Many academic libraries have Facebook pages but how often do they go and assess your users, their demographics, what they like, comment, or share with others? We use social media to promote our services or resources, or just to interact with our users. When was the last time they analysed their users? The CSI Library’s Facebook page promotes library services, resources, and events 3-4 times per week. It is important to consider checking to see who views our page and what they “like” and comment on. This may give insights on how we can further improve services at the CSI Library. Since early 2010, we have 513 fans (without any paid advertising). We have a Facebook icon on our library web site and on promotional material. We have a Facebook sign asking users to visit our site and “like” us. Considering our promotional strategies are in-house, our fans come to us organically. It is important to check out Facebook insights. To access insights , login to your Facebook account and access your page in order to get to the Facebook admin panel. At this page there is a lot of rich demographic data at your fingertips that might reveal a lot about your audience.
After selecting “insights”, it might be useful to select two main points of interest; people, and posts. It might be useful to understand the breakdown of your users and the contents of their posts. What kinds of requests are they making on Facebook that they may not make at the reference desk or via the telephone?
It is interesting to note that 60% of our Facebook fans are women while 39% of our fans are men. Comparing this to all of Facebook, 46% of all Facebook users are women and 54% of them are men. The most popular age category of fans who visit our age is the 18-24 year group with 27% women and 19% men, followed with the 25-34 age category (12% women and 9% men).
It is important to investigate user engagement. By only examining our visitors we are not analyzing how they interact with us on our page. The “engagement” module, under “people” is a great way to examine the different types of interactions users have with our Facebook page. It may give us some insight on what we’re doing right, and what we should improve on. As per the graph above, 81% of women are engaged on our page. They comment, “like”, and peruse the page. Sixty percent of women are our Facebook fans. Eighteen percent of men are engaged with our Facebook page and 39% of our fans are men. They are from the United States, specifically Staten Island.
What is most intriguing about these two graphs is that more women in the 35-44, 45-54, and 55-64 age categories participate more actively on our page. This could be due to the fact that many students visit the page but perhaps more faculty and staff or alumni are more vocal.
In terms of your users’ reactions to your posts, it is fascinating to see the reach of your posts. Your Facebook post may be “liked”, commented on, or “shared” to fans’ timelines, or to other friends’ timelines. When organizing the posts and their level of “reach”, it was interesting to see that our photo of the Christmas tree of books had a reached over 1400 Facebook users, both fans and non-fans. One hundred and forty six fans clicked on posts (on our Facebook page) while 158 fans “liked”, commented, or shared posts on their Timeline or their friends’ Timelines.
Facebook insights also illustrates the peak times when fans are accessing the page over a given week. For example, last week’s data infers that during the last week, the two peak times were 12pm-2pm and 10pm-12 midnight. Last Friday evening saw its peak at 9pm (396 total, 173 peak). On Saturday (378 total) the peak periods were 12pm and 4pm (170 Facebook fans) and Sunday (404 total), the highest activity occurred from 7pm-9pm with approximately 150 Facebook fans. The Thursday peak (406 total, 150 peak time) was at 3:00pm and at 8:00pm. The Wednesday peak (408 total, 150 peak time) is at 2:00pm, the Tuesday peak (~150) is at 12pm, and the Monday peak is at 4:00pm (~150)
Why is this data so important? It gives us insight on when to post, what to post, how much to post, and the types of information social media users are trying to find. Be sure to check out the CSI Library Facebook page at www.facebook.com/csilibrary
-Prof. Mark Aaron Polger, First Year Experience Librarian