Facebook FAQs

Topics covered in this article:

Facebook Link Ownership

What is domain verification?

To combat the spread of misinformation on their platform, Facebook disabled the editing of metadata for most links posted to their service, both natively and via third-party publishing tools like Sprout Social.

However, they still want to provide a way for publishers to post and configure engaging content from verified websites, and have introduced Domain Verification to allow content creators to edit metadata.

Sprout users who verified their domain(s) in Facebook can continue editing link metadata for links that point to verified domains. If you don't verify your domain in Facebook, you can't edit link metadata, even for your own website.

To verify your domain, please refer to Facebook's documentation.


Facebook Visibility

Can I see the number of Facebook News Feed in Sprout Social?

Currently, Sprout Social doesn't have the News Feed feature. Facebook user comments and wall posts appear in the Smart Inbox.

Can I see the number of Facebook fans I had on a specific day?

The number of Facebook page fans for a specific day is not available in Sprout reporting. This information is only available in the Facebook Insights report that you can export from your Facebook page admin panel.

Why can't I see my Facebook profile photo in Sprout?

Sometimes Facebook doesn't immediately push photo file information for your profile to Sprout Social, so you may see a delay in your Facebook photo appearing. This doesn't necessarily mean the profile isn't active in Sprout Social; rather, the photo is delayed. 

Why can't I see any data for my Facebook profile?

Sprout integrates with Facebook via an API, that provides a way to pass data between the platforms. Based on how Facebook has built their API, there are a few important things to note regarding how Sprout can receive this data:

  • It takes 24 hours to pull into Sprout after first connecting a page
  • Facebook only gives page-level data with up to a 48-hour delay, so you won't see data more recent than the previous one to two days. This applies specifically to page-level data including page likes, unlikes and new fans. This does NOT include post-level data like posts, likes, shares or comments; those are available near real-time in the application.
  • Facebook doesn't provide data for Pages with less than 30 fans.
  • Gender doesn't appear on reports unless there are 30 or more interactions per day during the selected reporting period.
  • Sprout has access to retrieve data from Facebook's API back to July 19, 2011.

Note: The above applies to Facebook Company Pages. 

Why do posts and comments appear for some users on Facebook but not in Sprout?

If a Facebook user turns off access to third-party platforms, you can't view their posts or comments outside of Facebook.com. This Facebook security setting prevents Facebook from sharing any data with external platforms.

Read more information about this Facebook security setting

Due to Facebook’s privacy settings, the only way to view and reply to these posts is on Facebook.com.

Why can't I see my Facebook Group messages in the Smart Inbox or post via Compose?

Facebook announced the deprecation of their Groups API permissions and features which inhibits any third party from pulling in Facebook Group data and the ability to connect a Group to a third party provider, like Sprout.

Facebook Messages

Why can I see messages that are hidden on Facebook in the Smart Inbox?

Facebook's API currently doesn't distinguish between public and hidden messages, so Sprout still displays hidden messages in the Smart Inbox.

However, if you respond to a hidden message, it gets hidden just like the parent message. Only you and the person you are responding to can see those comments.

Why are my Facebook private messages showing up as Unread?

Currently, Facebook private messages don't give Sprout a way to "mark as read" in the Smart Inbox. Even if you have already read a message, it remains in the Unread group of messages on Facebook. The number of unread messages decreases when you see the private messages in that group, but we don't have a way to take them out of that view. 

Facebook Report Data

Where does the data for the Facebook Post Performance Report come from?

All data and information provided in Sprout's Facebook Post Performance Report comes directly from Facebook Insights. 

Sprout Social: Post Performance Report Facebook Insights: Post Level Report
Clicks (Column G) Lifetime Post Consumers (Column O)
Total Reach (Column H) Lifetime Post Total Reach (Column H)
Reactions (Column K) Like (Column J of 2nd tab*)
Comments (Column R) Comment (Column I of 2nd tab*)
Shares (Column S) Share (Column K of 2nd tab*)
Negative Feedback (Column V) Lifetime Negative Feedback (Column Q)

 *2nd tab refers to "Lifetime Talking About This..." tab at the bottom of the .XLS report.

Calculations not found in the Facebook report

  • Engaged (Column K): Add up Talking & Clicks columns
  • Talking (Column L): The unique number of likes, comments, and shares. (Example for unique definition: If a single user both likes and comments on a post, it would only show 1 user "talking" about that post.)
  • Engagement % (Column N): Divide Engaged (Column T) over Reach (Column H)

Calculating Engagement

To calculate Average Engagement % in Excel, do an average calculation the Engagement % (FB) column of the Sprout Social Facebook Post Performance Report.

To calculate Total Engagement % using Excel, add up Columns T and H of the Sprout Social Facebook Post Performance Report. Then divide Column T by Column H.


Third Party Publishing

Will I be penalized by Facebook for using a third party social platform to post?

No research has found Facebook penalizing people for using third party tools. Facebook recently did away with their "Edgerank" algorithm and replaced it with a more robust calculation where they track who you usually engage with and push those people's posts to the top. As long as your fans are engaging with your content, there should be no reason your posts won't continue to appear in their News Feeds. Facebook also doesn't have attributions on posts sent by third party applications anymore, so it is much more difficult for people to know if brands are using third party tools. 

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