Each week, we break down a different Facebook metric, discussing why it’s important, how it’s calculated, and what it means for your business. Find the full collection HERE, and also check out our Twitter Metrics Series.
Facebook advertising is a growing trend. Most brands devote at least a portion of their social media budget to advertising on the network. According to Business Insider, 74% of survey respondents in August 2013 said their Facebook marketing budgets includes spending on paid ads. That number is up from 54% in June 2012.
For brands that advertise on Facebook, it’s important to be able to segment social media performance by paid vs organic activities. This includes measuring audience growth, also know as Paid Likes.
Paid and Organic Likes are broken out within Facebook Insight’s Like Sources, which we discussed previously in our metrics series. Like Sources can be viewed within the Insights Tool, or the Insights data export, where the number of unique people that liked your page is broken out by location.
There are three components of Paid Likes, that can be found within Like Sources, they are:
The sum of the three components represents the total number of Paid Likes for your page.
Organic Likes are page Likes that cannot be attributed to Facebook advertising. You can calculate Organic Likes, just by subtracting Paid Likes from Total Likes.
To analyze Organic Likes further, you can segmented Like Sources to identify whether Likes occurred on your page, from a social plugin, third party app, etc.
When Facebook advertising is being implemented, it becomes more difficult to report on audience growth that is being driven organically. For social marketers, it is important to understand the impact of paid advertising and avoid attributing Paid Likes to successful community management tactics.
Segmenting Paid Likes from Total Likes allows you to accurately report on community growth while still being able to identify trends in organic growth.
Organic growth trends can be used to identify successful tactics for building your audience. Segmenting fan growth also makes it possible to calculate benchmarks and set goals based on your Facebook advertising budget.
Measuring Paid Likes against your advertising spend can provide you with a benchmark that can be used to forecast future audience growth, depending on your Facebook advertising budget. This benchmark can also be used to inform how much to allocate to your Facebook ads budget.
Segmenting performance for each of these metrics can help you measure the impact that Facebook advertising has on your page.