facebook_logo_10.jpgA lot of stuff has been happening in the social media marketing realm thanks to companies like Webtrends and Omniture, but now it looks like everyone's favorite social network is kicking out some data reports of its own. This makes sense, considering the fact that Facebook just surpassed Google in hits.

Sociable vs. Searchable

That’s right, Hitwise announced that Facebook has taken its first weekly lead over Google in hit counts. The lead is a small one, but it’s a milestone nonetheless.

(Note that this figure only covers visits to the Google.com site, meaning that Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps and searches carried out in a box in a browser toolbar are excluded.)

Social Media Marketing

For marketers, this news confirms what companies like Webtrends and Omniture have been seemingly privy to for months: Facebook is where the money's at. 

You'd think that with Facebook's immense popularity, the benefits of advertising there would be obvious, but, on the contrary, many consider the realization a fresh one: “The true value of Facebook and social networks is just becoming clear to marketers,” said Augie Ray, analyst at Forrester Research.

Whatever the case, it appears to be becoming clear to Facebook as well. The team surprised several Fan Page admins by sending out a weekly e-mail report on Wednesday. The reports aren't terribly detailed--they offer the number of fans added, comments, likes and visits in the past week--but these days, the more data the merrier, right?

The feature follows the network's January announcement of Post Insights, which tells you the reach and feedback level of each item users post to a Fan Page. Additionally, admins can utilize the Overall Insights feature, which reveals details about demographics, longer-term growth and engagement trends.

Corresponding Pieces 

The release of weekly Fan Page reports may be a small piece in the Facebook puzzle, but it's still significant to the overall picture. Whether or not solutions from Webtrends and Omniture will still have room when Facebook is finished remains to be seen, but either way it's something marketers are certainly going to want  to keep track of.