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#1 glyn

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 06:43 AM

Hello!

 

I'm looking for some decent analytical blog posts about the FB reach calculation and what it in fact means.

 

Any links greatly received.

 

Glyn.

 

 



#2 iamlost

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 08:49 AM

We basically had the Google version conversation on this over a year ago:

Check your AdSense performance reports for the 'Active Views' tab. You should see two interesting fields: Active View Measurable and Active View Viewable.

AVM being that the ad was served, AVV being that it was 50% visible for 1-sec.

We now return to our originally asked question:
 

Impressions are the number of times a post from your Page is displayed. People may see multiple impressions of the same post. For example, if someone sees a Page update in News Feed and then sees that same update when a friend shares it that would count as 2 impressions.

Reach is the number of people who received impressions of a Page post. Reach might be less than impressions since one person can see multiple impressions. For example, if a person sees a Page update in News Feed and then sees that same update when a friend shares it that would represent a reach count of one.


The other way in which FB uses Reach is as an 'estimate' in the 'budget settings section in ad creation', which is, I suspect, the Reach you want to understand.
* daily Reach takes the desired audience size, ad time period against likely audience available, the bid amount, how similar (for some definition of similar) campaigns have performed, plus whatever secret sauce is the daily special.
* potential Reach is the the size of your desired audience likely available (aka active on FB) at least once in a month.

It is deliberately a black box. The FB API is very specifically set to return potential Reach and NOT daily, which is ONLY through their ad 'campaign pricing' interface.

As to some decent analytical blog posts, sorry don't know of any. FB ain't Google you know?!
Note: of course this means one is not drowning in nonsense. Instead one is suffering from a paucity of refreshment...

 



#3 glyn

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 09:03 AM

paucity, I hate that word!

 

Have things changed recently or has the "reach" value always been displayed to page admins, or has it been added so you can see it more clearly within a post?

 

G



#4 cre8pc

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 09:13 AM

I tried PEW...various things there but dated or maybe not exactly what you need.

 

http://www.pewresear...=facebook reach



#5 glyn

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 09:18 AM

Thanks Kim,

 

IAMLOST: thank you for elaborating FBs own definition so well, I can only assume that you have a done some learned research and found the same dead end.

 

I was curious to see what a post that has a documented Reach of 2,000 is made up of.

 

EG:

 

- When I scroll over a piece of sh** news in my feed from a fan page I am no longer interested in, does that count as an impression? I am guessing that it most surely do. Therefore reach is akin to view through conversions and looking the other way?

 

- Engagement Likes, comments, shares...these are things that at least I can understand in terms of an action. While they might be robots on the end of it, at least it's an action?

 

"Reach" smells like a bad fart trying to be amplified in the absence of anything else that actually counts as an interaction.

 

What do you think of that?

 

G.



#6 earlpearl

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 10:27 AM

I think of reach as a smelly, fartlike (to continue the analogy) metric.  Using the definitions above it seems to reflect that people who follow you might see it as an impression in their own timelines. 

 

Great:  that makes it as valuable as a billboard on the road.  A very minimal impact.   Unless of course they are invested in the product/service.   That is the value.  An impression...often fleeting.  Its impact dependent on need at that time or less effectively as need at a future time.

 

Yet it must have impact from a facebook perspective.   They have purposefully crushed REACH.   We typically see reach totals that range between 5-20% of what we saw before they purposefully started to reduce it. 

 

I perceive it as a weak metric.   just my $0.02  ;)



#7 iamlost

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 01:50 PM

I like to start with the basics for two reasons:
1. Future proofing thread
2. All the idjits that need to be spoon fed

Almost all web platform public metrics are weak or partial or gobblety gook. Its all smoke and mirrors and pay no attention to the guy behind the curtain. Before FB dropped post sharing from ~20% to ~1% ad conversion was in the neighbourhood of ~1:10,000; it's currently ~1:2,000.

The challenge with all web platforms is:
1. not so much how to optimise their offerings as to find end runs around the standard processes.
2. decide on metrics that you need/want and then from that list determine which you can dig out on your own because they probably aren't sharing.

#8 glyn

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 02:00 PM

As i say. Define your strategy and then go and find that platform that meets it. Not chicken first.

#9 iamlost

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 09:41 PM

Remember FaceBook having to, ahem, adjust their video view numbers claims by 60% to 80%?

Guess what?

It isn't just their vid views...
Facebook's Ads Manager claimed (until very very recently) to reach 1.5 million Swedes between the ages of 15 and 24. Awesome, right? Especially given that there are only 1.2 million. Oops.
In response Facebook's Nordic Communications Manager Peter Munster said:
"They [scope estimates] are designed to estimate how many people in a given area are able to see an advertisement that a company is considering driving. They are not designed to match the population or estimates in the census..."
Well, that's all right, then. Right, paying through nose advertisers?

And how about the US? Surely FaceBook can show accurate user stats from their home country?
Facebook's Ads Manager says:
* reaches 41 million of 31 million between 18 and 24.
* reaches 60 million of 45 million between 24 and 35.

The snake oil smoke and mirrors brigade is in fine fettle at FB.
 



#10 Grumpus

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 05:49 AM

I live in an odd little area of Connecticut. To my south and east, we have people. To the north and west, we have a vast expanse of very low populated land that runs all the way up and out to the Appalachians. In recent months, I've been helping a friend of mine with his promotions. He own a real estate school that teaches pre-licensing courses and the various required annual continuing education courses. To our east and south, there are several other schools within 15 miles, but looking out to the north and west you have to leave Connecticut before coming across a similar service.

 

Because of this, when we pay for an ad boost, we don't just do a radius - we target specifics towns and their radii in order to shift our efforts out to the north and west. There are a lot fewer people out that way, but the ones that are there are more likely to visit his school than if we were to allow much overlap and hit the people out closer to Hartford or Waterbury. What gets interesting here is that we often have to increase our range out into some of that less productive area because Facebook won't take our money to just reach the potential 800-1000 in our NW territory. If you can't reach a certain number of people, Facebook won't even take your $5.

 

I bring all this up because you can glean a little information about potential reach by playing with those geographical targeting settings. The thing that I've found is that the numbers don't directly correlate to population. One city in our target area is Torrington, with a population of 34,000. So even if I'm just targeting that town for 2 weeks, and with Facebook's boasting of the percentage of the world that it is hooked into, it seems strange that they can't promise to hit 1000 people. That's just 3% of the population of that town. Add to it the 3,000-8,000 people populations of the 20 other towns out in that area, it should easily be able to hit 1,000.... right?

 

Well - and it gets interesting again here - if you own a bar, it's no problem. I also do some Facebook and web work for our local bar. If I'm posting an ad for all the music, activities and fun going on at the bar and around town over the weekend, my nag-lines from Facebook always promise better reach for the bar (located exactly 240 feet from the real estate school). I haven't tried targeting regionally for the bar, but where the school ads promise I can reach up to 1000 people (if I go with the simple default radius which includes Hartford), my bar ads promise to reach up to 1400 or so.

 

Ultimately - this means that there is something more in play here than just geography and population. And so, without further ado... here is my list of:

 

"The Things I Surmise About Facebook Reach"

1) The primary "seed" for all of this is likely the same seed you have without paying - your business's "Like" pool. My bar page has 1700 likes. My Real Estate School page has 110.

2) The "Category" of our company, promoted event, or whatever probably plays a bit of a role. I can't be certain how much because of my #3 item, below, but my (always unpaid) bar posts in the "Music" category almost always reach more people than our "Food & Drink" type posts where I list the specials or a certain beer on tap. (Remember, reach is about who has seen it - interest/interaction with it is something else - and potential reach is supposed to be how many potential people you can get eyes on it - conversions be damned.)

3) The actual copy of the ad seems to play some sort of role. I'm not up on all of the Facebook patents as I am with Google, but they have some sort of context algo going in there somewhere. You can see this in action when you talk with a friend about a TV show and then suddenly you start to see DirectTV and Comcast ads all over your page. With Google, you're comparing page content against a search term. On the Facebook, you have a Post Content to Post Content type comparison of some sort going on. I'm not sure if it's content to content, or your post's content/subject compared to my page ads content or maybe it's category, or a combination. So, therefore, reach isn't just about getting it to people in there area, but there is also some sort of "qualified lead" thing going on. My Real Estate School has a smaller potential reach than the bar, in part, because there aren't a lot of people talking about becoming or being a realtor, whereas everyone is talking about the bar scene of any given area.

 

Now... while I'm sure there is some validity to each of these observations - what I can't be certain about is just how good the Facebook is at actually doing them well. In a lot of ways, it seems a lot like the early days of Google. Someone would observe a phenomenon and a bunch of people would speculate as to the cause of it. Ultimately, a lot of that speculation was wrong because most of it always assumed that the result was actually the result Google was going for. Very little of the early Google speculation took into account the notion of what Google was "trying" to do and the difficulty in actually doing it - and that the result was simply a byproduct of trying to do something, but not doing it very well, yet.

 

Facebook seems to be in a similar arena. They are "trying" to not only give you reach with your ads, but also to qualify the views in some way. By the numbers above, we can see that they aren't very good at it yet, but we have to assume they are trying. It would a really bad business plan to do anything else. Sure, you're paying for the number of people seeing it, but your satisfaction only comes from having that person take some action.

 

Because of the nature of many of the businesses on Facebook, it's really hard for them to measure success, too. For the bar, when I post Saturday's music lineup, clicks, shares, committing to "going", or inviting friends is nice - but ultimately all I really want is for you to just show up at the bar. (I imagine that Facebook uses some Check-In data to help measure, here... this person saw the event post, and then checked into the venue during the time the event was on.)

 

To sum it all up - Facebook (potential) reach is an ever changing number - both because of the various factors in how they decide just who they are going to send it to and because of the fact that Facebook is still trying to figure out just what it means, themselves.

 

G.



#11 glyn

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 04:47 PM

Never cpm on fb!

#12 earlpearl

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 10:44 AM

I bring all this up because you can glean a little information about potential reach by playing with those geographical targeting settings. The thing that I've found is that the numbers don't directly correlate to population. One city in our target area is Torrington, with a population of 34,000. So even if I'm just targeting that town for 2 weeks, and with Facebook's boasting of the percentage of the world that it is hooked into, it seems strange that they can't promise to hit 1000 people. That's just 3% of the population of that town. Add to it the 3,000-8,000 people populations of the 20 other towns out in that area, it should easily be able to hit 1,000.... right?

 

Well - and it gets interesting again here - if you own a bar, it's no problem. I also do some Facebook and web work for our local bar. If I'm posting an ad for all the music, activities and fun going on at the bar and around town over the weekend, my nag-lines from Facebook always promise better reach for the bar (located exactly 240 feet from the real estate school). I haven't tried targeting regionally for the bar, but where the school ads promise I can reach up to 1000 people (if I go with the simple default radius which includes Hartford), my bar ads promise to reach up to 1400 or so.

 

Ultimately - this means that there is something more in play here than just geography and population. And so, without further ado... here is my list of:

 

"The Things I Surmise About Facebook Reach"

1) The primary "seed" for all of this is likely the same seed you have without paying - your business's "Like" pool. My bar page has 1700 likes. My Real Estate School page has 110.

2) The "Category" of our company, promoted event, or whatever probably plays a bit of a role. I can't be certain how much because of my #3 item, below, but my (always unpaid) bar posts in the "Music" category almost always reach more people than our "Food & Drink" type posts where I list the specials or a certain beer on tap. (Remember, reach is about who has seen it - interest/interaction with it is something else - and potential reach is supposed to be how many potential people you can get eyes on it - conversions be damned.)

3) The actual copy of the ad seems to play some sort of role. I'm not up on all of the Facebook patents as I am with Google, but they have some sort of context algo going in there somewhere. You can see this in action when you talk with a friend about a TV show and then suddenly you start to see DirectTV and Comcast ads all over your page. With Google, you're comparing page content against a search term. On the Facebook, you have a Post Content to Post Content type comparison of some sort going on. I'm not sure if it's content to content, or your post's content/subject compared to my page ads content or maybe it's category, or a combination. So, therefore, reach isn't just about getting it to people in there area, but there is also some sort of "qualified lead" thing going on. My Real Estate School has a smaller potential reach than the bar, in part, because there aren't a lot of people talking about becoming or being a realtor, whereas everyone is talking about the bar scene of any given area.

 

Now... while I'm sure there is some validity to each of these observations - what I can't be certain about is just how good the Facebook is at actually doing them well. In a lot of ways, it seems a lot like the early days of Google. Someone would observe a phenomenon and a bunch of people would speculate as to the cause of it. Ultimately, a lot of that speculation was wrong because most of it always assumed that the result was actually the result Google was going for. Very little of the early Google speculation took into account the notion of what Google was "trying" to do and the difficulty in actually doing it - and that the result was simply a byproduct of trying to do something, but not doing it very well, yet.

 

Facebook seems to be in a similar arena. They are "trying" to not only give you reach with your ads, but also to qualify the views in some way. By the numbers above, we can see that they aren't very good at it yet, but we have to assume they are trying. It would a really bad business plan to do anything else. Sure, you're paying for the number of people seeing it, but your satisfaction only comes from having that person take some action.

 

Because of the nature of many of the businesses on Facebook, it's really hard for them to measure success, too. For the bar, when I post Saturday's music lineup, clicks, shares, committing to "going", or inviting friends is nice - but ultimately all I really want is for you to just show up at the bar. (I imagine that Facebook uses some Check-In data to help measure, here... this person saw the event post, and then checked into the venue during the time the event was on.)

 

To sum it all up - Facebook (potential) reach is an ever changing number - both because of the various factors in how they decide just who they are going to send it to and because of the fact that Facebook is still trying to figure out just what it means, themselves.

 

G.

Thank you.  Very interesting, very granular, very local and focused on a type of "funky" reach that is and can be peculiar to local and or types of items advertised.  I'll end up rereading this more than once.

 

I generally consider "FB reach" to be a miserable metric.  Its also the one that FB highlights and grabs the most attention of smb decision makers--even while it must be pure bunk or sort of meaningless.

 

On a completely off topic basis I used to annually, semi annually, or biannually take those RE courses for licensing renewals, and I used to habituate bars, and still go to restaurants/bars.   If I were running one of those schools and/or was handling the marketing for one of those schools I wouldn't spend more than 3 minutes/decade thinking about the FB reach of my school when there are infinitely better sources of marketing that can direct approach the people that need those courses.  Amazing to me that one uses that, though the fact that the school operator and the bar operator both do leads to your interesting analysis.

 

On the food/bar/event side.   These days I don't go to "bar events" any more.  I do respond to great food photography that I follow on FB or twitter for some restaurants restaurants/bars that I follow.  At least in my one case, very well done food photography drives me to restaurants.  Invariably when I get there the dish is NEVER as enticing as that great food photography  --food porn.  But its too late.  I ordered it.  :D

 

I engaged a restaurant owner I know whose food porn has driven me to his establishment more than once.  He immediately launched into a long detailed description of the technical aspects of food photography.  Its beyond me.  I don't do it, but we have others do for certain types of services we provide.  In that case I cut the conversation short and returned to eating--:D

 

But as @Egol has often described--great photography works very well on the interwebs.



#13 Grumpus

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 10:55 AM

Food porn works great - if you can get good pictures. Yep.

 

As for the school - the Facebook side of it works better for the required annual "Keep Your Real Estate License" stuff than it does for finding new students for the pre-licensing stuff.



#14 earlpearl

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 11:16 AM

Food porn works great - if you can get good pictures. Yep.

 

As for the school - the Facebook side of it works better for the required annual "Keep Your Real Estate License" stuff than it does for finding new students for the pre-licensing stuff.

I was specifically thinking about the annual "keep your license" type stuff.  But if it works.  IT WORKS.  Then he should keep doing it.    And if it works than I am surprised. 

 

and on an anecdotal basis....food porn works on me!!!!





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