Previously, we’ve described how businesses can engage existing and potential costumers by building a social media strategy. Once you’ve developed and implemented a social media strategy, the next step is evaluating how well it is working. The purpose of this post is to introduce you to tools on Facebook that can help you do just that.
If you manage a Facebook Page you are probably already somewhat familiar with the Insights tool, which can be accessed right from your Pages Admin Panel. This post will focus on what Insights measures and what those metrics mean for you. If you’re having trouble navigating or accessing Insights, check out Facebook’s Help Page on metrics.
The “Posts” page of Insights has tools that allow you to monitor how your audience engages with both individual posts and different types of posts.
The first section of the “Posts” page is a set of graphs that display various page metrics. The default view is the graph for “When Your Fans Are Online.” This is an interactive graph that displays the average number of fans who saw any Facebook posts by day of the week and time of day for the week prior. How many of your fans are online when you share content influences how many people will see your content. Checking this tool regularly will help you get a feel for optimal times to share content on your page.
The “Post Types” section allows you to review the success of different types of posts based on average engagement and reach. Clicking this heading will display a graph with your average reach and average engagement for each post type (link, photo, status, or video).
Lower on the “Posts” page of Insights is a section called “All Published Posts.” Your posts are listed here with a bar graph showing metrics data to the right of each. You can use the drop-down menus to change the types of metrics to show. Clicking on an individual post allows you to view the total for each type of engagement (clicks, shares, likes, comments) for that post. This helps you monitor how your audience is responding to specific content.
Reach is simply how many people saw your post. Reach is one of the metrics displayed in the “All Published Posts” section of Insights. The default view for reach in that section combines the reach for people who like your page and people who have not yet liked your page (i.e., fans and non-fans). However there is a drop-down option when viewing all posts in Insights to select a “fans / non-fans” view.
Generally, posts from your page that have been shared by your fans will have a higher “non-fans” reach. This is great because it means more people are seeing your content and may decide to like your page. It also shows that fans like your content enough to share it across their own network, also a great sign.
What you want to look for here are the posts that do unusually well or unusually bad relative to your average post reach. One thing that can hurt your reach is posting too frequently, especially within a short time frame. For most businesses and brands, it is best to post between 1-3 times per day. Those with niche audiences or a focus on breaking news can often get away with posting more often.
Engagement is a measurement of how much people are interacting with the content you post. This includes post clicks, likes, comments, shares, link clicks, etc. Fans that engage with the content you post will see more of your content in their newsfeed. Therefore, in the long run, engagement also influences reach.
Engagement is also a good indicator of how well people respond to the content you are posting. However, certain types of posts tend to get better engagement in general. Pictures are one example and video is another. For this reason, some pages share links by posting a photo-share and typing the link into the caption. Others find that a regular link-share gets better click through (people who actually follow the link) than a photo-share.
Making Sense of it All
These measurements will help you understand your audience. By monitoring your metrics data, you can tailor you social media strategy to maximize reach and engagement with your audience. This in turn helps you build your brand and bring in new business.
If you simply don’t have the time or staff available to manage your social media strategy and analysis, we can help. We offer metrics analysis with all our social media marketing services.