Facebook has released extensive updates to its Insights tool, which provides publishers who use Facebook plugins with analytics on how content is performing. Now they can see those analytics in real time.
The update enables publishers to get real-time distribution and engagement metrics of how the content on their site is performing on Facebook, meaning they’ll be able to optimize it for Facebook. For example, publishers will be able to see if a certain post is performing exceedingly well and could adjust its prominence. The metrics, of course, are exportable through the Graph API.
The update also includes a well-rounded look into content performance on and off Facebook. Publishers now can see the impressions, referral clicks and the most popular pages on their site. The Popular Pages view was expanded to include the top 100 pages that are getting the most likes, comments or shares.
Deeper Engagement Analytics
What’s useful is that one can break down the analytics by Facebook plugin (Like button, Comments, etc.). Website owners with Like buttons, for example, will be able to see how many people saw the button, clicked on them, saw the stories that got posted through the Like button and how many of them clicked on it to come to view it on your site. It also provides metrics for the recently updated Comments plugin, enabling publishers to see the rate of comments taking place and from whom.
Users can see the granular information, such as how many “likes” included a comment from the user — only 6% on Mashable.com, I found (knowing that the comment functionality on the Like button doesn’t always work). I also was able to learn that the “likes” that included comments were more likely to get clicked on Facebook, which makes sense because it adds a personal voice from the user. What is interesting is that Insights also breaks out the shares that occur using the plugins and “organic” shares, which essentially is how many shares took places by users simply copy-and-pasting links to share or using the old Share button.
This is likely to bring some great insight to designers who implement Facebook’s “Like” buttons to see how its placement affects the click-through rates of the button.
Demographics for Interactions
Insights now breaks down interactions based on anonymized demographics, which may enable site owners to target specific audiences.
Publishers will be able to learn more about the audience that interacts with its Facebook plugins on their site. For example, site owners can see what age group, gender, language or country is most active in using these plugins on their sites. However, publishers should note that the data for demographics shows numbers per interaction, not per user. This means the numbers shouldn’t be interpreted as showing how many users are interacting with the content on the site but rather how many interactions are taking places from a specific demographic.