How many people unlike my Facebook fan page?
I have a fan page on Facebook for my photography business and when I check it seems like it's always roughly the same number of fans. But friends tell me that they've just joined, so others must be leaving. I'm wondering, is there any way to see when people unfriend or "unlike" my fan page?
You ask a great question because it's the kind of information that every Facebook fan page manager or owner should be keeping track of, but it's surprisingly hard to actually ascertain short of watching your page a half-dozen times/day. And even then you'd be hard put to identify when one person unlikes as another person clicks like. It'd just be a constant number, as you observe.
And yet, for a lot of fan pages on Facebook, I think that there's a constant churn as content goes up that upsets, offends or just plain bores the people who are tracking you on their own Newsfeed. If you could correlate what you post with when you have the greatest dropoff, well, that'd be useful, wouldn't it?
If you are the owner of a fan page, there is a way to get at "unlike" count on a daily basis, but it's not for the timid, because it involves not just downloading an analytics spreadsheet from Facebook, but then monkeying with it in Excel (or your favorite spreadsheet program) to make it readable.
The first step is to go onto your own Facebook Fan Page and find the section near the top that shows you the "insights", a rather rudimentary graphical portrayal of a few analytics related to your page. I'll demonstrate using the Go Fatherhood Fan Page that's associated with my popular GoFatherhood parenting blog.
Okay, ready? Take a deep breath...
If you haven't really paid attention to the Insights graph on your own Fan page in the admin area, basically the purple dots along the bottom are posts you've made to the page, the light green measures how many likes, shares and comments each one accumulated, and the blue shows how many people saw the post in their newsfeed. Wanna get more reach? That's why they have the "Promote" feature and I use it on occasion, as you can see.
What a lot of people don't realize is that you can click on the graph and a lot more data shows up. More importantly, on that subsequent page, there's also an "export data" button:
Click on that and you'll get a number of different options related to the data export:
To make it easy this first time, use all the defaults, but notice you can get analytic data back quite a ways if your page is old enough to have collected stats.
Now open up the downloaded XLS data file in Microsoft Excel or a similar spreadsheet. If you have none, consider the spreadsheet in Google Docs as a possibility. It's a lot of data. No, a lot of data:
By default, Excel shows the information in a way that's frankly impossible to read. D'oh. Easy to fix, though. Click on the #1 then shift-click on #2 on the left side to select the first two rows of information, then choose Cmd-1 or Format > Cells... to enable what's called "wrap text":
If you're guessing that you need to select "Wrap text" in Excel, you're right. Do that, click on "Apply" or "OK" (depending on version of Excel) and all of a sudden all those column titles will be readable and useful.
Slide right until you get to column "J" and it'll have the information you seek about how many people unliked your Facebook page on a daily basis:
You can graph it if you'd like, or you can (more interestingly -- graph the number of people who like your page as an accumulating value, but as you can see on my page, the day that I had 29 people like the GoFatherhood fan page, I also had two people unlike it. Harumph!
Remember, analytics are only useful if you use them as the basis of taking action, so go back to see which days produced a bit influx or a lot of unlikes, then go onto your Timeline to see what was happening those days. Gun control debate exploded in comments? Anti-abortion photo posted? Tie those together and you should be on your way to actually gaining fans, rather than just churning with fans and unlikes balancing each other.
And there are also considerably more powerful analytic packages for Facebook too, one of which we'll be featuring here on AskDaveTaylor down the road: BlitzMetrics.
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