of engaged Facebook fans.
Who talks about you on Facebook
Do you know who is engaged with you on Facebook? You think it might be more men than women from what you remember about your recent ‘Like’s but your just not sure. Facebook Insights tells you exactly who your active audience is.
You can find out the following about your active fans:
- Age (by category)
- Country (via IP address)
- City (via IP address)
To do this, whilst in page view: ‘Insights’ > ‘Talking about this’
This will show you demographics by percentages. If you want more detailed information: ‘Insights’ > ‘Talking about this’ > ‘Export’ > Go to the ‘Daily Demographics People Talking About’ tab and you can see the number of people engaging with you on a daily basis broken down by age and gender.
Who are your fans on Facebook
You now know which demographic is engaging with you on your Facebook page. You may have been surprised and you may want to change it but it is very important to know this and overlap who is talking about you with who your fans are.
You can find out the following about your fans:
- Age (by category)
- Country (via IP address)
To do this, whilst in page view: ‘Insights’ > ‘Likes’
This will show you demographics by percentages. If you want more detailed information: ‘Insights’ > ‘Likes’ > ‘Export’ > Go to the ‘Lifetime Likes by Gender and Age’, ‘Lifetime Likes by Country’ and ‘Lifetime Likes by City’ tabs to see the number of people who like you broken down by age and gender, or country or city.
When doing all of this pay attention to the date range you are selecting and make sure it is the same for both the data sets you are comparing. You can pick a long period of time or the last week or month, or even when you had a particular campaign or event running.
When the demographics of Facebook followers and active followers don’t match
You may find that your Facebook fans are not of the same demographic as those who are engaged with you on Facebook. There are 3 things you can do to overlap these two audiences:
1. Target your inactivate community
Now that you know who your inactive fans are, try changing the way you post so that it engages these people (of course don’t exclude your already active fan base). This might involve running a contest, changing the types of updates you are posting or even the times which you are posting them.
2. Recruit fans from your active demographic pool
Run sponsored stories targeted to people who might be interested in your page with similar demographic background to those who are active. You already know that these type of people are engaged with your page.
3. Your active community are not your existing fans
The ‘Talking about this’ data does not discriminate between fans and non-fans. In order to make sure you are converting people who are active on your Facebook page into fans of your page you need to have an optimised ‘Like gated’ / ‘Fan gated’ landing tab. If you do not have a fan or like gated welcome tab you really do need to have one in place: it will drastically increase your conversion rate and your number of Facebook fans. If this is something you are interested in setting up for your Facebook page please email me for more information.
This is part of the “Facebook Insights: How To” series of blog posts on using Facebook Insights data to create more engaging Facebook pages.
Here are some great examples of how global brands, music artists, tv shows and game developers are thanking their fans upon hitting the one million mark. Enjoy!
Cadbury Dairy Milk: Thanks A Million
Cadbury making a huge chocolate Facebook like and involving a top fan. This was also built into a Facebook tab.
One Million Heineken Hugs
‘Heineken Huggers’ (female models) out on the streets of Amsterdam hugging Heineken drinkers.
[Michael] Jordan. 1 Million Fans Thank You
Famous basketball players thanking fans for joining the Facebook page. This was built into a Facebook tab.
Porsche. Thank you. A 1,000,000 times
Facebook fans names have been put onto a Porsche. A similar thank you for 2,000,000 Facebook fans has been built into a Facebook tab.
Swarovski - One million fans on Facebook
Staff from across the organisation and across the globe giving thanks.
Westlife Thank YOU For 1 Million Facebook Fans!
Westlife just say thank you.
Hollyoaks Facebook hits 1 million fans!
A thank you within the soap world of Hollyoaks with a bit of comedy involved.
The Humane Society of the United States – 1 Million Facebook Fans
A reminder of why you are a fan and features a call to action asking for user generated content. This was built into a Facebook tab.
Gameloft - 1 Million Fans on Facebook!
A visualization of a million people and a bespoke Facebook competition.
Miniclip Celebrates 1 Million Facebook Fans!
A conga line through the office.
Which is your favourite?
Google has released their year-end collection of data for 2011 and it is beautiful.
They have done an excellent job of not only presenting us with great data but also creating a fantastic video that has hit at the core of digital storytelling: emotions.
They are replicating an emotional world of experiences and positioning themselves and their products at the heart of it (with Google+ featuring very obviously). This is brilliant advertising.
What did you think?
This is the first in a series of blog posts on Digital Storytelling, check back in a few days for more or subscribe to my blog using the widget below.
Earlier this week Facebook unrolled Timeline worldwide. 3 days on Facebook for iOS v4.1 with Mobile Timeline has hit the iTunes App Store. This new update for iOS brings the mobile optimized version of Facebook to iPhones and promises faster and better performance.
Change log for Facebook v4.1 for iOS:
Access to Mobile Timeline on iPhone (if you already have a timeline). iPad support coming soon.
Access to friend lists, subscribers and subscriptions.
Faster, better performance.
Photos are easier to view, upload and comment on
What does Facebook v4.1 for iOS actually look like?
What changes will you actually notice?
- You can see Timelines, your friends as well as your own, you can scroll back from birth to present day and change your cover images
- All notifications, messages and other requests load in partial-screen popovers rather than in separate full screens. This should allow for quicker switching between screens.
- You will be happy to discover Facebook have fixed the bug whereby when you selected a photo to view as part of an album it would select the wrong photo, usually the first in the album (a very welcome update!)
- If you notice any others, feel free to share in the comments
If you haven’t yet activated Timeline I would strongly recommend you do. Facebook has been kind enough to give a 7 day grace period during which you can activate your Timeline and make behind the scenes edits before it goes live.
If you have an iPhone and you haven’t downloaded Facebook v4.1 for iOS, download it now [iTunes link].
Facebook has donned its superhero attire and fled into the night to wrong rights and battle social issues. No, this is not a joke! Facebook is quietly working to protect its citizens.
On top of the existing ability to report bullying comments, Facebook has now delivered a service to support people who post comments relating to suicide. Alongside a revamped Safety Center, if a friends reports a Facebook post as containing suicidal comments an email will be sent to the poster offering a helpline number and a link to start a confidential chat.
A world of good…
Bullying and suicide are awful things. I couldn’t question this. What I can question is why Facebook are only seeing these issues and why it is approaching it the way it is.
Does Facebook work with schools to promote their SafetyCenter? Not as far as I know! I worked in a school and I’ve never heard of the Facebook Safety Center: have you heard of it?
Have you seen anything on Facebook about reporting suicidal comments? If Facebook really are committed to social good, why is it not using their own advertising service to promote the good it is pursuing by other means? Why am I reading about this in Mashable? (p.s. thanks Mashable!)
A world full of wrongs…
I would love to see free/reduced advertising for pages promoting social good. This could be for Facebook’s own services to report bullying and comments relating to suicide attempts but also for a whole range of other things, such as people suffering from eating disorders.
Dare I say Facebook could also discourage internet addiction and internet stalking by displaying alerts: “You have logged in 20 times today, take a break” or “You have viewed this person profile 100 times in a week, how are you connected?”
Not the social network we deserve but the social network we need
We are now in a position where we are looking to social networks to moderate social interaction, but Facebook have their own interests to chase. The burden falls heavy on Facebook as the single largest collection of people online – more than the population of Europe- and as with real life, digital life is rife with problems. Which problems should Facebook tackle and how should it tackle them? Who decides?
Twitter unleashed changes, which I’ve discussed and given my thoughts on what we can learn from them, but they haven’t blown me away. Twitter is microblogging, you follow people and people follow you, you post text, images and videos. Twitter’s recent changes allow you to take tweets out of Twitter and embed them on external sites or put buttons that prompt people to tweet content with an ‘@’ or ‘#’ tag in.
Meanwhile Facebook is revolutionizing the web by allowing third-party app development through which people are beginning to interact in completely new and unique ways.
Twitter allows you to read, write, watch and share content – everything you could already do with online content 10 years ago – only now there’s more of it and more of us.
With Twitter you discover and with Facebook you act.
What does this mean? Well for Twitter it means it is, and I suppose it always was, a social search engine. Now the folk at Twitter have to compete with Google+ and hope they had a big enough head start with integration into mobile apps to survive. Maybe with the new brand pages things will change, but I suspect not.
As for Facebook, it means business as usual – ‘Move Fast And Break Things’ – pushing the boundaries of what is possible, re-imagining social interaction and probably taking on real world sharing.
I do love Twitter, but it isn’t and never will be like it’s big brother: Facebook.
We share a lot of things on social media. We talk to our friends about celebrities, shows, brands, products and whole host of other things. We do this, it gives brands exposure, but it doesn’t give us any direct benefit.
You tell everyone you ‘Like’ Amazon and share 5 products from their website and in return… your friends know. But what if both you and Amazon could benefit from you sharing? I’m talking about incentivised sharing.
Websites are being made increasingly social (see a great example here); mobile apps are being made that have social at the heart of them, but what about real world experiences? How do we spread real interactions across social media in ways that bring value to organisations and individuals?
Imagine Facebook unrolled the same technology the London underground uses now: Near Field Communication (NFC). You pass a card over a reader and data is transferred. This has been rolled out to mobile phones and I can see Facebook using this with massive success. We’ve already seen some great examples of Facebook being embedded into the real world, but this can go so much further. Take this as an example:
Starbucks employee: Hi can I help?
@Jack_Ashman: I’d like a grande latte please
That’s £2.45 please, are you using our Facebook app?
Could you tap your phone on the reader for me please?
@Jack_Ashman: Sure *tap*
Thank you very much, enjoy your latte!
This could update your status with something like this:
Do you think this is something that will be rolled out by Facebook and global brands in the future? Would it put an end to loyalty cards? Most importantly:
Would you tell your friends on Facebook you bought a Starbucks coffee if you got a 20% discount on your next one?
charity : water understand social. Here are 5 things you can learn from their website.
1. Social isn’t a share button. It’s content
You can fill your page with share buttons and not get a single share, but if you post good content on your website it will get shared even if you don’t have share buttons. Good content is the key to sharing.
2. If you want people to learn, you have to teach them
Charities do stuff. That stuff isn’t always easy to understand. Show people what you do. Do it quickly and simply. Don’t bury what you do four clicks deep.
3. More pictures less text
People don’t like text heavy websites. You’re eyes don’t like it, you’re brain doesn’t like it, you’re soul doesn’t like it. You may think you are conveying more, but sometimes less is more. Let pictures do your talking.
4. People like stats
Give people a stat, something hard they can hold and show to their friends. Empower them. Make them beautiful not size 8, face arial, color black.
5. Assume people want to do nothing and everything.
Some people don’t like sharing, they don’t like doing, they like reading stuff and leaving your website. That’s fine, give them enough information to digest and bounce. For other people, they want to go all out. They don’t want to just read: they want a Twitter background, they want to put an MPU on their site, they want to donate and tell their friends, they want to tattoo your name to their forehead. You can do all except the last one on the charity : water website.
That’s what I learnt. What did you learn?
Open graph revolutionizes Facebook. It allows you to build applications that pass information from Facebook to your website and then back to Facebook. With a bit of creativity the possibilities are endless! Here is just one example of a charity doing a fantastic thing with the open graph.
What’s so great about this Facebook app?
Once you have authorised the app, it pulls your information from Facebook and personalises a story around you and everyone loves reading about themselves. It creates a fascinating story around you as the case study and draws on your friends. It is much more memorable and emotive than a case study of someone you have never met. Also, by naming specific people in your story you think to perhaps even share the campaign with them. Sharing here is ‘frictionless’ – yes this is a Facebook buzz word – but it means sharing is smooth, without barriers and the third-party app can publish to your timeline in a flash.
Privacy and Facebook’s Open Graph Apps
People have different approaches to privacy. Third-party apps request certain information and before you accept this is very clearly set out and you can opt out. In this instance they take your information and spit it back at you. In this sense, it is frightening what they can ask but you can say no, and I imagine people do. It would be very interesting if app developers or Facebook could determine which authorisation requests result in the lowest app usage.
Once you view your own Facebook information as summarised by third-party apps, you realise how much information about yourself you have given Facebook.
What do we think of this campaign?
“The use of the personalised video storybook is an effective way of getting people to identify closely with the problems faced by children whose birth has not been registered”
A great idea – and I love it for its use of Facebook’s open graph – but personally I wasn’t a huge fan of the layout. I felt it too slow, the loading time was so long the first time I clicked out because I didn’t see the loading bar, and ultimately it is more a showcase of Facebook than it is of Plan UK. It wasn’t stated how Plan UK could help yet the main call to action was to donate. This is a great idea that has drowned in ‘coolness’.
Share your verdict in the comments