​Facebook will remove "friends of fans" data, and social media marketing analytics will focus on more telling metrics moving forward.

​Facebook marketing provides brands with opportunities to engage social audiences with compelling custom content. Of course, marketers need a high level of analytics reporting knowledge to gauge the success of their campaigns. With a hyper focus on targeting content at the right people, marketers look at every available metric. But can data overload actually hurt efforts long term by skewing perception of brand reach?

Facebook will make its content analytics offerings clearer this summer by removing its “Friends of Fans” metric from its page insights product. The metric shows Page owners the potential reach of their social media content by counting the friends of users who Like their Pages. Unfortunately, while the calculation may be accurate, content rarely – if ever – reaches every possible lead on Facebook.

Without the “Friends of Fans” metric, social media marketing professionals can focus on more meaningful data and gain a better understanding of their campaigns’ wins and losses. For example, looking at “Talking About This” can help marketers understand the topics their audiences read and amplify online, and then produce relevant media around those subjects to keep conversations going.

Facebook said in a statement to InsideFacebook:

“In an effort to make our Insights products more simple and more actionable, Facebook plans to deprecate the “Friends of Fans” metric in Page Insights, which is listed on the Overview tab of Page Insights. Page admins will still be able to see this number by using the Friends of Fans targeting option in the ad create tool and in the Ads API.”

Brafton reported that U.S. consumers use social media services throughout the day, logging into Facebook while on the road, at the gym and even in the bathroom. The potential to reach prospective and current customer via Facebook is there, but marketers must focus on the right metrics to increase engagement. With the removal of “Friends of Fans,” the company shows it understands its responsibility to provide Page owners with the best possible analytics reporting tools.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.