During the course of my four strategy sessions yesterday I quickly realized that Facebook statistics (Edit page > Insights) can be a beast for someone who doesn’t spend as much time as I do staring at them. So I thought it might be beneficial to do some research on the topic and extend a bit of knowledge your way.
Without fail I heard from most teams, “Is our page a success?” “Who is engaging with us?” “Is our engagement effective?” “Does our content strategy work?”
The Facebook Insights dashboard will help you answer some of these questions. As defined by Facebook, “Insights provides Facebook Page owners … with metrics around their content. By understanding and analyzing trends within user growth and demographics, consumption of content, and creation of content, Page owners … are better equipped to improve their business with Facebook.”
So what’s the best way to use this relatively new tool?
Thanks to Ekaterina Walter, a social media strategist at Intel. and a part of Intel’s Social Media Center of Excellence, I was able to do a bit of research and provide the following code to decipher your campuses Facebook statistics!
Examine a Wide Range of Data
There are two types of Facebook insights:
- User Insights: Total page Likes, or a number of fans, daily active users, new Likes/Unlikes, Like sources, demographics, page views and unique page views, tab views, external referrers, media consumption.
- Interactions Insights: Daily story feedback (post Likes, post comments, per post impressions), daily page activity (mentions, discussions, reviews, wall posts, video posts).
The question then becomes: “What do you want to track and measure?” There is a lot of data offered, but you want to sort through it and identify what information is meaningful and will help you make decisions about your engagement and content strategy. If that data is not readily available, you might want to do some manual calculations to derive the numbers you’re looking for.
Below are the insights I recommend you pay attention to and track.
- Monthly fan size growth: Record the number of fans (or “Likers”) you have on the first of every month to see what your growth looks like. I’d say if you are growing organically and you have 10 to 13% monthly growth, you are doing extremely well. That is probably the highest organic growth number anyone can achieve. You can even go more granular and calculate weekly growth. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to watch for the spikes in fan growth and try to identify what contributes to those spikes.
- The average number of Likes or comments: These are your engagement measures. If you know the average number of times fans interacted with you for every single post, you will be able to identify which discussions are of more interest to your fans. Watch for unusual spikes or drops in this number. I love this metric because it is extremely helpful in making immediate decisions in your content strategy and changes to your editorial calendar. Increase the number of posts around the topic your fans are more engaged with and decrease the number of posts around topics they are not interested in.
Unlikes and attrition rate: The fact is that you will always have some unsubscribes, no mater how great your engagement is, but hopefully it is just a small number. I usually just watch for spikes in the unlike numbers. You want to try and correlate them with the activity on your page and understand why people are leaving your page. It is rather hard to nail down the exact reason, but if there is an unusual spike, you will usually have a pretty good idea.
The simple attrition rate formula is:
Daily Unlikes / Daily Fan Count
This metric will tell you how many of your fans are leaving your site. It is normal to have small constant attrition over time.
- Demographics: No matter what your objectives are, you can always find the demographics data useful: the gender of your fans, their ages and where they are from.
- Page views: I like this metric because it helps you identify the number of returned fans. If you take the number of page views and subtract the number of unique page views, you will see how many of your fans are actually coming back to your page. You can also look at the Daily Active Users metric.
- Mentions: This is the number of times someone tagged you in their post. The reason why this metric is important is because it is the easiest way for your fans’ friends to click through to your page. Every time someone tags you, the name of your Page appears as a link. It is much easier for someone to click on that link and learn more than to search for your Page manually. One of your goals should be to increase the number of mentions by your fans.
- Tab views: This is the new metric Facebook implemented a couple of months ago. If you have multiple tabs on your page, it will tell you which tab gets what percentage of traffic. This metric will help you decide on whether you would want to keep or maybe get rid of some of your tabs. This is especially helpful as you can only have six tabs visible on your page at one time, and this data will help you prioritize accordingly.
- Referrers: Another new metric that tells you where the traffic to your page comes from. You want to increase exposure to your page on the sites that bring you the most traffic.
- Impressions: If your page is over 10,000 fans, you will see the number of times your post was viewed –- impressions. This metric is not exact since every time someone’s page refreshes, it counts as an impression. This number is usually a little overblown, but can show you how many times your post has been seen.
Some of these metrics require constant manual tracking and analysis, which is a big downside. However, the above metrics will help you make decisions about your engagement and content strategy that would allow more effective interactions with your students.