Yes, of course, we all know by now that you absolutely need social media to make your blog/business great. But what use is social media marketing if you don’t know how your posts are performing, what is driving clicks and business back to your website, and what you should never do again because it just doesn’t work? It’s none. No use at all.
This is where social media analytics come in and your knowledge of deciphering what all of the charts and graphs and numbers mean. And if you don’t have knowledge of social media analytics (like roughly 92.6% of the US population*)?
Well then this blog post is for you.
* Totally made up statistic. Don’t quote me on this.
Each social network has its own built in analytics or at least an incredibly reliable third-party resource for you to use. This is going to be a series where we go over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (third-party app Iconosquare), and Pinterest analytics and how you can tell what your followers like and what they maybe just don’t care about quite as much.
I promise you, social media analytics really aren’t as scary and overwhelming as you probably think they are. So sit back, grab a glass (or bottle) of wine, and let’s learn a little bit.
Today, we’ll start with Facebook.
Facebook analytics are very comprehensive. When you have a Facebook Page, you aren’t able to see your analytics, or Insights as they’re referred to on Facebook, until your Page has 30 likes. I recommend starting off your Facebook Page by inviting your closest friends and family to your Page, sharing your Page on your other social network sites, and putting a few bucks towards promoting your Page. This should get you to 30 in no time and you will be able to check out your analytics for each post.
To access your analytics, you’ll see this navigation bar at the top of your Page:
Click the fourth tab from the left called Insights. You’ll be brought to a page that looks like this:
This is where you get to see a little bit of everything.
– Page Likes: This gives you a brief idea of how many new likes your Page has gotten over the past week compared to the previous week.
– Post Reach: Your reach means how many people actually viewed your posts. Since Facebook’s move to the dark side (meaning paid advertising), you can hardly get much organic reach anymore. This number will be a lot prettier if you put some capitol behind some Facebook advertising.
– Engagement: How much engagement your posts got–likes, comments, shares, etc.
– Your 5 Most Recent Posts: Brief overview of what your last five posts were and how well they performed.
You can then click through the tabs in order to get a much more in-depth analysis.
After going through this section, “like” is going to start sounding like an extremely strange word. Like…like…like…like. Starting to get on your nerves yet?
Good. Let’s move on.
Although your Facebook likes are the big numbers that people tend to look for, they don’t necessarily determine the success of your Page. With Facebook’s decrease in organic traffic to Facebook Page posts, likes mean virtually nothing. What matters is your Page’s engagement. You can have 5,000 likes on your Page but if no one engages with anything that you post, then you’re not getting anything out of it.
I’m not saying that you don’t want Page likes. They’re still important, and if a person who likes your Page regularly engages with it, then that person will see more of your posts in their timeline.
So basically, you can’t rely only on likes. It’s likes + engagement that determine the success of your Page.
– Total Page Likes: See the growth/decline of your Page’s likes over time. Let’s hope this one is always on an upward scale.
– Net Likes: This graph shows your number of new likes versus your number of unlikes. You want this graph to be higher on the top rather than the bottom, of course.
– Where Your Page Likes Happened: Facebook has five different categories of where your Page likes could have happened:
- On Your Page
- Page Suggestions
- Uncategorized Mobile
Use this section to determine where you get the most likes. Did an ad/promotion do really well? Is your Page coming up as a suggested Page often? Do people visit your Page and then like it?
This is an extremely important tab. Your reach is how many people your content is, for lack of a better word, reaching. This is the most important factor of success for a Page. How many people are actually seeing your content?
– Post Reach: The number of people who see your posts. It has been awhile since I’ve done a paid campaign, but typically the dark orange (paid) outweighs the light orange (organic). This is because Facebook is moving more towards paid advertising instead of traditional social media marketing.
– Likes, Comments, and Shares: This is always a fun section to check out. This helps you to determine the engagement on your Page. How often are people liking and sharing your posts? You want these numbers to be high because they will increase your organic traffic.
– Hide, Report as Spam, and Unlikes: This is your negative feedback. Sometimes there are silly people out there who think they don’t want to see your posts (but really, they just have no idea what they’re talking about). So they’ll hide them. Or they’ll unlike your Page. Or (hopefully not) they’ll report your post as spam.
– Total Reach: Whereas the first section focuses only on posts, this section focuses on reach to any activity on your Page, including audience posts to your Page, mentions, and check-ins (for those of you with a brick-and-mortar business).
This section gives you a very good idea of how well your social media strategy is working, so check in often.
This section tells you the number of times each of your Page tabs (timeline included) were viewed so that you can see what kind of activity goes on on your Page.
– Page and Tab Visits: This includes your timeline, info tab, photos tab, and any apps that you may have on your Page. (For example, I have apps that link my other social networks to my Facebook Page–that’s what that app_32940325 whatever the number is means in the photo above.)
– External Referrers: How are people coming to your Page? If it’s off of Facebook, then you won’t see them here, but if there’s another referrer–in this case, a blog post my Page was featured in brought in a lot of traffic–that’s always really awesome to know about.
This is definitely the most fun section–at least, it’s my personal favorite and probably the one I spend the most time on. I love seeing how each of my posts do individually.
– When Your Fans Are Online: This tab is crucial to developing your Facebook strategy by helping you to determine the best times to post on Facebook. Instead of using “statistics” and other online methods of finding the best time to post, this determines the best times for you specifically to post when your specific audience is online.
– Post Types: This tab helps you to determine which type of content that you share performs the best. (However, if you post more links than videos, this information can be skewed.)
– Top Posts From Pages You Watch: I recommend adding your competitors to Pages you watch so that you can see what works well for them and get inspiration from them as well.
– All Posts Published: I love how comprehensive this section is. You see what type of post it is, your target audience, reach, and engagement. You can see how many comments, shares, likes, and clicks each post got as well. Ignore the Boost Post section. If you want to promote a post, go to your Ads Manager and promote it. Don’t boost.
Yes, I did skip over the Video tab. This is a new tab and it’s not one that I personally use. This tab will be extremely helpful if you focus on video as a big part of your strategy. And if so, you can check out this link to learn more about it.
The People tab tells you all about your audience demographic. Their age, gender, location. Everything you need to know when you start targeting ads. (Based on your niche, you should already have a pretty good idea of your target demographic, but it’s always nice to have some stats to back it up.)
– Your Fans: Demographic of the people who actually like your Page.
– People Reached: Demographic of the people who have seen your posts.
– People Engaged: Demographic of the people who have engaged with your posts.
All very different stats, all very important to know.
There are other, third-party analytics sites that can help you look more in-depth into Facebook, but for a business owner who is DIYing her own social media marketing, Facebook Insights has absolutely everything that you could ever need. Use these analytics to help determine what is and isn’t working in your strategy. Don’t post blindly to Facebook without paying attention to what your audience likes to see.