Fresh & New(er)

discussion of issues around digital media and museums by Seb Chan

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Tip #461: Segmenting and counting Facebook fans with the Ad Planner tool

September 20th, 2010 by Seb Chan

Another thing that has emerged from the web analytics discussions has been the lack of clarity over how to consider the success or otherwise of museum Facebook fan pages. Not surprisingly there is a lot of superficial focus on the total number of fans, but this doesn’t give the necessary granularity you are going to need to justify the investment in these platforms going forward.

Is a museum with 100,000 fans doing better than one with 10,000 fans? Maybe not if both have 5,000 fans from their home city. Worse, what if a considerable number of your Facebook fans were other museum professionals! But how would you discover this?

One very very simple thing you can do is to use the Facebook Ad Planner tool to interrogate and segment your fans (and those of others as well!).

To do this, go to any Facebook Fan Page you are an administrator for. (You can create a new one if you need). In the right hand column you will see an advertisement encouraging you to ‘Get more connections’. Click it.

Next you will land at a page that looks like this. Just click ‘Continue’.

Now the useful part.

Now on the screen you should have ‘Targeting’. Here’s where you become brutally aware of what happens to your data when you become a ‘fan’ of something, join a group on Facebook, or list an interest in your profile. Yes, you are now a target market.

You now need to select a country (and then you can drill down into a city or region). You can add up to 25 countries if you want and you can also tweak the demographic facets like ‘age’ and ‘gender’ if you want.

Now in ‘Likes and interests’ start typing and choose another organisation or topic. Once selected you will see the ‘Estimated reach’ box in the right hand column update. That’s the information you want.

Here’s some from our profile.

Now it looks like there might be 40 people in the UK or USA who express a ‘like’ for us but haven’t yet become ‘fans’ on the fan page.

And we could definitely reach more people in Sydney who like the Art Gallery of NSW but not yet the Powerhouse! And you can see how that also gives us an insight into the geographic segmentation of our friends over at the Art Gallery of NSW‘s near 10K fans, as well as a better comparative picture of how we are going. Not surprisingly The Art Gallery of NSW are doing a great job – much better than us!

Go on, try it out for yourself. Better to know how the tools you unwittingly contribute data to, work, than not.

Tags: 6 Comments

  • ‘Fans’ don’t exist any more, it’s all ‘Likes’ (which is a step backwards, IMO, see http://www.frankieroberto.com/weblog/2008).

    I presume the 40 people who like ‘powerhouse museum’ but aren’t connected to/don’t like ‘Powerhouse Museum’ are people who typed ‘powerhouse museum’ into their Facebook profile before it was switched to using the new Graph (ie back when it was just plain text).

    Have you looked into whether http://www.facebook.com/pages/Powerhouse-museum/110298272330891?ref=ts (which is a ‘community page’ based on a Wikipedia import) can be merged into your official page?

  • Frankie, are you suggesting they *can* be merged, or was that an open question? I had assumed there was nothing you can do (other than target their ‘fans’ with adverts to bring them to your official page of course, as outlined above (I’m with Seb – even if they don’t call them fans any more I will!)

  • Seb Chan

    Hi Frankie

    Yeah I’m not fan of the likes at all. Totally different motivation for fanning vs liking. You are right, the Ad Planner checks both the free text and the explicit pages which is where those 40 come from – although I have no idea why someone would bother to manually type ‘Powerhouse Museum’ into their ‘likes’! Obviously weird museum types.

    Merging the community pages isn’t possible – apparently they are there for the ‘community’ to contribute to whilst the brand pages are for brands. Very annoying for all involved.

  • Though you can’t merge your community page with your own page, you can link the two together, which is helpful. Nonprofit Tech 2.0 has more details: http://nonprofitorgs.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/odds-are-your-nonprofit-has-a-facebook-community-page-find-it-claim-it-and-link-it-to-your-official-page/

  • Thanks Catherine. The way that box was worded, once you opened the pop-up, it looked like you had to submit your main site.

  • Hi James-

    No problem. We’re always on the lookout for Facebook tips and social media metrics advice, so thanks to you all for the great info.