When you have a really important blog post, article or landing page that you want many people in your Facebook community to see, you should share the link in a post and then promote that post.
Promoting a post on Facebook means you pay a sum of money at a CPM rate (cost per thousand views) to increase the number of people who see it. The promotion will last three days and during that time period your promoted post will continuously show up in the News Feed of your community members (and their friends).
Since you are paying for the post it is essentially becoming an ad, and as with all ads you should be able to track the ROI.
Here's a step-by-step guide for doing just that!
Step 1: Carefully Put Together a VISUAL Post
Not all post types on Facebook are created equal. Visual posts such as pictures, graphics and videos receive much more engagement than plain text posts.
Because you want to get the most for the money you are spending to promote a post, it then makes sense to use an eye-catching visual in the update.
Here's an example of a post that I recently promoted for a health and wellness company that often shares tasty and nutritious recipes:
As you can see I used a Photo post with an eye-grabbing picture of yummy looking ice cream and in the text portion of the post I included a link.
Step 2: BEFORE You Add Your Post to Facebook Create a Trackable Link
The link you see in the post was shortened using bit.ly. However, if you could see the full URL you would see that it includes tracking code I created using Google's URL Builder.
When using Google's URL Builder all you need to do is add the URL of the page you want to link to, a campaign source, medium and name.
When I use Promoted Posts I list:
Campaign Source: FB (stands for Facebook)
Campaign Medium: SponPost (stands for Sponsored Post or Promoted Post)
Campaign Name: something that describes the specific post - in this case StrawberryIceCream
It doesn't matter what you use for Source, Medium and Name as long as you can recognize the keywords when you see them in Google Analytics.
Once you have your trackable link you will probably want to shorten it using bit.ly or some other link shortening service. This is because with the tracking code the link will be quite long.
After you shorten the link put together your post and take it live on your Facebook page. Then promote the post by following the steps when you hit "Promote Post" or "Boost Post" button that shows up at the bottom right corner of the post.
Step 3: Login to Google Analytics
Once your post is live on Facebook you can log into Google Analytics to begin tracking the results.
My favorite way to view stats on a Promoted Post is by heading straight to Campaign reporting which can be found under Traffic Sources:
Once you click into this area you will see keyterms for all of the links that currently have a "utm_campaign" paramenter in them. If you don't see the exact term you are looking for you can search for it.
If you remember, I used the campaign name "StrawberryIceCream" for my Promoted Post and here is what I see when I locate that keyterm under Campaigns in Google Analytics:
I can see all of the usual stats like how many people visited by clicking the link in my Promoted Post along with avg. visit duration, % new visits and bounce rate.
Perhaps even more importantly, I can click over to my Goals or Ecommerce tabs and see how many conversions took place as a result of someone clicking my Promoted Post.
What About Other Facebook Ad Types?
And there you have it - a simple three step guide to tracking the ROI of your Facebook Promoted Posts.
You can use this same link building process to track all other types of Facebook ads.
For example, if you are using a Facebook ads manager to a/b test Facebook sidebar ads like this:
You would simply create your URL and when selecting a Campaign Name add something like "VersionA" and "VersionB" to the end of it:
In this example my Campaign name is "Donate10" for donate $10 and I just added versions to the end of the campaign name so I could see how each specific ad is performing in Google Analytics.
It really is as simple as that!