Facebook: the numbers you should really be reporting

Frances / 13th November 2012 / Comment

Stop worrying about the total Fan count – start focusing on Reach and Engagement

Managing a Facebook page for your business takes time and effort; cultivating content, building partnerships, engaging fans, responding to customer service questions. So how do you gauge your success in doing all this work? How do you show value for your social media efforts? There are lots of numbers to look at and report on but only some of them are worth tracking. And if you want to prove your social media strategy has merit and influence you need to be laser focused on the right metrics.

Facebook Insights is the best place to start (if you are using other platforms to manage your social media posting they too should have good reporting tools).

1. Fans: the number of fans your Facebook page can be a tempting number to report on. It is easy to find, easy to track and easy to see steady growth. Unfortunately that’s about all it’s good for!

A general head count does not tell you enough about who is seeing your content, the importance of those people or the value they pass on to your business.

2. Reach: instead you should focus on your Reach. How many people (your fans and their friends) see your content either on your page, via someone else’s page or on a newsfeed.

 

viral twitter

Image Source

Pay close attention to what posts are achieving a high reach. Facebook’s Edgerank (their algorithm) rewards post with more exposure if that type of post has had a high level of engagement previously. You may have noticed your Reach number decrease over the last few months after an Edgerank update. Facebook has stated that, although the overall reach number has decreased, the people seeing the post are more likely to engage with it.

3. Engagement: that brings us to the most important number you can focus on. Look at how each post performs with user engagement (a like, share, comment). Make sure to replicate posts that do well in with these metrics.

Facebook Insights Reach

Facebook Insights Reach

Facebook will reward you for looking into your data and acting on it. Play close attention to what type of post is getting the greatest reach – contrary to previous results (and depending on your page) a plain text post without a link can now deliver the greatest reach. The higher performing posts will differ from page to page based on your audience and their behavior. Reusing content, like an infographic, over the course of a couple months is a great way to use proven, high quality content. Just change the headline, ask a different question or add a picture to it.

Take Away

Spend some quality time to get familiar with Facebook Insights and make sure you know what type of posts work best for your page. Focus on reach and engagement and think of fan growth as just a result of your growing engagement.

Do you have a good tip for increasing Facebook Reach? Tell us in the comments.

By Frances