What do you monitor and improve on, on a weekly or monthly basis?
We have all heard about organic reach declining on Facebook and
… of course, that is true.
It’s harder to get reach.
But you can increase your reach and engagement if you monitor your analytics.
[Tweet “Analytics is the missing ingredient for your social media success – @IanCleary”]
In this article we go through:
- The analytics you need to track
- An example of tools you can use to track it
- Ideas on how to improve results after analyzing your analytics.
The Essential Analytics to Monitor on Facebook – Business Page
1. Audience Engagement: Is your audience interacting with your content?
You are sharing content through your business Page.
… but are your audience interacting with this content?
This could be by:
- Liking it
- Commenting on it
- Sharing it.
In terms of importance, you need to consider:
A comment is more valuable than a like and a share is more valuable than a comment
When someone likes or comments on your content, it is not automatically shared with their followers.
Facebook does take into account the popularity of your content, so it’s more likely to be shared to other people if there are likes or comments.
…you want shares. With a share, the person is specifically asking Facebook to share your content with their friends.
They add a comment and share it to their followers. Doesn’t it make sense that this is the most powerful of all three?
The most important of the three is ‘share’. A share is a real endorsement of your content and your fan is specifically sharing this with their friends, so it makes sense that this is the most important.
Dennis Yu is a Facebook expert and this is what he had to say about comments, likes and shares:
“Is this arbitrary or is it perhaps based on shares being 13 times as uncommon as likes?
“No, actually, we processed several hundred million interactions over thousands of pages to see how many impressions we go for each type of action– a like, comment, or share. Go see for yourself in your own analytics, if you don’t mind wading through a bunch of CSV files.
“But these general ratios are averaged across many industries and many types of posts. And assuming all impressions are worth the same is flawed. After all, a selling post might get fewer impressions, because of less sharing, but it drives more direct sales than a silly cat photo.
“So the real answer is to stop reading this post and to start connecting your custom audiences together via Google Tag Manager so you can track these Facebook users all the way through to a sale, or at least an email collection, check-in, or intermediate event.
“Your audience may also click on your post. For example, you have a picture (or a selection of pictures) and they click on this. Or they could click on a video or a link. This is more engagement that’s worth monitoring.”
You also might want to track engagement rate. This is the number of likes, comments, shares divided by the total number of unique people who have seen your post.
2. Facebook Fan Growth: How quickly are your fans growing
… I know it’s not all about the numbers but, if you’re attracting the right audience and they are engaging with your content, then of course you want to see some fan growth!
You need to look at the new fans you’re gaining, while also noting how many fans you are losing on a weekly basis.
Not everyone is going to be interested in your content, so losing fans is not always a bad thing.
Many fans not engaging is not good, though!
Facebook tells you where the source of your fan growth is and, if you export your stats to Excel, you get a lot more detail.
- External_connect – You might have a Facebook plugin on your site to build fans. Is this working? Are you getting fans from this?
- Recommended_pages – If your page is recommended by Facebook you’ll see if you are getting fans from this.
- Fan_context_story – You get likes from friends of fans.
3. Reach/Impressions: How many people got a chance to see your content?
When someone gets to see your content, that is an impression. If they see it twice, that’s two impressions.
‘Reach’ is the number of people who got to see at least one impression of your post.
For example, if you share a post and it is displayed once to 10 of our fans, and it is displayed twice to five other fans… This means the total impressions is 20 but the total reach is 15.
Impressions are important because, even if someone sees the content, they may not read it the first time!
Reach is important because you want to know whether most of your fans even get a chance to see your content.
If they haven’t engaged with your content for a long time then Facebook may never show it to them.
You also want to show the split between organic and paid reach. Using Facebook ads, you may be boosting your posts, so you want to know: is the reach a result of forking out money to Facebook?
4. Engagement by type of content: Different types of content perform differently on Facebook
You really want to know how a status update, an update with a picture, a video upload, a link to video etc performs. Which formats are better or worse with your audience?
If there are certain types of content performing well, you’ll want to share more of this type of content.
It’s always good to have a mix of content but you may give more emphasis to the high-performing content.
5. Clicks to website or app: How many visits did you generate?
There are different forms of clicks. It could be a click on a picture or a click to watch a video, for example.
You can share a link on your status updates to a website or an app running on Facebook.
Both could be equally important.
If someone visits your website, you’ll want to also check what action they took when they arrived. Did you achieve a conversion as a result of a click?
A conversion could be that someone signs up as an email subscriber, buys a product, signs up for a webinar etc.
6. Audience Profile: What type of audience are you building?
Are you building the right audience in the right country?
If your product is $1,000 to buy, what’s the point in targeting countries where they have a very low salary level?
Keep track of the audience you are attracting.
You may have the most engaging content in the world but you could be attracting the wrong audience!
7. Audience Response rate: How quickly are you responding to comments?
The more engaged you are with your audience, the more engaged they will be with your brand and your content.
You’ll want to check how quickly you are responding to the comments on your Page, and make sure you reply to comments as quickly as possible.
8. Negative feedback: How much negative feedback do you get?
If you are getting negative feedback on a regular basis, you’ll want to track this to see why negative feedback is increasing or decreasing.
An example of negative feedback is when someone sees a post or an ad and selects the option to hide all ads/posts from this Page!
9. User-Generated Content: What users are generating content about you?
What about all the content that is generated by other users?
People visit your website and share content from your blog to Facebook.
People read about you and share content to your fans.
We love user-generated content because this is creating more brand awareness, traffic and much more, without us being firectly involved. We’ll talk about how to track fans sharing your content on Facebook further down the post…
10. Time of Engagement – When does most engagement happen?
Over time, you will see trends related to when most engagement happens.
You do need to analyze this over a long period of time, because the post you share can have a significant impact on the level of engagement; it could be the post as opposed to the time it’s posted, for instance.
… over time, you’ll see some trends.
You need to be more aggressive with your posting at the times when you get the most engagement.
7 Facebook Analytics Tools to Help
There are many tools available that will help you track how well you are doing. Here are just a few of them:
1. Facebook Insights
Over the last couple of years, the analytics provided by Facebook has a got a lot better.
The analytics provided is comprehensive and, if you don’t find enough information in the visual charts, you can export the data to Excel.
The Excel reports are much more comprehensive but no charts are provided.
2. Simply Measured
Simply Measured provides very detailed analytics across several platforms.
Its reports are very comprehensive and you can also export all data to Excel.
If Facebook is a serious platform for you, and you want really in-depth analytics, Simply Measured is one to consider.
Price: Starting at $500
Agorapulse provides a management tool for Facebook with good analytics and reports.
The reports can be exported to PowerPoint so you can get a very visually appealing presentation with the click of a button.
4. Brand24 – Social Media Monitoring
You also want to monitor user-generated content. A good way of doing this is through a monitoring tool.
Brand24 will crawl through Facebook and pick out any mentions of your brand.
It will then show you a graph of mentions over a specific time.
When you view the Filter for Facebook, you will then see the people/Pages that are sharing your content.
You can also view their level of influence.
You ideally want to track who is mentioning you, the number of mentions, and the influence of the people mentioning you, too.
If you respond to your mentions, it’s more likely that someone will share your content again in the future.
5. Web Analytics – Social Analytics and Conversion
Don’t forget about Google Analytics tracking!
When you do drive traffic from Facebook to your website, you want to track what happens to that traffic.
Ideally, you want to set up a goal in your Google Analytics account, which tracks what you want to achieve (e.g. product purchase, email sign up etc).
When you have that goal set up, you can then start monitoring the traffic that is generated, where the source of the traffic was and what the result was.
It’s not much use if you generate lots of Facebook traffic but don’t achieve your goals!
Action: Read this article on setting up social media goals.
Sotrender provides some great analytics and offers content recommendations on what to do to improve your analytics.
Socialbakers has a very comprehensive analytics platform that supports many platforms.
One of the recent features of Socialbakers is ‘promoted post detection’.
It analzyes which posts your competition is promoting. This is more important than tracking all of their posts, because the content they promote is their most important content.
7 Ways of Improving Your Analytics
1. Share content proven to deliver high engagement
What type of content works/doesn’t work on your page?
By analyzing previous postings, you’ll see trends related to the content on your page. You’ll see what has worked for you in the past.
you can also use tools that show you the most engaged content related to a topic.
For example, here is BuzzSumo showing trending content related to fashion:
Pick out the trending content that is most relevant.
Post Planner is a Twitter and Facebook management tool that has a content-discovery engine.
It analyzes the web and finds the most-shared content related to particular keywords, on fan pages, websites etc.
This is another way of finding great content that will drive up your engagement.
Note: As we saw from Dennis Yu earlier in this guide, ‘shares’ are the most important. Make sure to track the content that is shared the most. Then share more of this type of content!
2. Facebook Advertisements
If you want to be successful on Facebook, you really need a budget for advertising.
- Promote important posts – When you post new, important content, you’ll want to boost those posts.
- Reach inactive fans – Over time, you’ll end up with a lot of fans who have not interacted with your content recently. This means Facebook will stop showing them your content… so you have to advertise to get those fans engaged again.
- Retargeting – When you get visitors to your website, you should target them with ads on Facebook to encourage them to become fans (you’ll need to copy a tracking code to your website). Retargeting visitors on your own website is a cheap form of advertising.
3. Interact with user-generated content on Facebook
When someone creates their own post about content you have shared, it’s important to interact with this content.
Or… at a minimum… interact with influential people who share the content.
So… use a tool such as Brand24 to monitor mentions of your brand on Facebook and then thank people for sharing your posts.
The more social you are, the more likely it is that people will share more of your content in the future.
4. Improve your audience response rate
Facebook Insights shows you how quickly you are responding to your audience.
The quicker you respond, the more likely you are to get more engagement.
When you are responding, also consider asking your audience a question. This encourages more engagement. Try to create a conversation as much as possible.
5. Repost content to get more web traffic
We want to get more traffic to our website because this is traffic we convert.
If you have a new piece of content, posting it once is not enough because most of your audience won’t see it.
So… think about how you can post it several times over the space of a few days.
- Pick a quote out of your article and share it with an image.
- Pick out a tip from your article and share it with a different image.
- Tell people how popular the post is e.g. ‘Wow this post was so popular I’m sharing it again in case you didn’t see it’.
You can post it multiple times and get more reach if you are smart about it.
6. Improve your conversion funnel
When you get more visitors to your website, you want to convert them.
a) Set up a landing page specific to Facebook and then, on a regular basis, promote this to your audience.
b) Adjust your conversion process based on the fact that people are coming from Facebook. For example, Optinmonster is an email lead-generation plugin. You can display different messaging based on where people are coming from. Tailoring your messages will help with conversions.
c) Automatically track visitors to your website and retarget them with ads on Facebook based on the type of content they are viewing.
7. Run Engaging Apps
There are various apps you can run on your Facebook page to increase engagement.
For example, we recently ran a Facebook competition using a tool called Rafflecopter.
This will help drive more engagement on our Facebook Page but it will also convert a lot of our Facebook fans to email subscribers.
These engagement apps will also lead to more fans!
Facebook is not going to change its policy on organic reach.
But… with the right tactics in place, you can significantly increase this reach.
The missing ingredient is analytics.
Monitor your analytics on a weekly basis and make any necessary improvements.
What do you think?
What are your favorite analytics tools?