Don’t get me wrong, I happen to love third-party social media tools. I’m an sucker early adopter for most of them and I like to see what’s happening in the social media metric world. But when it comes time to get down and dirty with Facebook metrics, I turn to the spreadsheet everyone loves to hate: Facebook Insights.
Social media tools are popping up everywhere, and if your Inbox is anything like mine, you’re getting solicitations from “the most amazing social measurement tool ever” each and every day. Using third-party tools can be useful, but when it comes to Facebook, there is more than enough data within its native Insights platform to get any business off and running on the right foot. The following are five Insights your business can’t afford to ignore:
Daily Negative Feedback User
This tab is located near the end of the entire Facebook Insights spreadsheet, after the demographics tabs and before the check-in information. Don’t just look at the column in the “Key Metrics” tab, because it doesn’t paint the entire picture. The Daily Negative Feedback User tab is just as important as how many people “like” your page. It shows you how many so-called fans have decided to hide your status update in their feed, hide all of your status updates for good, reported you as spam, or decided to “unlike” you altogether.
Looking at this metric on a daily basis, versus looking at a week or a month at a time, allows you to tie those actions to your specific Facebook posts for the day. It will tell you exactly what kind of content turns off your fan base. Remember, when people decide to hide your page for good, they’ll never see your status updates and you’ve essentially lost them, despite the fact they still show up as a “like” in your total fan numbers.
28 Days Viral Impressions
This measurement, which shows you the total number of times users saw your posts via stories published by their friends tells you a few things. First of all, let me tell you that one again: this data tells you how your message is spreading to the friends of your fans. The friends of your existing fans are your next generation of fans, so you want this number to be growing. Chances are that if their friends like you, they will like you, and even better they will trust you, too.
In addition, when this metric is growing, it means your visibility is growing. More people are being exposed to you, and that exposure is the first part of the social media ROI cycle. The higher the number, the more your fans are interacting with content and helping their friends find you, too.
28 Days Organic Reach
Truth be told, Facebook Insights has more ways to measure reach than Larry King has had wives. It’s bordering on the ridiculous because everyone seems to define “reach” in a different way. Using the 28 Days Organic Reach measurement, found in the Key Metrics tab, is an easy way to see how your business is performing naturally.
At the Facebook Marketer’s Conference in New York earlier this year, we learned that only 16% of your fans are actually seeing your updates. Looking at the organic reach is great because it tells you how many people visited your page or saw your page or one of your posts in their News Feeds or Tickers. This metric measures people who are fans of your page, as well as those who are not. This gives you an idea of your actual, natural reach. Watch this number to determine if you are improving your EdgeRank.
Daily Like Sources
At first glance, this seems like an obvious inclusion, and it is. While it is important to know where your audience is coming from, the metric you need to watch closely is the one with the title “mobile.” Mobile is one of the fastest-growing ways for people to consume social content all over the world. If you’re not creating a user experience that works well for your mobile audience, you’re way behind in the game. You can see this without downloading the spreadsheet on the admin page of your Facebook site, but this is one you should be watching long-term.
Weekly Reach by Country
One of my biggest social media pet peeves is when a business decides to post something to their fans of a specific country or city without geo-targeting a post. Why does this peeve me so? Because it isn’t relevant to me. Nor is it relevant to anyone else outside of the one geographic area. Looking at the “weekly reach” will tell you where your fans are. This is a great opportunity to provide exclusive content to fans in certain locations, or test drive a promotion without involving legions and legions of fans. This is also a great way to tap into your hidden market. I can’t tell you how many brands I’ve worked with that have been blindsided when they learned that their second-highest fan count resided in Brazil – despite the fact the brand has no official presence there.
While you can easily see a snapshot of these numbers as an admin of the page, charting it over time is how you start to see patterns emerge. These patterns will help you decided what’s working where and with whom.
These five areas of measurement are not the be-all-end-all way to measuring social ROI. They’re not a magic wand that will suddenly part the clouds and make everything more clear. They are, however, often overlooked by organizations. Your community manager (and you DO have a community manager, right?) can help your departments understand what metrics make the most sense to monitor for their respective areas of interest. If he or she can’t, then you need to invest in a better community manager, but I’ll save that for another post.