Using Facebook for marketing is nothing new. Businesses and individuals have been utilizing social networking for promotion and consumer engagement for years. Even Facebook acknowledged its own potential as a marketing behemoth and began incorporating paid advertising into site content.
Popularity leads to increased competition and many smaller businesses, with limited marketing budgets, are now struggling to produce results from Facebook campaigns. Even though online presence and brand establishment are improved, the results could be better. A small business hoping to make a real impact, and stand out from the crowd, needs to employ fresh tactics.
Knowledge Is Power
A successful business understand a solid knowledge of customers is key. This knowledge is often the result of consumer analysis and Facebook does not make this a simple task. A business can establish consumer connections though a Facebook profile attracting ‘friends’, but there is no reliable automated method for tracking the actual users visiting the Facebook page.
Depending on the settings on a Facebook page, visitors can find a Facebook profile through a variety of instances. The most common avenues being:
1. The businesses Facebook page appeared in search engine results.
2. The visitor used Facebook search.
3. The visitor saw the business among the friends of someone they were friends with.
4. The visitor saw one of their friends had ‘liked’ the business.
5. The visitor clicked on a Facebook icon on the businesses main webpage.
6. The visitor saw the businesses Facebook page advertised somewhere else.
Note: Facebook has clamped down on who can access Facebook Pages. Visitors clicking on a link to a page are now asked to sign in to a Facebook account (or create one) before allowed to access the page.
Where visitors arrived from and how they found the Facebook page is important data for a business and at this time there is no feasible method for obtaining this data. There have been some third-party Facebook tools purporting to perform tracking analysis, but the tools are now deprecated or unreliable.
It’s not all bad news. Any visitors that have a Facebook profile can be tracked back to a profile. This fact is not common knowledge and Facebook probably wants to keep it that way. Few businesses realize to track individual visitors all it takes is a Facebook account, a little bit of manual effort, and the following steps.
How to Track a Visitor to a Facebook Profile
Here’s how a business tracks a visitor back to a Facebook profile:
1. Login to a Facebook account and go to the business page or Facebook home page if you want to measure visitors.
2. Right-click anywhere in the main browser window.
3. From the menu which appears, select ‘View page source’
4. In the source view, use the FIND option under Edit in your menu bar to look for ‘InitialChatFriendsList’ in the source code. The easiest way to do this is to use Ctrl + F to bring up the Find Box and type in ‘InitialChatFriendsList’ (Without single quotes). InitialChatFriendsList will be highlighted.
5. Look for the code similar to below (after InitialChatFriendsList):
6. The long numbers are the Facebook ID’s of people who’ve visited the Facebook page. The most recent are at the beginning of the list.
7. Copy one of the numbers (highlight and Ctrl + C). In the web browsers address field, paste the number at the end of https://www.facebook.com/ (Ctrl + V). Note: You may have to add the final ‘/’ prior to pasting in the number. Don’t include the -2 at the end, just the main number. It will look like this: 100000650508808
8. Once the number has been pasted in, hit Enter to go to the corresponding Facebook profile page and find a prospective new customer.
Is Manual Facebook Tracking Worth the Effort?
It depends on how committed a business is to staying ahead of the competition and increasing online presence. How a business intends to use information gleaned via this technique depends on business intent.
A potential option could be a Friend Request to any visitor not already a friend of the business. The visitor has sought out the page and this means the visitor now recognizes the business and has already shown some initial interest by coming to take a look. It would be rational to assume this person is far more likely to accept the friend request now and become willing customer.
With the moderate effort involved of sifting through Facebook ID’s this way, a business could end up with a bunch of eager customers. Throw in the fact there are no marketing costs involved and it’s a great result for any business.