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Plus Report - By Thomas Baekdal - April 2012

Facebook Insights: Debunking Friends of Fans

The real insight into understanding how Facebook works doesn't come from total number of Likes or Friends of Fans. It comes from seeing how people behave in the organic soup we call social interaction. This is where the value is, and that's what drives sales.

Last week, HubSpot published the article "How to Analyze Facebook Insights to Improve Your Content Strategy", in it, you can read that pretty much all Facebook insight data is irrelevant, and that you should only focus on 'Total Likes' and 'Friends of Fans'.

That is pretty much the worst advice I have heard all year.

And it isn't the first time I have heard this, ever since Facebook launched their new metrics, I have heard the same thing from friends, colleagues, tweeps, social media experts, and on a ton of social blogs.

But they are wrong, completely wrong in fact. ...and here is why.


I'm not going to go into the details of every metric Facebook provides, I'm just going to look at the first four - presented to everyone at the very top of the Facebook insights page. Here is mine from 42Concepts.

As you can see, I have a few thousand Total Likes, a staggering 835,000+ Friends of Fans, a very small number of People Talking About it (I haven't posted for a while on 42Concepts), and a decent number for Reach.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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