Has the new Facebook Timeline really turned Pages into Destination Sites?
A recent eConsultancy blog post on the new Facebook Timeline and its potential effect on fan behaviour suggests that Fans might be treating Brand Pages as specific destinations.
I think that's contestable and, though I disagree with their evidence for this behaviour change, I think it’s an interesting question and one worth investigating. So I set out to look at page view data for a variety of brand pages in different industries.
Facebook didn’t make the task easy. They stopped providing figures for page views acquired from users who were not logged in, and it‘s unclear if their current total page views figured includes those views. What we do have is page views and unique page views for users that were logged in when they visited the page, and while it doesn’t provide a full picture of what’s happening, at least we have data from a few months before and after Timeline was introduced.
The relationship between unique and total logged-in page views doesn’t change markedly, so I focused my efforts on just the total figure, and calculated an average per month for the sample of brand pages, starting in September 2011 and finishing mid-June 2012. My findings didn’t reveal much at all. For certain pages, the trend was clearly downward, and for others there was no apparent trend as page views fluctuated greatly.
What I didn’t see at all was an upward trend.
It would be interesting to see if there are clear trends emerging in industry sectors as Matt has suggested in his comments on the eConsultancy post, but what brands should be doing now is measuring the trend on their own pages so they can adjust marketing to suit the behaviour of their fans.
Michelle Yeadon is Analytics Director at Jam.