Goodbye PTAT: A Breakdown of the Changes to Facebook’s New Insights

This week, Facebook updated their entire Insights tab for page admins, and there are some big differences that are important for any social marketer to understand.

As a social media or community manager, having a firm grasp on what the key Facebook metrics are will help you understand your work, and be able to explain it to your boss.

PTAT is Gone

PTAT

Chief among these changes is that the entire  PTAT (or, People Talking About This) metric has been broken down, and replaced with the sum of it’s parts:

  • Page Likes
  • People Engaged
  • Page tags and mentions
  • Page Checkins and other interactions

Our Digital Marketing Analyst Nate Smitha explains why this is a good thing:

“PTAT was an aggregate metric. It combined important engagement components, and gave you an abstract number of how many people were talking (creating stories) about your page,” said Smitha. “However, with the PTAT metric, it was nearly impossible to understand how these stories were being created. It wasn’t a metric that marketers could use to make very actionable decisions.”

Easier Navigation

Screenshot 2013-10-17 07.47.50

The new Insights has given you several specific views that are easy to toggle between. Take a look at an overview, and the metrics based on the KPIs important to you at the click of a button. The amount of data in Facebook’s Page Insights is impressive, but there’s a lot of it, and making it contextual can be daunting. These tabs help organize high level metrics, but not put them in context with one another. This is where social analytics software like Simply Measured is helpful, putting everything in one report that helps you contextualize your data.

Tab Visits

Screenshot 2013-10-17 07.57.36

This is my favorite part of the Insights section. Under the “Visits” tab in your handy new navigation, “Page and Tab Visits” allow sophisticated users to see which of their tabs are being viewed. If you’re promoting a photo based campaign, or have a promotion running in another tab, you can benchmark that against others on your page. This allows you to optimize your content much like you would with your website.

All Posts Published

Screenshot 2013-10-17 08.07.41

The Posts tab offers some great content analysis, complete with previews of visual content, reach & engagement stats, and of course, Facebook wouldn’t leave you high and dry without a way to spend money. I will say that if you’re managing Facebook ads, being able to see your highest performing content from an organic click-through perspective and immediately boost a post is a great time-saving feature.

People

Screenshot 2013-10-17 08.14.39

The People tab gives a great demographic profile of your audience, which isn’t new. But it gives you a benchmark of “All Facebook” which is an interesting way to understand your fans. As you create personas of your ideal customer, content consumer, or audience member, this can be great info to have.

What components to Facebook’s new Insights do you find most valuable?

Kevin Shively

I run the Inbound team at Simply Measured. Basically, I tell stories. My job is to share our content, messages & products with the internet. You're welcome internet.

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  • http://www.travisbernard.com/ Travis Bernard

    “When your fans are online” is still the best part. We need that in Simply Measured soon. Next update maybe?

    • Kevin Shively

      Hey Travis, sorry for the delay in response. Didn’t see the question immediately. Facebook hasn’t made this available through their API yet, but it’s definitely on deck and will be incorporated into our reports as soon as we have access to it. We’ll make sure you know about it as soon as we get it added in!

      • http://www.travisbernard.com/ Travis Bernard

        Awesome, thanks!

  • rglobus

    They’re still keeping PTAT as the public-facing metric though, to my knowledge.

    • Jenny

      Yes, per this link https://www.facebook.com/facebookforbusiness/news/pageinsights they are doing just as you say, which drives me crazy. I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but my engagement number is always significantly, sometimes outrageously higher than the PTAT number that shows on the front of my page.

      • Jade

        Hey Jenny and rglobus! That’s a common problem with PTAT. We actually did a post on the difference between PTAT and engagement. Check it out: http://bit.ly/19bwBnS

        • rglobus

          Oh yeah, completely agree with your breakdown. I’m annoyed that Facebook decided to keep that as their public-facing metric. It’s so easily skewed by like campaigns.

          • Jade

            Glad you liked the breakdown! Definitely easily skewed, luckily we all know better :)

      • rglobus

        Yup, same here. Right now PTAT is showing 21k, Engagement is 78k. Engagement is also a trailing 7-day metric though. The key difference must be that it includes clicks, while PTAT doesn’t. @disqus_Xtqo12cqAJ:disqus or anyone else agree with me?

  • Colleen Fischer

    The Posts tab is my go-to Insight. I am fascinated by what type of content performs the best. The new layout is a great visual for a daily check in/ overview.

  • Michelle

    When will the new insights be implemented?

  • Tuush

    Hi Travis,

    How does one view total Tab views of new insights

  • http://www.about.com/monsevidela Monse Videla

    Could you explain why in some cases PTA is higher than the number of fans of a page?

  • Björn Jansson

    If
    A = Page Likes
    B = People Engaged
    C = Page tags and mentions
    D = Page Checkins and other interactions
    and
    E = A + B + C + D = PTAT,
    Where do I find this data in the Facebook Insights Data Export?