In an example provided by Facebook using the upcoming movie "The
Ides of March," a video clip is embedded underneath messaging
indicating that a friend has "Liked" the film. A Facebook
spokeswoman said the new premium offering is slightly bigger than
typical premium ads because of the added social context and aimed
at larger brands looking to become more social on Facebook.
Facebook metrics have long been a subject of frustration for
some marketers, and Coca-Cola's head of integrated marketing and
communications Wendy Clark told Ad Age in June after she joined
Facebook's so-called "client council" of advertisers that she was hoping to
see the social network come up with benchmarks around what defines
a successful campaign.
The new Insights is designed to let administrators of Facebook
fan pages see the total audience their content and ads are
reaching, going beyond impressions and "Likes." Four metrics will
be presented at the top of the page: Total Likes, which already
appears in the existing Insights; Friends of Fans, designed to show
the maximum social reach of brands' content; People Talking About
This, tracking the number of users who engaged with a page's
content in the past week – by liking or commenting on
content, posting to a page's wall, or RSVP'ing to an event, for
example; and Weekly Total Reach, which shows the total number of
Facebook users who have been exposed to both a brand's organically
shared content and its paid media.
The "People Talking About" metric will also be viewable to any
Facebook user who visits a fan page, published below the number of
A page's 500 most recent posts will also be listed in Insights
with four metrics: Reach, showing total audience; Engaged Users,
showing the number of users who took some kind of action around a
post, including clicking on a link or viewing a photo or video;
Talking About This, showing the number of users who took more
active action by liking, commenting, or sharing; and "Virality,"
where "Talking About This" is divided by "Reach."
Product manager David Baser noted that Facebook hasn't set a
benchmark for its so-called "virality" metric to indicate when a
post is performing well within the new Insights. Rates will vary
between industries, as well as the type of post. A brand looking to
share a new video might be less concerned about the number of likes
and comments, which would boost the "virality" rate, but still be
pleased with the performance of the content because they can tell
that a lot of people were engaged enough to watch the video.
Mr. Baser also noted that while the viewable post data on
Insights only currently goes back to mid-July, Facebook will be
collaborating with third-parties – Webtrends, Context
Optional and Wildfire – who will be able to call up data as
far back as it goes for their clients.
The new product represents the end of the era when the "Like"
was paramount. Now engagement will become key, and marketers will
have the tools to evaluate which pieces of content are
"I think there's a shift taking place inside Facebook where
marketers will not only look to connect with their fans, but look
to influence the friends of their fans," said Kevin Barenblat, CEO
of social marketing software company Context Optional, which uses
Facebook Insights for clients like Levi's and PlayStation.
"Enabling word-of -mouth marketing at scale is a huge opportunity
for marketers and for Facebook."
Dave Williams, CEO of social engagement advertising firm Blinq
Media, which does its business on the Facebook platform, thinks the
new Insights represents a step away from traditional search and
display-type metrics and their obsession with clicks and
impressions and is essentially emulating TV metrics, focused on
As for the new premium ad offering, Mr. Williams likens it to
"the Superbowl ad of Facebook" and says he expects Fortune 500
companies – especially consumer packaged goods companies like
Coca-Cola or Kraft -- with big fan bases that are already spending
multiple millions on Facebook every year to buy into it. Based on
the high click-through rates he's seen on sponsored stories,
leading to Facebook being able to monetize them at a higher CPM,
Mr. Williams thinks a premium consumer-initiated ad offering is a
Facebook's direct sales team will start offering the new premium
ad unit this week, a spokeswoman said. The new Insights will be
rolled out later this week as a preview, but will remain opt-in
only for some period of time. Facebook is expected to sell $3.8 billion in advertising in 2011, according to
an estimate from eMarketer.