Facebook Data Analysis
The tools Facebook offers business to see their demographics is truly a wonderful service, aptly named, ‘Insight.’ In the past, the data that Facebook collects and shares with page owners, would have needed an independent third party to come in and evaluate, is now just a click away- complete with graphs and easy to understand breakdowns of cyber traffic visiting the page. The negative is that it does not analyze or interpret the data. It is up to the page owner to examine the content and evaluate what works and what does not.
The data I looked at starts the beginning of the semester (January 27, 2014) and spans through April 27, 2014. This presents us with a window into exactly four months of traffic. While Facebook offers various levels of information, I chose to focus on reach. This is important, because knowing what posts has the furthest reach, should be examined as to what is successful and what content is most interesting to our audiences.
For an in-depth look at the trends over the past four months, go here: http://bit.ly/1lYxexu
Apr 15: “ Umm have you guys seen the human Barbie? She does look a bit more normal without all of the makeup, but still not sure how to feel about this over here. And believing that she can survive without eating or drinking? Wow. What do ya’ll think? Read all about it here!” (5:17pm)
Apr 17: What’s your favorite “HIPSTER” food? (12:14pm)
Apr 22: “Daniel Franzese, who starred in Mean Girls, officially came out as gay through a public letter to his character, Damian.” (7:11pm)
While Facebook provides the data, it needs to be examined and interpreted to benefit from this tool. In looking at the top posts above, we can see some commonalities. For one, the most popular posts are the ones in the evenings. It makes sense if you think about our target audience being college students who have classes during the day, and may not have the luxury of free time until they find their browser on Facebook on the evenings when they have homework they are avoiding.
Another thing they have in common is that all the posts have personality. They all have a voice. Being social on a SOCIAL media site may seem like it’s intuitive, but we need to make sure we are being so. The way we share media, and interact with our audience, has to sound more than us spewing headlines at our consumers.
Most of the popular posts focus on the cinematic realm: movies, TV shows, celebrities (asides from the Pete Wenz anomaly). Knowing what our audiences enjoy is important so we know what type of content we deliver, and knowing when we have a greater chance at reaching the most people. Sharing history in the making as Disney airs its first gay couple. Star Wars: something die-hard fans and casual moviegoers would enjoy, same with Mean Girls post. Sharing content about the Human Barbie and anything ‘hipster’ did a good job at covering viral topics.
After looking at the charts, it should be noted that one of the best ways to get exposure, is based not only on the good content at the good times, but also about the participation we are enabling with our website. Anytime the articles were liked, shared and commented on- it gives us a greater chance at driving traffic. The day that earned the page the reach, was also the day we had several shares.
Summary & Suggestions
We should be a stronger online presence, in commenting and sharing on other’s content- the more we get SocialNN out there, the more there is going to be people out there who we will reach. Our Twitter platform is a great example of this- the consistency of our posts, generates more traffic to “liking” us, than just fishing for answers from out questions.
Use hashtags whenever possible. Whenever we did that, even on Facebook, it opens the door to so many opportunities for us to been seen outside of those who already subscribed to us.
Be as engaging as possible, and as stated above- be varied in the type of posts. Always asking questions isn’t always success, maybe because we are desensitized, or they don’t seem genuine in the audience’s eye. I’ve said it before, Huffington Post does a great job and presenting good content that is engaging and at the very least entertaining. Typically, they are more satirical and sarcastic, which many people enjoy and find more appealing.
Ultimately, journalism is still a business, and although it saddens me, the general population cares less about music than I would like to believe they do. However, they are our consumers and to be successful, we need to give our audience what they want.