How and what we think about reach and frequency is changing.
Traditional media is measured, has always been measured, using reach and frequency, how many and how often. The cost to buy either is high; purchased together the cost is often exorbitant. Consider the extreme example of an ad during the super bowl: with a reach of millions, the frequency is usually just once. Saturation in traditional media is often only a luxury for those with deep pockets.
Online, however, reach and frequency follow different rules – particularly in social media. On Facebook there are systems and methods to build your audience (your reach), and frequency is simply the creation of content; make that content engaging and you increase your reach even further. In this system, the reach and frequency of your messages are functions of the value created for your audience. But that’s not the exciting part.
What’s exciting is the power in popular friends. And Albis Consulting Group is proud to say we have some very popular friends.
Facebook Insights provides an overview of your company page using total likes, friends of fans, people talking about you, and total reach. The metric most readily pursued and tracked is total likes – a number meaningless without context. The Pied Piper had plenty of followers. Whether they were children or rats, however, significantly changed the context for the people of Hamelin.
Part of giving your total likes context is the next stat Facebook Insights provides: friends of fans, the power of popular friends. This is the total number of people you are one degree of separation from on Facebook. The more friends your fans have, the more friends of fans you have. If you can create engaging, valuable content that your fans share, you will leverage a great potential of social networking and reach many with your message: the more people talking about you, even if it is just to say hello, the greater your reach.
Reach is more than whom you talk to; reach is everyone who hears your message.
But one metric will never tell the complete story. Each business is unique and requires metrics that capture performance. Eyeballs are becoming a vanity metric in a business where reach is cheap, and real value is created by shaping behaviors and attitudes. Forrester recently released a report worth checking out. It helps brands measure the true impact of their Facebook fans, adding context and insight to the numbers.