With over 2 billion active monthly users, Facebook is the perfect place to seek out new customers and engage with your existing patrons. There are plenty of opportunities for paid advertising on the social network, and simply having a profile on the site can help users discover your business. With so much traffic on Facebook, it’s no wonder that 40 million small businesses are actively using it, and there’s little doubt that yours could benefit from doing the same.
Making regular posts can help keep you engaged with your followers, but if you really want to take full advantage of the platform you should pay attention to which posts perform better than the rest. Ask yourself:
- Do your fans prefer videos or pictures?
- What about links back to your website, or plain old text posts?
- What time of day do your posts get the most attention?
Understanding all this can help you identify what sort of content your followers like to see on Facebook, and can in turn help you plan future posts to better capture their attention. So just how do you figure all this out?
Fortunately, Facebook provides businesses with a handy post tracker under the Insights tab. Learning how to read this chart can reveal much of the information you need to understand and improve the success of your social media campaign, so let’s take a look at everything it covers.
Published, Post, Type, and Promote
Your post insights are conveniently organized into a handy chart, the first three columns of which explain which posts you’re looking at. Published tells you when the post was made, Post shows you a snippet of what you wrote, and Type indicates what sort of content you shared. For example, the rectangles in most of the rows above show that the post included a picture, and the interlinked chains in the second post from the top show that a link was shared.
The last column, Promote, gives you the option to pay for advertising by having Facebook display your post higher in the feeds of your followers, thereby increasing your post’s exposure.
Targeting and Reach
The Targeting column shows who can see your posts. In all the cases above, an icon of the globe shows that the post was made public; chances are you’ll want most of your posts to be public too so that anyone can see what you’re sharing.
Reach is the total number of people who have seen your post. By clicking on the dropdown at the top of the chart, it can be further broken down to display several fields:
- Reach: Organic/Paid (how many people saw your post naturally vs. how many saw it because you paid for a boost).
- Impressions: Organic/Paid (similar to above, but these numbers also tally up views from people who saw your post more than once).
- Reach: Fans vs. Non-Fans (how many of the views were from people who like your page and how many are from those who don’t).
While Reach lets you know how many people have seen your post, Engagement shows you how many people have interacted with it. An interaction can be just about anything that involves a click, including liking or reacting, making a comment, sharing your post with others, or simply clicking on the post.
The number of people who clicked on the post is displayed next to a blue bar, and other interactions are grouped together next to the purple one. Like Reach, the Engagement column can be broken down into several categories:
- Reactions/Comments/Shares (a more specific breakdown of the Reactions stat).
- Negative Feedback (the number of viewers who saw your post and then hid it, hid all your posts, reported your post as spam, or unliked your page)
- Engagement Rate (the total percentage of viewers who interacted with the post).
By learning how to read these insights, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to monitor your social media success and act on the data Facebook freely provides. If your plain-text posts are being reported as spam, maybe you should think about what you’re saying to elicit that reaction. If your photo posts are performing better than your videos, perhaps you should cut back on the cinematography and share more still images. If no one’s seeing your posts in the morning, try waiting until the afternoon to share your content.