Facebook is an incredible marketing machine and can offer your property a lot of benefit. But, in order to get the most out of your efforts, you should actively track your page’s performance. Facebook provides an overwhelming amount of data for your page. The good news is that you don’t need a statistics degree to sift through it. Here, we’ll highlight the most important stats to look at to gauge success.
The Insights Tab
If you navigate to your Facebook page and click on Insights in the top navigation bar, you’ll find all of Facebook’s automatically generated statistics including graphs. The insights tab is a great place to start because it gives you a quick snapshot of what’s happened on your page in the past week or month.
While these simple graphs are good to see how your page is operating the surface level, it may trick you into thinking vanity metrics prove success. A vanity metric is a number that represents an action that really might not be helping you. Likes and comments are important on Facebook, but usually you want someone to perform a different action, like click through to your website. If you have 100 likes and no clicks, that post may seem successful, when it reality it wasn’t.
Page likes are not the end all, be all for your Facebook page. You don’t need tens of thousands of likes to reach your target audience. Facebook likes have become less important over the years, while boosting posts and creating ads have become more important. However, Facebook still uses your Facebook likes to determine how many people will see your posts. They show your post to 1-3% of your total Facebook audience, so it’s important to monitor your audience over time.
You want to make sure that more people like your page over time and that people aren’t un-liking your page. If people are un-liking your page, you’ll have the opportunity to take a look and figure out what the cause might be.
How to track your likes:
You can always use Facebook’s insights tabs, but if you want to create your own graphs, click export data in top right-hand corner and open the document with Excel or Google Sheets.
After you’ve downloaded and opened the document, look to column b, which shows lifetime total likes. Go to the most recent data and record the number in your own records for the given month or time period you’re tracking. In column c you’ll find the new likes for the given period, and in column d, you’ll find the daily unlikes for the given period.
When I refer to a column, I’m simply pointing out the column letter in Excel or Google Spreadsheets as pictured below.
Your page reach is the number of people your post was served to. However, it does not mean that someone engaged with your post– it’s simply the number of people who saw it. This number is relevant because Facebook controls how many people will see your post. If Facebook has deemed your content worthy, more people will see it; if Facebook doesn’t think it’s relevant, fewer people will see it.
How to track your reach:
In the same spreadsheet you downloaded before, go to column j, which will show you the number of people who have seen any content associated with your page (unique users). If you downloaded the entire month, go to the last day and copy that number into your own dashboard. This will help you keep track of how many people have seen your content over a long period of time.
Page impressions are similar to reach, but they count how many times any person has seen any type of content. Impressions counts total views, whereas reach only counts users. For example, if you’re scrolling on Facebook and you pass a page’s post, that counts as one impression and it’s reached one individual. But, if you scroll back up and see the post again, that’s two impressions, but it’s still only reached one individual.
Impressions are important for the same reason reach is. You want to make sure that your posts’ impressions rise over time the same way reach does. Reach and impressions are related to one another, so if one or the other falls, it may indicate a problem.
How to track impressions:
In the same spreadsheet you downloaded before, go to column S, which will show you the number of impressions seen of any content associated with your Page. This number should be larger than your reach because users will inevitably see a post more than once while browsing.
Page engagements include any click or story created from your page or your page’s posts. Your engagements are what you want to monitor the most. Reach and impressions are nice, but you want users to interact with your content and consume it. Engagements can be anything from a like, to a link click, to flipping through pictures. Not all engagements are created equal, meaning a link click or a click on your call-to-action are worth more than a simple like. The number of people who engage with your property is a decent indicator to test effectiveness, however a more in-depth analysis may be necessary.
How to track engagements:
In the same spreadsheet you downloaded before, go to column g, which will show the number of people who engaged with your Page that includes any click or story created. Copy the last number in the column and include it on your own dashboard.
The Value of Tracking Metrics Over Time
Tracking and monitoring your Facebook strategy is almost as important as having one to begin with. When you track your metrics over time, you’re able to gauge the effectiveness of new tactics or ads.
It’s also a good idea to track your metrics in your own dashboard separate from Facebook. That way, you can create your own graphs and pull your own insights beyond their limitations.
Facebook remains one of the most lucrative social media channels for all types of businesses. With so many people using it on a daily basis, they offer incredible targeting abilities that are unmatched by almost any other platform. These four metrics will help you gauge your success over time, and to identify if your current strategy is pushing you forward or holding you back.