Sunday, July 22, 2012

Facebook and its changing metrics

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Brand marketers may 'like' Facebook, but the world's largest social network has created numerous challenges. ROI is often hard to find; Facebook says it can take a year to produce. And despite the promise, certain kinds of initiatives may simply not work.
Now that it's a publicly-traded company, Facebook is under even greater pressure to live up to its valuation, which currently reflects the fact that investors believe the social network has significant room to grow. To deliver the necessary growth, it has to find ways to convince marketers that it's a productive marketing platform.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, that may not be easy, and it may create big headaches.
Case in point: Dan Wilkerson, a social media project manager at analytics consulting firm LunaMetrics raised some interesting questions about recent changes Facebook made to how it calculates its reach metric. Wilkerson explains that "As of July 3nd, Facebook’s reach metric will include both mobile views and will now only count a ‘reach’ if a user scrolls down and loads a Page’s story."
Wilkerson makes the point that "without reliable metrics, we can’t make informed and strategic decisions" and given the nature of the changes Facebook has made, he believes historical reach data is essentially useless.

With Facebook change may be the only constant

Is he right? I'm sure there's room for debate. But one thing is clear: marketers are going to need to accept that change is the only constant with the world's largest social network. Need evidence of that? Beyond reach, there are other metrics-related changes Facebook has rolled out.

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