Pay Close Attention to Your Unlikes and Unsubscribes on Facebook

Michael Torres

How can the understanding of Facebook metrics help drive your social content strategy? That’s the challenge many organizations now face with the growth of social media’s role in everyday business. In the following Q&A, Michael Torres, senior director of communications, Tropicana/Naked and featured speaker at PR News’ Social Media Measurement Conference on Oct. 2, says it’s important that brands fully understand their communities and what stories it wants to share with consumers.

PR News: What is the biggest challenge organizations face when trying to boost Facebook engagement?

Michael Torres: Wow!  Where does one even start to slice this very important topic?  In terms of engagement, one of the biggest  challenges organizations face, in my humble opinion, is that too often brand pages fall in love with “heavyweight content” first (apps, promotions, giveaways, contests, big investment in slick page assets, etc.) and ignore the incredible importance of having the proper insight or “CONTEXT” to support a strong social engagement approach. Personally I’m a big “context” first, “content” second type of guy and absolutely believe all the best content in the world alone will not help boost the target-right engagement if it’s contextually out of alignment with the community. A good friend once told me content might be king, but context rules supreme; I believe this wholeheartedly.

Taking this one step further, when you break Facebook down to its fundamental elements, it’s about connections, being social and the consumer.  It’s not so much “about them” as it’s “for them.”  As marketers, public relations practitioners and digital ninjas, it’s critically important that we make it our business to understand intimately the intersection points of our Facebook community’s interests and the story we want to share. To do this, we must know our communities inside and out, and this includes an unwavering commitment to understanding the Facebook community insights and analytics that tell the tale of performance.  The insights and analytics are the truths that will set us free. 

PR News: Is there a specific number that brands should aim for when considering the success or failure of a Facebook campaign?

Torres: Aiming for an absolute number of likes/fans as a measure of success is absolutely the wrong objective. Sure, it’s easy to use absolute like/fan numbers to show how large a page is or how successful it is in comparison to competitors.  However, as stewards of how integral Facebook is to the marketing mix, fan acquisition should be focused on targeting what is viewed through the lens of the “qualified” vs. “unqualified” likes/fans.  This means focusing at the start on the right demographics -- age, gender, location, etc.  Being dedicated to targeting as a driver of fan acquisition is what should matter most when measuring page audience.

PR News: What is one key thing that is often overlooked when analyzing social media metrics?

Torres: Unlikes and unsubscribes. Sure, it’s normal to have a certain number of daily unlikes, though spikes and an upward trajectory could be telling you something about the publishing strategy that you’re not seeing in the overview section of Facebook’s insights page.  By knowing the days where unlikes and unsubscribes are abnormally high, organizations can pull the data from the Facebook overview section and do a deeper analysis across, reach, engaged users, talking about this and virality to understand what might be going on.


PR News: What’s a key idea/thought you want to leave the conference attendees with?

Torres: Once you have an established Facebook publishing strategy that’s based on solid analytics and insights, follow it, but don’t fall in love with it.  Be open to change and course corrections as necessary because Facebook and our communities are constantly evolving and growing.

To learn more from social media experts like Michael Torres, register to attend PR News’ Social Media Measurement Conference on Oct. 2 in New York.

Follow Jamar Hudson: @jamarhudson