When you throw Facebook content up on the Interwebs, much of the time it’s experimentation. You’re playing around with picking the time of day and the day of week. And no matter how strong your hunch or how honed your journalistic instincts, you ultimately take a stab in the dark at the newsworthiness of the content. But how do you really know how well your audience responds to that content? And more importantly, how do you communicate that to your superiors?
To whip out a social media superstar’s answers to those questions, tap into the power of Facebook Insights.
Before you even download your page’s Facebook Insights, though, it’s time to strategize.
Pick three or four goals that you hope to accomplish by posting to Facebook. These could include selling a product, raising awareness or driving traffic to your website. While you are still wrapped up in this content development phase, establish benchmarks for success. It’s more effective to do this right away, rather than procrastinating to the end.
These unique goals will ultimately shape your benchmarks, so alas, I can’t tell you in a general blog post specifically which ones are best to track for your organization. But if you take one look at Insights for the first time, I have a feeling you won’t find it all that insightful at first blush. The newly revised Insights reads like gobbledygook to managers seeking the gospel of the return-on-investment of social media.
Before getting overwhelmed, read on. I’ll explain several key Insights metrics in an occasional series in this blog.
This week I am tackling “Engaged users.”
Facebook defines this metric as “the number of unique people who’ve clicked, liked, commented on or shared your page posts.”
In other words, this key performance indicator tells you how many people have interacted with your content. This is an insight you can take specific action on. This should drive your content decisions.
How so? You can analyze whether your tone, voice, subject and even time of day yields the most interaction. Interaction, in turn, influences your page reach, because every time your fans comment on your content, their mutual friends see their comment in their news feeds. This metric alone touches many other metrics.
Even so, so what? Why bother with this metric? Aren’t eyeballs and fan counts more important?
They’re important, but they belong to a package of indicators that help you truly understand your page’s performance.
So, if you want to collect fans like some people collect baseball cards, don’t bother with this metric. Just run a bunch of silly contests asking your fans to get their friends to like that page. That flush of new fans will be gone in a week, though.
Want people to stick around? Want genuine, passionately engaged brand advocates who actually like you for you?
Then watch this particular metric like a hawk. Gauge which topics are more popular, interesting and relevant to your audience. Compare those data over time. Change your content accordingly.
Slowly but surely, like an old-fashioned game of Telephone, these enthusiastic fans will build a true grassroots Facebook audience. One day, they’ll convince their friends to buy your product.
And that’s what makes Facebook’s word-of-mouth networking so powerful.