16 Apr 2012
During their latest major Insights update, Facebook added the “Friends of Fans” metric. There is quite a lot to be said about it.
In his latest article, Thomas Baekdal said “(Friends of Fans) is completely and utterly useless”. We couldn’t agree more.
Thomas explains why you should forget about Friends of Fans with great details, but here is a summary :
- Friends of Fans is a pure vanity metric. It shows you how many people you could reach IF 1)100% of you fans see your post AND 2)100% act on it. Probability it may happen : 0%.
- Friends of Fans doesn’t include people interacting with your posts who are neither Fan nor Friend of a fan. Any Facebook user can go to your page and interact with your post. Any Facebook user can also go to your website and comment/like/share your content (if Open Graph is enabled). They are not included in your Friends of Fans total.
- Friends of Fans doesn’t include Friends of Friends of Friends of Fans. Virality doesn’t stop at Fans + their circle. Ideally, you want to reach the friends of your fans but also the friends of the friends of your fans. And so on. And so on.
Thomas suggests, and we totally endorse this, to focus on the total reach of your page. “This is the number of unique people, at any level, that have seen content from your page. It doesn’t limit itself to only fans or friends of fans, this is how many people you actually reach overall (accounting for EdgeRank).”
Be aware that this metric may include people reached by your Facebook advertisements. So you’d better focus on your Organic reach to measure the true exposure of your content.
After all, what matters is the number of people you’ve reached. They could be fans or not. Who cares ?