The Facebook analytics war may have begun. Only a few days after WebTrends spurred excitement over its new Facebook tracking capabilities, competitors Omniture and Coremetrics have unveiled their own. It's welcome news to data junkies who have long complained that Facebook campaign measurement has been lacking.
The latest news is of Adobe-owned Omniture partnering with Facebook to enable marketers to buy and measure Facebook media through Omniture's search campaign management platform. The analytics firm also touted ad effectiveness reporting for Facebook Pages and apps; Omniture already offered Facebook app reporting. Additional features are expected as a result of the partnership, Omniture said.
Some have argued that Facebook's limited campaign measurement offering may be preventing marketers from investing more in the channel. The steady stream of Facebook analytics announcements in the past week might convince them that campaigns on the site can be more measurable than once thought and, equally important, comparable to other campaign channels.
While Facebook offers its own analytics system, most marketers agree it's spare - providing information such as demographic and geographic data on fans of a branded page or how many comments were made about posts, for instance. Workarounds enabling marketers to employ Google Analytics or other analytics tags to track Facebook campaigns also exist.
"The case for measuring social media better keeps getting stronger and the needs get more pronounced," David Berkowitz, senior director of emerging media and innovation at digital agency 360i, told ClickZ News last week. "I expect an analytics arms race."
Omniture competitor Webtrends announced last week new tools for measuring Facebook campaigns beyond applications. The company can now show Facebook interactions and their effect on other channels in one report.
Another player in the space, Coremetrics, yesterday announced its own new Facebook features for its platform. The company can track Facebook fan page visits, ad exposure, and app interactions - and compare them to subsequent interactions on advertiser Web sites.
Webtrends told ClickZ News last week it planned to unveil "Flashbook" tracking soon, which could prove valuable to companies using the Facebook-approved Flash rich media technology in campaigns.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.