I asked this question about Social Media in general a few weeks back. I also noted how at the C.H. Nash Museum we do not want our newsletter, website, and Facebook to be simply different versions of the same thing. We routinely use Facebook to interact and with our fans. So how is that going and what are we learning?
The first thing I learned was the need to give up control. This seems somewhat contradictory to my position as the Museum Director, but all of our staff and graduate assistants are now administrators of the Facebook page. We routinely discuss the type of content we think will work. I thoroughly enjoy that the posts I at first might cringe at, are in fact those that engage our fans the most. Further, this interactivity is driving increased awareness and participation in our on-site events, such as our annual 5k run.
Second, the ability to interact with other Museums, cross promote activities, and simply share and be engaged with other folks experience is tremendous. The page Museums on Facebook lists some 600 different institutions with fan pages. I am a fan of a couple dozen different regional, Native American, and archaeological museum pages. The types of posts from these museums is diverse. Most museum web pages continue to just push product. However, an increasing number are becoming more interactive and “social” in their approach. For example the Newseum Facebook fan page always ends their posts with a question to engage their fans. On the C.H. Nash Museum page, we find that questions posed are always answered by at least a couple of fans.
A recent post on Beth’s Blog discussed Facebook analytics. Options range from the complex such as Google Analytics to not so complex analytic options. For example, the simpler Insights link available to administrators of each individual Facebook fan page actually has a wealth of data. There are also links with lots of Online data on Facebook fan page analytics. A good starting point for me was a download that reports on comparative data based on Facebook Insights. The report contains abundant detail on averages for Fan Pages, on everything from number of fans, average posts, number of comments per post – more stuff than you can shake a stick at. This downloadable report allows you to see how your Fan Page stacks up against the norm. For example, on the C.H. Nash Museum page, we are above the norm on the most of the various feedback measures.
However, these data still do not directly answer the question, is this Facebook stuff worth it? If a page maintains above average rankings on all measures, does that mean it is working and is worth the time expended? I’ll play with this more in the future.
What are your thoughts on how to measure if your energy expenditure in Facebook is worth it?