When was the last time you evaluated your Facebook Page to verify whether your strategy is working?
Do you even have a strategy for Facebook?
There are many ways to get benefits from using Facebook for your business, but there are also many ways to waste your time on the site. Wasting time is not what we like around here!
In this article, we take a look at a several different ways of evaluating how effective your Facebook strategy is.
1. Are Your Facebook Fans Seeing Your content?
When you post content on your Page, Facebook restricts the number of fans who see that content.
On average, fewer than 20% of your fans see your content, and the ones who engage with your content are more likely to see what you post than those who don’t engage. This means you are reaching the same fans most of the time, and not reaching the majority of your fans.
To check to see what percentage of fans see your content, you could use AgoraPulse Barometer. This is a free tool that will show you the percentage of fans who see your content and how this compares with other companies that have used the barometer.
In the image below, you see the overall statistics for Pages that used the barometer and you can see that, on average, 16% of fans are reached.
If you are only reaching 16% of your fans, there are some things you need to consider:
a) Is your content good/engaging enough? You may want to change it. We used to post three times a day and then we started posting once a day but made sure it was a really useful article. Our engagement went up significantly when we did that.
b) Are you advertising? Imagine you were launching a product and you wanted to promote it to your fans. Before you promote the product, you want your fans to see that you are sharing valuable useful content. If this is the case, you’ll need to do some planned advertisement and really great content before you mention your product, so that your fans are more open to hearing about it.
The Facebook gurus used to advise people to never use the ‘boost post’ option within Facebook but, now, Facebook provides some good targeting and it’s very simple to set up. You can target your fans/friends of fans and also target by country, interests etc. This is very useful for promoting a piece of content.
In the following example, I can reach an extra 1,000 to 2,700 people with a 4 euro budget (about 5 dollars). This is just promoting a blog post but, if you’ve got good content, you want your audience to see it.
You should also consider boosting content that is successful. If you see a piece of content really resonating with your audience, why not boost it to get more of your fan base and their friends to see it? Or target that content to people ‘interested in’ your competitors?
2. Are Your Facebook Fans relevant?
Imagine you had 10,000 fans all engaging with your content but most of them weren’t the type of people/companies that would buy your product. If so, you’re completely wasting your time on Facebook.
To find out who your fans are, you need to a bit of investigation.
There are many tools (including Facebook) that will show you a demographic breakdown. For example here is LeadSocial showing gender/gender distribution of a page:
Ideally, you’d get more information about your fan base, such as what they are interested in. Facebook ads claim to be able to target based on this. So, in theory, you could create an ad on Facebook and specify that you only want to target fans of your page, and then enter interests, and see how many fans match up.
But I have found that this is not that accurate. For example, Facebook said that our fans had the following interests:
85% of them are interested in sports, 80% interested in fitness and wellness, 100% interested in shopping…
This level of analysis does not provide me with the information I want. So, how do you find out?
You need to ask your audience. The best way of doing this is to run a competition using one of the many Facebook competition apps available and ask them questions about their interests. You could even run multiple competitions and, for each competition, record their answers and build up a profile over time. We use a tool called Ontraport for marketing automation and, when running competitions on Facebook, we can tag any entries with their answers and run reports based on these.
3. Are Facebook Fans Engaging With your Content?
Your Facebook fans may see your content but does that really matter if they are not engaging with it? Are they clicking on the content/links? Are they liking, commenting on or sharing your content?
Facebook fans seeing your content just means it was displayed in their newsfeed, and you know what it’s like in the newsfeed. You scroll down quickly to find something that captures your attention.
In the image from AgoraPulse Barometer above (point 1), the engagement level is set to 8.5%. This means that 8.5% of all users who saw your post found it interesting enough to engage with it.
8.5% seems to be around the average but, of course, you should aim higher. How can you improve the engagement?
a) Imagery – The newsfeed is busy and your image needs to really stand out. Make sure you have an enticing image that gets people to click on it/share it/comment on it.
Here’s a striking and colorful image shared by Kim Garst, and you can see there were over 334 shares. You can also see that, at the bottom of the image, Kim puts in her Twitter ID and website address!
b) Great headlines – An image might capture attention, but the first thing people will do after seeing the image is read the headline. If the headline doesn’t match up to the great image then not a lot is going to happen.
c) Ask a question – When you make a statement, people don’t feel obliged to respond. But if asked a question, our inclination is to answer it. In the following example, Post Planner displays a good image that will capture attention and they also ask a question.
Here’s another example of how to engage people: Asda (retailer) asked their audience which they prefer from the images below. Everyone has an opinion and you can see they got over 1,000 comments. Not bad, eh?!
d) Timeline competitions – It’s within the Facebook rules to run competitions in your timeline. You just need to follow the guidelines they provide.
Here’s an example of a company updating their cover photo to mention their timeline competition. They could have highlighted it more with more information in the cover photo, and they could also have pinned the competition to the top of their timeline so that, when more posts are posted, the competition stays on top and remains visible.
Applications are great if you want to run a bigger competition with a reasonable prize over the space of a couple of weeks. But what about running a competition that starts and ends today? For this, you may want to run a competition within your timeline. It’s within the rules of Facebook to ask people to click ‘like’ to enter the competition.
This can be a good way of getting some inactive fans engaging with you again. Of course, they are engaging because of the competition but, because they engaged with this piece of content, they are more likely to get your next piece of content – so make sure it’s a good one!
Here’s an example of a quick competition just to win four tickets to a festival. They capture your attention with a picture of a girl and beer!!
If you are running a competition for a large prize, you probably want to use an app and collect email addresses. However, if you’re running a competition over a short time frame (e.g. today only!) – and it’s a small enough prize – then why don’t you just run it on your timeline?
4. Are Facebook Fans Engaging with your Apps?
Many companies install a range of applications on their Facebook page from a variety of different vendors. But do you have apps sitting there with nothing happening with them? If you’re investing in apps on your page, you want some engagement on them.
For example, competitions can be a great way of building fans and generating more engagement on your Page, and yet people don’t come to your Page to see if there are any competitions running! If you do have a competition running, you really need to do some promotion of the application. Here are a couple of ways to generate interest in your competition:
1) Post about it regularly – You can’t just mention it once or twice and hope for the best. You start off by telling people the competition is coming and asking their opinion on prizes, etc. You then launch the competition. After you launch, you give regular updates on how many people entered, what they uploaded (e.g. picture competition), and so on. Towards the end of the competition, you give people plenty of warning about the approaching ending.
2) Update your cover photo – When someone does visit your page, you can display details of your competition in your cover photo. You can also have a status update about the competition pinned to your timeline; when you pin an item, it stays at the top of your timeline.
In the following example, the cover photo was updated with details of the competition and there is an arrow pointing to the app where you can enter the competition.
Note: when you change your cover photo, your fans will be notified and will see the new image.
3) Advertise – Yes, if you’re running competitions you really need to advertise them. Create a custom audience to retarget your email subscribers and website visitors. Target fans of competitors’ pages.
4) Embed it – A lot of the Facebook app providers now support the option of embedding the app on your website.
5. Are you Getting Traffic to Your Website?
One of your goals might be related to website traffic. If you build up a relevant audience on Facebook and then get traffic back to your website then at least you have a chance of converting that traffic.
Under the referral sources in Google Analytics, you will see Facebook listed and you can look at it alongside other referral sources. It’s useful to see how it compares with other platforms and weigh up the time spent on this platform in relation to others.
6. What’s happening with your Facebook traffic when it arrives?
Under the same section as above, you can view details related to your Facebook traffic, for example:
a) What’s the average number of pages someone views when they arrive from Facebook, compared to when they arrive via other social networks? If people view more pages, you have probably interested them enough to browse around your website. If the average number of pages is 2.4 and the average number of pages viewed from Pinterest traffic is 1.2, then you know you are likely to be getting a more relevant audience from your Facebook traffic.
b) Was that the only page they looked at? Your bounce rate will show you how many people visited a page and then just left. The higher the bounce rate, the less engaged they were (typically).
c) What is the percentage of new visitors compared to previous visitors? If your Facebook strategy is working, you’ll want to see a lot of existing fans coming back for more content. If your fan base is growing rapidly then this percentage may be lower because of many new fans coming to see your content.
d) How many people took the next step? When Facebook traffic arrives at your site, they are probably not ready to buy yet, so you need to add them to your sales funnel at an earlier stage. This means you might try and convince them to become an email subscriber or sign up for a trial of your product or service or whatever your next step is! If you create goals within Google Analytics, you will be then able to track the conversion rate of these goals (e.g. sign up to a newsletter) and compare this with the conversion rates of other platforms.
Read this post for further information: How to Analyze Social Media Traffic in Google Analytics
Every three months, you should do an evaluation of your Facebook Page to see if it’s working for your business. Every month, you should check to see if you’re on track.
How do you evaluate if your Facebook strategy is working? What tips would you like to share?
Checkmate image by Shutterstock