Facebook gives brand page admins a whole host of numbers and reports on user interactions, but are they the ones we really need?

If you could ask Facebook for one new data metric, or an improvement on an existing one, what would it be?

We put this question to our Facebook fans and Twitter followers, with the general consensus being a clearer measure of CTRs and cost per like.

Other suggestions included a tool to allow you to see what other brands your fans like or a function that allows you to compare insights for two or more periods in one deck.

I also put the question to several agencies, with the responses proving that the current range of Facebook insights aren’t giving marketers what they need…

Steve Richards, MD of Yomego

The biggest desire here at Yomego is for some sort of metric that shows who the top fans are for a brand – those that engage most with a page. Perhaps you’d even be able to sort this by different types of interaction.

It’s possible to create your own versions of this, but there’s nothing official or standardised – it’s simply down to page admins to notice engaged users. 

When you’re building a community it’s crucial to know key participants and give them the recognition they need. We know all of our top contributors by name, but seeing which individuals interact most with the page over a set period of time could be a really helpful tool.

However, it seems an unlikely development – simply because Facebook likes to keep some distance between fans and brands rather than allowing too much direct contact.

For example, the private messaging feature was a great development, but brands can’t initiate it, it has to come from users.

Peter Wood, UK social media director at STEAK

I wouldn’t ask Facebook for another measurement. I’d ask it to cull the 95% of metrics that mean absolutely nothing to most social media marketers, let alone clients. 

Facebook needs to get back to basics and stop trying to spin metrics that don’t matter. There are 65 tabs to sift through when you download its data dump in an Excel spreadsheet, totally excessive. 

Let’s have a suite of numbers that mean something and let’s start talking in language that people can understand. 

Keep it simple, Facebook; the way things are set up now makes it look like you’re trying to hide something.

Henry Elliss, director of digital marketing at Tamar

The first one would be more insight in to mobile. To have some – indeed any – insight in to what proportion of a brand page’s users were on a mobile device would be superbly useful.

The second is on the magical “talking about this” metric – which is almost as secret in its make-up as the Frosties secret formula. 

How does Facebook really calculate this? If there were more insight in how this metric came to be it’d be a really powerful tool – but currently it’s just a bit of a: “Here, have a metric and please don’t question it…”

Finally, it’d be really useful to be able to compare and contrast two or more of your pages, to find out what proportion of their users were unique to that page. 

I know that sounds a bit odd, but we have a couple of clients whose Facebook communities are divided in to a ‘corporate’ hub page and several smaller pages.

Having insight in to how much crossover there is would be really helpful in knowing whether we are catching all of their community when posting to various combinations of pages.

Jamie Robinson, research and insight director at We Are Social

I think the main request I’d have is with regards to how Facebook reports who saw or engaged with a post or the page. 

Currently, Facebook reports this as “viral”, “organic” and “paid”. What I’d like to start seeing is this broken-down further into fans, friends-of fans and other (neither fans nor friends of fans). 

This would help deliver much more granular insight as to how well a brand is managing to reach/engage their fans and their extended network – currently, the ‘viral’ metric in Facebook doesn’t distinguish the two.

I know you asked for one, but there’s a key second one I’d ask for – and this would be a refined “talking about this” metric that excludes “new page likes”.

Technically, one can do this calculation, but if Facebook would present it as a metric it would, I believe, show a purer measure of how people are engaging with a page and posts.

What are your views? If you could ask Facebook for one new metric, what would it be? Let us know in the comments below.