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Having been an Admin for a number of Facebook Pages since 2008, I’ve had a lot of time to think about enhancements to the Admin Portal and how my user experience could be optimized.

Being an Admin of a Page means different things to different people – for me, it means that I am able to provide a reading of the ‘overall health’ of a Page at a quick glance at the metrics.

More recently, it’s become necessary to spend more and more time in the Admin Portal, not only monitoring the ‘overall health’, but also monitoring how well (or not well) each post is doing.

In the Admin Portal within the Overview tab, I am able to see each post, the date, Reach, Engaged Users, Talking About This and Virality. There are a few other things I’d like to see at a glance though.

First, I’d like to see the actual day of the week broken out. I don’t want to have to constantly flip through my calendar. Second, I’d like to see the time in the region I'm in. Any readings that you will see with the time are set in PST but not everyone lives in sunny California. I’ve been able to create workarounds for both day of week and time (in my case, converting all time readings to EST) in Microsoft Excel.

In creating my ‘Facebook Enhancement Wish List’, I realized that the ability to add custom fields to each post would be a must

Currently, Facebook allows for us to schedule posts (Facebook’s latest effort to combat Social Media Management Tools such as HootSuite, Sprout Social, Buddy Media, Adobe Social Analytics, etc. from encroaching on their territory) – so why not tack on a few other extra options that will help us Admins be even better, savvier, digital marketers?

Before diving into Custom Fields, it’s important to keep track of who’s actually posting each post – Add User would track (in the Admin Portal), who has uploaded which posts. This is particularly useful when you have cross-functional teams managing a brand’s Facebook presence – who put that post up? Was it the digital agency? Was it PR? Was it the Brand Team? Was it the developer? Being able to sort by person would be especially helpful in maintaining accountability.

If Facebook allowed us to add in our own Custom Field values, it will eliminate the burden of merging multiple spreadsheets and also being at the mercy of Facebook’s native ‘Export Data’ feature, which never seems to work exactly how you need it to, when you need it to.

Here’s how I envision the Custom Fields being used:

  • Custom Field #1: Post Category: Was the post ‘social’, ‘categorical’, or ‘brand/product-focused’ in nature?
  • Custom Field #2: Post Type: Was the post an open-ended question, fill-in-the-blank, poll, etc.?
  • Custom Field #3: Image/Video: Was there a mixed-media element uploaded with the post?
  • Custom Field #4: Campaign: Was the post specific to a campaign or post? If so, which?

Being able to sort data faster within the Admin Portal or within the exported CSV file would allow for us marketers to have a much more holistic understanding about which types of posts are doing better than others.

Do posts that contain mixed-media elements do better than posts that do not? Do posts that are ‘fill-in-the-blank’ and ‘categorical’ in nature do better than its ‘social’ and ‘poll’ counterparts?

With many of us spending a great deal of time within the Admin Portal monitoring and analyzing big data sets, it would make a great deal of sense for Facebook to give us the flexibility to categorize the data in ways that make sense for the individual brands that we manage.

Brian Reilly

Published 16 July, 2012 by Brian Reilly

Brian Reilly is an Account Manager and Social Media Lead for Revolution Digital, a full-service digital shop in NJ. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.

9 more posts from this author

Comments (4)

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Avinash Joshi

Hi Brian,

Great post. My team manages several FB pages out of India. We often track and man the metrics manually and jump FB insights figures because for us PST to IST is 12+ hours of difference. The custom fields would indeed rid us of the XLSing we have to do.

Thanks!

about 4 years ago

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Brian Reilly

Hey Avinash, thanks so much for the reply. I totally hear you, feel your pain too! I was able to use a few formulas to normalize the date. I was able to pull out Day of Week, Time of Day (PST, which is the default FB Reporting time) and then also take Time of Day (PST) and add three hours to it, since we operate in EST. You'd take the raw date from the export (A1) and add 12 hours to it. A1+TIME(12,0,0). Give it a go and let me know what you think. I'd dump all the exported data into a template with all these formulas in place. Shoot me an email directly if you have any other questions! B

about 4 years ago

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Avinash Joshi

Hi Brian,

Thanks for the revert. My team has data which is manually recorded round the clock (24*7). We have data as low as the time of each comment and like on our posts. We manually maintain XLS data for each action and like your wish list classify by category, sentiment, comment/response category. We too have multiple formulas working for us to take hourly data to 24 hours to week to month and to quarter and the year. We should surely exchange notes and talk sometime. Will look forward.

about 4 years ago

Brian Reilly

Brian Reilly, Account Manager / Social Media Lead at Revolution Digital

Avinash, would love to connect. Can you add me over on LinkedIn? Would love to chat further. Currently have done a similar exercise for my brands too.

about 4 years ago

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