Using the New “Pages to Watch” Function on Facebook

Pages to Watch Function selection box on Facebook. Are you using the new “Pages to Watch” function on FB? I just started using it this week and have added it into the box of several pages which I administer on Facebook.  I’m surprised to see very little about this new function on Pages, but I did find this post which identifies some of its features.

It has been rolling out to brands selectively since July  , but I only saw it appear in my pages this past week.

I am still exploring this function, but here’s what I see so far.

What I like about this function is that it’s a quick snapshot of activity by the “competition,” but only against one metric: number of fans. The second thing I like about this function is that it keeps the competition top of mind. If your measurements include regular benchmarks against the competition, this gives you a quick snapshot of who is growing fans and who is shrinking fans.

So far, though, its usefulness seems really limited.

On Pages to Watch, you don’t get anPages to Watch Selection box ything BUT the total number of fans added or eliminated from the page. Assuming you are a smart communicator who is measuring more than just fans, it doesn’t give insight into the engagement levels of your competition.

The second problem I see is that the statistics on Pages to Watch are not integrated into any other page data, so they might be dead end data.

The third issue I have is with its clunky functionality.  When adding pages into the search box, some pages which I wanted to add were blocked and others that were of no interest to my brands at all were highly ranked suggestions. It also forces you to add 5 pages, so if you only want to add three, you’re stuck. I added pages that I really don’t care to monitor just to get it up and running.

In true Facebook fashion, it’s anyone’s guess as to what Facebook intends to do with this function.  So go try it on your Company Pages. I would love to hear what you find out about how it works for your brand.

Break the Measurement Logjam

In September, I spoke to the Public Information Officers who work for the Veterans Administration.  These professionals are challenged in several ways with systems and methods for which they have little control.  Yet, they are deeply committed to demonstrating success to their leadership.

While we talked about trends in measurement and industry best practices, it occurred to me that many organizations have similar challenges. If you have little time, control or any budget for measurement, where should you start?  Here are two ideas to break the measurement log jam in your organization.

Do a Benchmark Comparison

Every organization has competition.  By benchmarking against your competition at regular intervals, you get an indication of a trend up or down.  Here’s an example I used to benchmark a destination against its similar size competitors on Facebook.

Twitter benchmark pic for blogWhat You Will Learn:

  1. You will learn if your output is higher or lower than your competitors.
  2. You will learn if you are growing or shrinking against your competitors.

 What You Won’t Learn:

  1. You cannot measure quality of output.
  2. You cannot measure engagement.

 Why You Should Try This:

  1. It is often valued by leadership because they are measuring the competition in other ways.
  2. It might give you the opportunity to measure other things.

 Impact of Key Messages

 

Message Measurement chart picture

This is a simple chart to identify if your key messages are being used in your distribution points. This is especially useful if you are trying to determine if “the word is getting out” in your public relations campaign.

 What You Will Learn:

  1.  You will learn if your plan is working.
  2. You will learn which outlets/ distribution points are picking up your information.

 What You Won’t  Learn:

You will NOT learn if the consumer has actually embraced the message.

 Why You Should Try This:

  1. It will help you assess success.
  2. It will help you to make quick changes or adjustments to your plan.

While these two ideas are far from comprehensive, they are accessible to practitioners in organizations with limited funds and both methods use publicly accessible information.  If you try one of these ideas, share it here or send me an email with your success story at franstep09@gmail.com.

What Does Your Facebook Insight Chart Say About You?

You are, of course, looking deeply at your Facebook insights to see how your fans are interacting with your organization, and analyzing what content resonates with your community. But you can make some instant observations by looking at that little chart which is nestled just above the cover photo and between the “New Likes” and “Page Tips” section.

If you are managing more than one page, this is a quick benchmark to see how your pages stack up against one another.

As a refresher, the purple circles along the bottom of the chart represents posting frequency by the page owner.  The green trend line above it represents actions taken by fans. This includes liking the page, or a post on the page, sharing something from the page or commenting on the page. The blue trend line above that is what Facebook calls Reach.  It’s a complicated Facebook formula but basically take your fans and multiply it by how many people they are connected with or have “friended” on Facebook and you get a sense of the magnitude.

Here are some samples from client pages I have managed with some observations I used to examine next steps with the client.

On a Roll

This chart shows an organization with frequent FB contributions

This organization is doing well with creating frequent posts and interacting with their fan base.  Their fan base is engaged.

Hiccup

Chart Showing Glitch in Facebook Activity

This organization may have been on a roll, but recently had some kind of hiccup with their content strategy. Go back to the date to see what suddenly changed and see if it can inform better decision-making in the future.

Abandoned

This chart shows that a page has been abandoned

Someone gave up on this page. It happens to many organizations. Usually it means the page owner got reassigned or too busy to keep the home fires burning.

Smokin’ Hot

This chart shows an organization that is doing powerful FB content

This organization is burning up the charts with strong content and continuous growth.

Burnout

This chart shows a FB page with infrequent postings

This little chart shows how easy it is to reverse the “on a roll” trend.

 

Have you seen a page like one of these? Did it help you make new decisions? I use this short exercise once or twice a month to see where I need to look next for insight.