If social media marketing were as simple as choosing a platform based on sheer volume, Facebook – with nearly 2 billion monthly active users – would win hands down. Since it’s not that simple, let’s talk about how best to understand social analytics insights on the world’s largest social network.
Insights direct from the source
Your first option is making use of Facebook’s built-in page analytics Insights to understand what’s happening with your followers. Mastering brand awareness here comes down to content, timing, and knowing your audience well.
Let’s start with the metrics on offer. From your brand’s Facebook page (not profile), just choose “Insights” from the options across the top left. Here’s what you’ll find:
Take a look at today, yesterday, the past week, or the past 28 days’ worth of the following:
- Actions on Page
- Page Views
- Page Likes
- Post Engagements
You can see both organic and paid data, as well as how your most recent posts are performing, and how you’re doing in comparison to other pages in your category. Clicking on each area in turn – or clicking from the list at left – reveals more information about each for the past week, month, or quarter. What kind of information, and how can it help your Facebook strategy? Let’s look briefly at each:
Actions on Page
This tab details which action was taken by visitors – from clicking on your “Directions” link, to clicking through to your brand’s website. You can also see demographic information for each action – learning who clicked by Age and Gender, Country, City, and Device.
This information won’t let you get super personal with your followers, but it still tells you a lot. Understanding the who and where of it all gives you a foundation to work from. If the majority of actions are being taken by suburban Baby Boomers, you know not to create messaging for urban Millennials.
Here’s where you find your total Page Views, as well as views by Section – i.e., Home, Posts, About, Photos, Groups, and Other. Knowing which section of your page is getting the most traction clues you in to what your visitors are most interested in knowing about your brand when they come to your page.
Correlating what was posted on a given date helps you understand whether these metrics have changed over time. You can break things down further to see views by Age and Gender, Country, City and Device as well. Finally, Top Sources tell you where your visitors are coming from.
Understanding your Likes is about more than simply counting new followers – it’s about tracking un-followers, and speed of growth as well. Look at Net Likes to view new Likes minus Unlikes over a week, month, or quarter. Then correlate activity with your brand posts by date to know which content really resonated, and which content drove people away.
Remember, losing followers here and there is par for the course – especially as you’re fine-tuning your messaging to precisely reach your best audience. But if you’ve already done that and people suddenly scamper, you want to figure out why.
One way to find new followers – i.e., potential customers – is through the people already following you. Their friends are your prospects, and when they take action, they raise the profile of your posts so others may see it.
The info in this section shows you a few key things:
- How many people your posts were in front of
- Likes and other Facebook “Reactions”
- Hide, Report as Spam, and Unlike activity
Click on any point in the corresponding graphs for a list of posts that inspired that action. With regard to sentiment – which is crucial to discerning where you really sit with consumers – you can see how many of each Reaction your posts elicited that week, month, or quarter.
To see which posts got which Reaction, click on any major spikes in your Reactions, Comments and Shares graph, then click individual posts to see the breakdown for each. It’s a little clunky, but worth doing to be sure you’re aware of any haters in your midst.
Under “Posts” at the left you can see which posts had the most social engagement – something you definitely want whether it’s Post Clicks or Reactions, Comments or Shares. This section also reveals the times of day your followers are most active – so you can post at times they’re most likely to see your content.
Also important, knowing what types of post got the highest engagement – so you can offer up more of the same. Maybe your fans love videos, but aren’t so big on blog links – or vice versa. Finally, check out Top Posts from Pages You Watch to see what posts are getting traction for your competitors. You might find some inspiration to steal away some of their interest.
Visual content is a must, which means understanding it is too. Video performance is measured in minutes watched – which clues you in about whether your videos are too long, or just right.
Of course, it depends on the subject matter. Just scroll to Top Videos to see which ones had your followers’ attention the longest.
For a demographic breakdown of the people viewing your page – both followers and others – click on People from the left-hand column. You’ll see how many of the people viewing your page are male or female, where they live, and how many people engaging with your page are followers or non-followers.
Again, demographics are a foot in the door toward further audience segmentation, so this is great info to have – and that goes for all of Facebook’s built-in analytics tools. Leverage this data to understand how consumers feel, offer up the right content at the right time to your followers, and build as complete a picture as you can get of the world’s largest social network. Having that makes all of your social data stronger.
Facebook’s analytics tools work even better when combined with our suite of social listening tools. Reach out to learn more!
Image from MKH Marketing