What does PTAT mean on Facebook Insights?

PTAT (People talking about this) is a metric given by Facebook which shows a marketer how likely a particular post on their Facebook Page is to be shared. However, the data behind this metric has up until now been somewhat of a mystery. Facebook recently announced a change to the PTAT metric that provides deeper insights into which types of actions make up the “People talking about this” metric.

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What will the new PTAT Insights Metrics Tell Us?

Up until now “People talking about this” has been a single metric representing the potential engagement of a post – however the level of engagement has not given much information for marketers to understand what type of content is truly being engaged with and why.

The new PTAT Metric is expected to provide more in-depth data on the actual unique number of people that have clicked on, liked, commented on, or shared posts on a company’s Facebook Page. It will also provide more insights into page tags, page mentions and check-ins.

Engagement Metrics that really matter

It is no secret that engagement is the key to a successful Facebook strategy, however what exactly does engagement mean? Which metrics carry more weight than others and why are these metrics important?

The Facebook Edge Rank

Similarly to the much talked about ‘Search Algorithms’ that determines which web pages are worthy of ranking at the top of the search results pages, Facebook also has its own algorithm that determines whether or not your posts are worthy of being shown to your Facebook in their news feed. This algorithm is known as an Edge Rank. The Edge Rank looks at the level of engagement that a fan has had with your company page and the frequency at which the fan engages with your Facebook Page and then determines whether or not your post might be of any value to the user.

For instance, if a fan visits your Facebook Page and shares one of your recent posts, then this is a signal to Facebook that the user values your content enough to share it with others. A comment is also a strong indication that the user is engaging with your content. However, a like on the other may not carry as much weight as a share.

To help marketers truly understand what content is most valuable on their Facebook Pages, Facebook will now be providing more insights into the engagement rate of posts by indicating the number of unique clicks that a post receives and stories created out of these clicks.

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The Facebook Post Scorecard

In order to provide more depth to a company’s posts Facebook will provide a score card for each post which will demonstrate both positive and negative sentiment for the brand. But how does Facebook classify as positive versus negative sentiment based on the user’s interactions with the company page:

Positive Interactions:

  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Likes
  • Clicks

Negative Interactions:

  • Unlike Page
  • Hide Post (or all posts)
  • Report as Spam

New Facebook Metrics – Beyond Reach

Here is a list of some of the insights you can expect to find in your new Facebook Reports:

  • Page Likes: Total Likes and where they came from.
  • Post Reach: Positive (Likes, Comments, Shares) and Negative (Unlike, Report as Spam, Hide)
  • Page & Tab Visits
  • Mentions, Check-Ins, Purchases
  • External Referrers
  • When your Fans are Online (when is the best time to post an update)
  • What are your Best Posts (what types of posts work best for engagement with your fans and non-fans)
  • People reached versus People who are Engaged: Presently Facebook shows marketers which demographics your posts reach (by Age, Gender, Location etc.), with these new insights marketers will not only see the reach but also who actually engaged with the content by specific demographics.

These new Facebook Insights will without a doubt provide a substantially more comprehensive overview into the success of a Company’s Facebook Page while providing valuable insights into where and how companies can provide a much more engaging experience to its Facebook Fans.

When will these new Facebook Insights be available to Marketers?

While Facebook announced the update to Insights this month it won’t become immediately available to all brand pages as it appears to be testing these metrics on a limited number of accounts at present. We should however hopefully see these changes later this year, with some sources having reported that we should start to look out for the new PTAT Insights Metrics from around September 2013.