You’ve likely noticed Facebook’s new Insights dashboard. Whether you come from a traditional marketing background or strictly digital, two-way, I’m confident these changes will help you quantify your social media marketing initiatives…..if you understand them (hence this post!).
The three overarching elements the new Facebook Insights measures are your page, your posts and your people. Read on to understand what I mean.
It goes without saying, knowing who you audience is really important. Damnit, I just said it. This section helps you distinguish between who your fans are, who your content is reaching in the last 28 days and, most importantly, who is actually engaging with it. Quite often, who you want your audience to be and who it actually is don’t align. Knowing the age, gender, location and language of your fans and most engaged users can help you adjust your content strategy to target your desired audience. You’ll notice when you hover overtop of an age bracket, it tells you how your demographics compare to the average amongst all Facebook users. Neat.
8. When Your Fans are Online
Because Facebook’s Edgerank is affected by the time decay of a post, sharing content at inopportune times can really hurt the reach of a given post, and thus the engagement. Knowing when your fans are online will help you understand when exactly to post to ensure it receives the largest possible audience. Not doing so will result in low Edgerank scores and diminish the number of folks that see your subsequent posts. Ouch!
*thanks to @AlexSolak for pointing out the importance of not only when your fans are online, but when they are engaging online which is also laid out in the new Facebook Insights.*
7. Net Likes
Likes – unlikes = net likes. Nothing earth shattering, but important. I’m always cautious to tell people to focus on the size of their community, but I think understanding when and why you’re gaining/losing fans is incredibly invaluable.
6. Hide, Report as Spam and Unlikes
Just as you’d like to know what content is resonating with your community, these metrics gives you an indication of what isn’t. Negative feedback such as hidden posts and unlikes give you a clear indication of what type of content not to post. Knowing this information will help you adjust your content strategy and avoid losing the attention of your audience. If you can begin to tie negative feedback back to a particular post, you can eliminate or improve whatever it is that your fans are rejecting. Hidden posts are very detrimental to your page. A fan that doesn’t get served your posts is as good as gone. They become a mere number unless they’re seeing your outbound communication.
My hunch is that check-ins will continue to play a large role in Facebook’s Graph Search. As social sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube integrate and jockey for market share in search, I can’t help but think check-ins are a crucial element to ranking results. The more often people check-in, the higher they will rank in the results shown to consumers. Of course, total fan base, quality of shared content and other factors contribute to the results as well. What do you think?
4. Post reach
The number of people who saw your post. A large community means nothing if your content isn’t reaching your fans. Reach is highly dependent upon engagement, and can be either organic or paid. Organic means free or earned. Paid is eyeballs earned directly as a result of paid Facebook ads.
3. Post Clicks
Post clicks give you that immediate feedback we’re all looking for. This new addition to insights is quite useful if your main objective is to refer traffic back to your website, more information about your product/service or a special offer. The more compelling your copy is the higher your click-through rate (CTR) will be.
2. Likes, Comments and Shares
This section replaces the old “Talking About Your Page” section from the previous insights page and breaks down each metrics individually. The more likes, comments and shares you can achieve, the more viral reach (beyond your existing fan base) and exposure your posts will have. The more often your fans like, comment and share your content, the more it will increase the affinity between them and your page – as outlined in Facebook Edgerank.
1. Engagement Rate
Your post engagement rate calculates the percentage of people who have liked, commented or shared your post after having seen it. This sounds familiar to the old “virality” metric, but makes it much easy for us marketers to comprehend and explain in layman’s terms.
Facebook offers many other free metrics, but these are the ones I feel are important. What others are you tracking?
Jason Cassidy is a digital marketer and social media strategist. He holds a master’s degree in professional communication and currently works for a large restaurant company in Canada. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.