Tips for building a following on Facebook, Part 5: Analytics

So far we’ve determined our objective and our strategy (part 1) and we have considered our target audience (part 2).  In part 3 we emphasized the importance of and provided some tips on managing content and in part 4, we provided the basics on Facebook Ads. Now, let's get into the basics of Analytics.

So, what are analytics and why are they helpful? Facebook is constantly evolving, both in regards to how content is distributed and how users interact. For those using social media as a marketing tool, the challenge is determining how to best reach and engage your audience.  One of the keys to success in this arena is knowing how to use your data.

Measure your Real Audience

Who is your effective audience? Those who see your content are not limited to those who like your page. Reach, which measures the unique number of people who saw content associated with your page, can provide that answer for you.

Over time, Reach helps you understand how the sharing of your content impacts your ability to attract and engage your audience. Without it, it’s difficult to accurately measure your ability to engage people or to turn them into customers.

You can evaluate Reach in two ways - organic and paid. This will help you to determine whether your content was seen primarily by people engaging with your content or due to your ad spend.

Also, by reviewing the data chronologically for specific dates, you should be able to identify the exact content or campaigns that engaged most with your audience, whether in a positive way or negative.

Analyze your Engaged Audience

Now that you know your engaged audience, increasing it each month becomes the goal. As your number of page likes increases, you will also want to expand the number of users who engage with your content.   When combined with your posts, the percentage of audience engaging metric tells you when and on which content types you’re getting engagement value from the audience you’ve worked so hard to build.

Grow your Likes

Although your total number of page likes isn’t the only metric you should care about, like growth is important. It can help you identify tactics to increase your audience as well.

First, look at the sources of your likes. By doing this, you can determine where folks were in Facebook when they liked your page or what device they were using as well as they came across it through a paid source or organic.

Next, you want to compare that with other user actions by reviewing likes, comments, shares, and link clicks for a given time period within the same chart.

Third, check out your page visits. Look at the number of times each of your page was viewed alongside your new likes.
This information will tell you which part of your page is a bigger attraction to your new likes. 

And finally, consider your referrers by looking at your likes progress over time. This will tell you which non-Facebook activities bring you the most likes.

Identify Who Likes You

To identify who likes your page, establish an audience baseline using Facebook Insights demographic data. Then, put the data to work. For example, knowing where your followers are located can help you to make informed decisions about the kind of content you share and when you share it.  No matter your brand, it’s important to know that age and gender demographics for your Facebook followers matches your target audience for your product or service. Then use sales data to identify the products in which your audience is more likely to be interested. Once you’ve established a baseline, go beyond follower demographics by building identities that map to certain products or content topics. Measure engagement with content which ties back to the identities as part of your regular audience analysis. This type of analysis can give you a more profound understanding of your audience and which content will resonate with them.

Identify when your Audience is Active

By noting how your page likes change when your fans are online, you’ll be able to time content posting more wisely to increase page likes. By comparing the timing of your likes to when you’re fans are online over time, you’ll be able to paint a realistic picture of how posting times affect page likes in particular.

Stay tuned for our sixth and final post in the is blog series in which we’ll dive into Advanced Analytics and how to identify growth opportunities.

Posted on May 22, 2015 and filed under Building a FB Following.