Facebook, with its recent ‘forced’ rollout of Timeline for businesses, has also completely revamped their analytics. (In fact, they are planning on revamping them even more.) Now, Facebook tracks reach, engagement, and virality of individual posts giving businesses a much greater sense of how users are responding to their posts.
But how can businesses leverage that information in order to improve their own Facebook presences, and achieve greater success. Here are just a few ways businesses can boost their own social media presences by using Facebook’s improved analytics.
1. Determine What Campaigns Are Popular
Facebook analytics are great in that not only do they track such statistics as reach, which is the number of unique people that have seen a particular post, but they also track such important statistics as people that have engaged with a post — tracked by the number of clicks — and people talking about a post. Engagement is important to look at because it shows which posts initially caught someone’s attention and compelled them to click on the post. On the other hand, talking about this is arguably the most important statistic because it shows just how many people have created a story about your post through liking, sharing, or commenting, among other actions.
And yet all of these statistics are important to consider together when determining popularity. A post with a high reach, but a low engagement rate is just as useless as a post with a low reach, but a high engagement rate. Obviously, that might be oversimplifying things, but the ultimate goal for businesses should be to maximize the final statistic that Facebook tracks for individual posts: Virality. Virality ultimately determines the percentage of users that have seen or interacted with a post and created a story from that. Assuming it also has a high reach, any post with a high virality rate relative to other posts is ultimately a success.
Find what posts and campaigns have been the most successful virally, and draw inspiration from those in order to craft future campaigns.
2. To Discover When You Need Fresh Content or a Different Direction
A general rule of thumb for Facebook — and for all social networks — is that old, reposted or simply no longer relevant content is generally the sort of content that gets relegated to the social media badlands. What I mean by that is that content that doesn’t resonate with users generally won’t receive nearly as much engagement as content that does. That’s obvious, I know, but many businesses still feel the need to try the same old things over and over again until something finally happens.
But that’s the wrong mentality, and Facebook’s analytics can easily prove this to any business. Just by briefly observing Facebook’s analytics, every business can easily determine where the lulls are, and when they need to kickstart their own Facebook social media efforts. Generally, businesses should want their engagement rates and impressions to grow over the course of a month, not stagnate, or worse, decline. If those lulls occur, Facebook’s analytics quickly reflect that, and that should signal a red flag for any business.
Enter: A new direction. When those lulls do occur (and they may, and even should), finding new, more intriguing ways to talk about your business is often the best goal. Think deep. What haven’t people already heard about your business? How can you approach your social media strategy in a new light?
3. Find Out When The Best Times to Post Are
Finally, Facebook’s analytics can help you determine what times, days and even months are best for posting. Of course, you want to keep a steady stream of posts throughout the week, but using Facebook’s analytics to find which days and times during the week garner the most attention is important. Sometimes, posting in the middle of the day might be more successful at the beginning of the week, while posting late at night might garner more engagement later in the week. Additionally, it might help you determine which days are better to post multiple times, and which aren’t.
But that will certainly vary for every business.
Still, the best way to use Facebook analytics to improve your own business is to simply find out where you’re successful and to find ways to integrate that success into future campaigns. Success, more often than not, breeds more success. But looking at failed campaigns, seeing why they failed, and making sure that your future campaigns don’t do that, is just as important too. Facebook analytics will help you determine that.