Measuring Facebook engagement: Do some users sabotage your stats?

Note: This is a really quick post that has more questions and few answers.

I use Facebook for personal and professional engagement. I have multiple pages for brands and organisations that I’m part of. On a personal level, I’m also always actively reflecting on what my personal behaviour says about myself as a user.

Using Facebook pages
Over the past twelve months, Facebook marketing has really pushed brands into making it all about picture and images. Images make the post more interesting and users are more likely to click through. Which is great for marketers.

The moment a user clicks “like” on an image, it is shared to the newsfeed of all the people with whom they are friends. This isn’t a new thing of course, since the introduction of newsfeed, we can all tell who is liking what page, playing which game app, commenting on so-and-so’s post.

Over the past few months, however I have found myself less likely to “like” Page updates that feature images. There are many images that I deliberately DO NOT want to appear in my newsfeed. Any image I do click “like” on, is there because I want it to appear. I find myself making conscious decisions about the “worthiness” of images. And more images are passed up than are passed on. Given that many status updates are based around images, a page is now less likely to have me acknowledge their activity.

How will my inaction impact on your stats?
A page owner can measure their campaign’s effectiveness using insights (statistics) about the number of likes of the page overall, comments, likes on specific updates (including images), shares, reach/eyes etc. But how does a brand measure their campaign’s effectiveness with people like me? People who deliberately choose not to visibly engage? Or at least choose not to engage in a typical or identifiable way, or predicted way?

How do you measure your effectiveness when I

  • go to a page (repeatedly), look around it, but choose not to “like” it?
  • like a page, read status updates but choose not to like any statuses that I know will make your images appear in my newsfeed?

I am engaging, but is it in a way that insights is measuring?

I’m not sure I’m a normal user. There are enough dodgy looking images in my newsfeed which tell me that many people happily click away their likes. But what if I’m not the only one? What if there are many people like me, who (I suspect) are sabotaging your insights? And how would you know? And what do you do about it?