Last week I received a surprising email from Facebook entitled 'Your Weekly Facebook Page Update'. It contained an overview of all the Facebook pages I am an admin of, with statistics on the number of new fans, wall posts and visits to the page.
Those of us who use Facebook and other social media sites in a professional capacity have been aching for reliable metrics to judge the success of our social media marketing campaigns.
Facebook launched its Insights tool in late 2007 as a means for page admins to gather data on what happened on their pages and get some basic demographical data on the composition of their fan base. However, since then there's been remarkably little movement by Facebook on the analytics front.
This latest move is an indication that Facebook is starting to take the professional use of their social media platform more seriously, and can be seen as an outreach to social media marketers.
The fact that several professional web analytics vendors such as Omniture and WebTrends have recently announced new Facebook tracking features, makes this latest move from Facebook just that little bit juicier.
Perhaps Facebook is trying to pave the way for its own (paid) analytics package, that will hopefully allow admins to gain deeper insights in to how visitors reach their pages and how they interact with it.
This will hopefully help take a lot of the guesswork out of social media marketing, and allow clients of social media marketers to demand clearer ROI on their investment.
Barry Adams is the senior digital marketer for search at Pierce Communications. He spends way too much time on Facebook and somehow manages to pass it off as 'work'.