Facebook: People Reached Replacing Impression Rate

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Facebook, Social Media | Posted on Nov 21, 2011

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Which Metric Did You Prefer?

Facebook has continuously been adding to their Insights tool. A few months back Facebook launched a new Insights platform while allowing access to the now ‘Old Insights’. One of the most notable changes was the addition of a new public metric, the ‘People Talking About’ count. Though this metric is important to pay attention to, the bulk of the changes to Insights occurred in the admin console.

Changes to Admin Console

Old Insights

The old insights have three sections Overview, Users and Interactions.  Overview displays the statistics of Like counts, post views and post feedback. This is a pretty straightforward section that quantifies the most notorious metric on Facebook.

‘Users’ breaks down the number of active users, what they interact with, the number of new likes and the sources of those likes. The User section also analyzes your current demographic, tab views, referring sites and media consumption. This is a great place for Facebook marketers to get a good picture of how people reach their page and insights into who is visiting their page.

Media consumption is a very important statistic; it shows what your users like to see on your page. We know that a portion of the Facebook EdgeRank is the weight of your content and affinity. By posting different types of content you will increase your reach. You will then further increase your reach by posting the type of media that your fans interact with the most. ‘Users’ will give marketers clues about what to post to help increase the page’s social reach.

The Interactions section shows a graph of your likes, comments, and unsubscribes (different than unlikes).  This section also analyzes your page posts, with the message, impression and feedback rate. This is a good section to look at the ‘virality’ of your posts, a statistic that is covered in the current version of Insights.

Current Insights

The initial Insights page covers the total likes, friends of fans (possible pool of people you could reach), people talking about and weekly total reach.  All of this data is shown numerically and on a graph.  Further down The information from ‘Interactions’ is shown, with your post content, reach, engaged users, talking about this, and virality posted in the table. Essentially the new insights added the ‘Interactions’ section to the ‘Overview’ section while adding a few more metrics into the mix.

On top of having an Overview, there is further analysis of Likes, Reach and Talking about this available in the current Insights.  Each of these sections give further analysis of the users in these particular categories. You will get your demographic information as well as country of origin, languages, page views, referring sites and more.

Wall Stat Changes: Impressions to Reached

The latest stat changed I noticed was on the wall. Every wall post used to have the impression rate and the Feedback %. Now each post shows the ‘People Reached’ and the ‘People Talking about this’ statistic.  These are minor changes, and I wasn’t too fond of the change at first.  However, these statistics are far more transparent and give a great representation of how your posts are being displayed.

What are your thought son this change?

  • http://highimpactdesigner.com Justin Rondeau

    Bill,

    People reached is the number of individuals who saw your post. The reason this number is drastically lower (sometimes as much as 1/4) than your impression rate is because ‘People Reached’ measures unique views where impression rates measures number of times viewed.

    Thanks for the comment!

  • http://highimpactdesigner.com Justin Rondeau

    Ben,

    A unique view is a count of separate individuals, for instance if I visited your Facebook page at 8 this morning you would get a new unique view. If later that day I view your page again (and for this example’s sake assume NO ONE else has visited your page) you would still have a unique view of1, but a count of 2 for ‘number of times viewed, i.e., impression rate.

    Hope that helped!

  • Suzy

    Could you please tell me how to get back my weekly Facebook summaries, which used to come into my e-mail?

    Thank you!

    • http://highimpactdesigner.com Justin Rondeau

      Suzy,
      In the top right hand corner select the ‘Down Arrow’ This opens a drop down menu, from this menu select ‘Account Settings’. A new page will load, in the top left corner you will see different headings, select Notifications. In this area you can select when Facebook contacts you, and set the receiving email for the weekly page stats.

      Best,
      Justin

  • Kevin

    Does People Reached only count people who came to my facebook page, or does it count the news feed views as well. When one of my friends “likes” a link, it posts it to my news feed, so I didn’t know if there was a metric for counting the impressions caused from friend likes and shares.

    Thanks,
    Kevin

    • http://highimpactdesigner.com Justin Rondeau

      Kevin,

      Great question. As far as I know ‘People Reached’ is the number of people who viewed the post, so they do not necessarily have to visit your page. With the revamped ‘Insights’ Facebook has added some new metrics to answer some of your other inquiries. You can find these metrics under the Reach section. If a friend of yours who has seen the post likes your page they will be counted in ‘Reach’ as well as ‘Talking About This’. If the user merely clicked on the post, but didn’t interact with it via a like or comment they would be referred to as an ‘Engaged user’. The final metric is ‘Virality’ which gives the quotient of ‘Talking about This’ and ‘Reach’ metrics.

      Hope that helps,
      Justin

  • Pam

    So if I have 500 fans and a post shows 150 people reached, does that mean that 350 of my ‘fans’ have me hidden on their wall? Or does it mean that it never showed up in their newsfeed (i.e. they didn’t go on FB that day and never read the older posts on their wall?)

    Thanks,
    Pam

    • http://highimpactdesigner.com Justin Rondeau

      Pam,

      A reach of 150 doesn’t mean 350 of your fans have hidden your status updates. Even in the optimal case where you have 0 fans that have hidden your feed, your message will not end up in their news feed. The frequency by which posts are seen by fans is determined by the EdgeRank (Facebook’s algorithm). So to answer your question more thoroughly, the lack of views by fans is a mix of people not seeing your post because they were not on Facebook and your post not meeting certain standards to end up in their news feed.

      Hope that helped,

      Justin

  • http://www.cocoblooms.com Ray

    Justin – you are answering some questions that have baffled me, but I still can’t fathom out this. So, I have 1,500 fans, some posts reach 900 some 500. What do we mean posts seen? If a post hits a newsfeed how does FB know if someone has scrolled down and it has appeared in the middle of their screen? Sounds impossible that to be honest. Also there is no explanation to your comment to Pam abovem “your post not meeting certain standards” what does that mean? Also if the post is ina newsfeed and people log on 8 hours later if they scroll they will see the post so what do you mean “they weren’t on FB at the time” – maybe not but they maybe later? Finally, so what are the ways to reach more of your fans – timing, content – please advise coz i am bemused! Cheers Ray

    • http://highimpactdesigner.com Justin Rondeau

      Ray,

      You bring up a lot of important details. First I want to say if you are reaching 1/3 to nearly 2/3 of your fans with the ‘People Reached’ metric you are doing remarkable on your Facebook page. Remember that the ‘People Reached’ stat is not just referring to your current fan base, this can also be people who see your posts via sharing by your fans. I am not positive how FB can tell if people have scrolled down to see your post, but let me take my best stab at it.

      Have you ever scrolled further down your news feed and it is required to load? My guess would be that Facebook counts whether your post was shown in these cases. For example, if Skittles posted something earlier this morning and I decided to scroll down through my status updates and the next set of loaded updates has Skittles’ updates their post would get an impression. So Skittles now has reached 1 person reached (me) and has 1 impression. If I log out of Facebook then return and decide to go through my status updates again because I missed so many and that same Skittles update loads up again, they would have (assuming NO ONE else saw this post) 1 Person Reached and 2 Impressions.

      I guess you could say that because ‘Person Reached’ should be changed to ‘Unique Impressions’ because even though your status update was served it doesn’t mean the person read it.

      In response to what I said to Pam, I was referring to the EdgeRank. EdgeRank dictates when and to whom your posts are shown. If you do not have a close enough affinity, your post is old and it lacks a certain weight (just a text update vs. an image) it will not be seen (or will be seen by few).

      The best way to reach more fans is to get fans to post varying content. Images and videos have a heavier weight and will be shown more. Post often but don’t over post, you want people to see your message but you don’t want them hiding your feed. Post content that is applicable to your users and that encourages interaction. The more people like or comment (push for comments they are ranked higher) on one post the more views a subsequent post will get.

      Hope that helps,
      Justin

      • http://www.cocoblooms.com Ray

        Very helpful Justin – many thanks.

        Ray

  • http://www.photoshoproadmap.com Enrique

    Hi Justin, so this so called EdgeRank is responisble for the loss of traffic from my facebook page?
    I have a one year old facebook page with 60k fans. I publish an average of 5 to 10 updates (Photoshop tutorials) per day and always received really good feedback. Three or four months ago, the number of Likes and impressions (people reached, now) just dropped from 60% to a mere 12%. I thought it was because I used RSS Graffiti to update my page, but my manual posts had the same bad luck.
    Then is it reasonable to say that I have to study about EdgeRank to regain reach and visibility?
    Please, let me know what you think about this.
    Thanks!!!

    Enrique

    • http://highimpactdesigner.com Justin Rondeau

      Enrique,

      I think there are two things happening here. One is the EdgeRank causing problems for your interaction rate and the number of posts you do per day. I would recommend trying to post different types of media. Photos, videos, and links all have different weights. Currently it looks like you post a lot of links that direct users off of Facebook. I’d suggest posting up some galleries or even a video tutorial directly on your page to try and get more viability.

      Also, take a week or two and try posting at most 2 times a day and spread posts out. This isn’t as much for EdgeRank as it is for your fans. Facebook fans prefer less status updates per day.

      I would also recommend continuing to do manual posts, it is just a better practice. And remember if all else fails ask people to Comment or Like your status updates or images. I saw a plain text status update you had where you asked people to spread the word. You got 90 likes off of this one post. I would attribute the amount of interaction to two things, you actively engaged your fans with an update and giving them some sort of action. The second reason you got more likes is because you published different content than normal.

      Definitely research more about the EdgeRank, you have an awesome Facebook page and community all you need to do is stay up on the more nitty gritty Facebook details.

      Great Work!

      Justin

  • http://www.photoshoproadmap.com Enrique

    Wow, Justin, that was more a personal consulting evaluation than a comment reply. Thanks!
    The point is that the main reason of my Facebook page is to draw traffic to my site. I always receive compliments for all the tutorials I publish. I can post twice a day, but only if that would help to gain more visibility in the future. With only two posts I will get nearly no traffic to my site.
    I will try to post something different to see if my REACH increases. Thanks for bringing up this EDGE RANK thing. I didn’t know about it and people at RSS GRAFFITI never bothered to answer my support requests.

    Enrique

    • http://www.photoshoproadmap.com Enrique

      Following your advice and taking an example from another web site, I posted a photo with a link in the description.
      Let’s see how it works. I also have to check the time of the day and and day of the week.
      Thanks again!
      Enrique

    • http://highimpactdesigner.com Justin Rondeau

      Enrique,

      Glad to help, let me know your results. If you are looking for analysis of the best time to post based on your past interactions I would recommend trying out Crowdbooster. Fair warning, don’t use Crowdbooster to publish your posts, just use it to analyze the best times to post an update and do it manually through Facebook. Crowdbooster is a free tool for two accounts, either Facebook Page or Twitter account.

      Best,
      Justin

      • http://www.photoshoproadmap.com Enrique

        Hi Justin, thanks for the tip, I will take a look at Crowdbooster soon. I’ve just posted a poll in my page but it didn’t show in the newsfeed of any of my three accounts. Is there a delay?
        The other two posts I made with photos, had a reasonable success in terms of likes, but of course, little traffic.
        I guess this takes time.
        Thanks!

  • Pingback: How Facebook’s ‘People Reached’ metric is making an impression « Christine Margiotta-Geraci

  • Susan

    Dear Justin,

    Thank you for your posts. This is the first blog that’s even come close to addressing these issues. Help! I’m admin for a number of pages for my business. We do Health Tips for pharmacists to put up on their pages…and the reach keeps going down and I don’t know why? My best page, with the most activity, interaction and increase in likes went from 173 people reached to 7 people in one post!!!! What’s the deal?? The posts are about the same quality, all very useful, helpful information. And often they draw likes and comments. Is there any other way to change the EdgeRank thing besides what you have mentioned? I feel at the mercy of Facebook and whether or not they decide to put up my post on the fans newsfeed!!!! Thanks for any ideas you might have!

    • http://highimpactdesigner.com Justin Rondeau

      Susan,

      Sorry for the delay in my response, but better late than never I suppose. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you are implementing some of the strategies in this post and nothing is happening I don’t know what else to tell you. I would be interested in seeing your page and trying to help you from there, so I can release you from Facebook’s mercy :).

      Justin

  • http://www.cuesport.tv Pete Williams

    Great post, I had been tearing my hair out over the people reached element of the wall stats, your post above has now answered that, I have around 2500 page ‘likes’ and am generally reaching around 3-400 with each update. What can be done to increase this number?

    I have noticed since the changes that the interactions on my page have been far fewer than the old system and it is almost like getting the updates through to real people has been diluted.

    • http://highimpactdesigner.com Justin Rondeau

      Pete,

      Thanks for commenting! The people reached stat has been difficult to stomach for many companies. You actually are doing fairly well with your current reach. Currently studies have shown that a Facebook page’s true reach is roughly 17% of its like count. In my honest opinion Facebook is actively trying to reduce how often brands are seen organically to maintain Facebook’s social nature. Unfortunately there isn’t much more you can do to increase your reach outside of testing different post times and building affinity with your current fan base.

      Justin