In order to be successful on social media, it’s not enough to just be active — you have to constantly analyze your performance and monitor social metrics to determine what is and isn’t working for your audience. For Facebook Page admins, monitoring the performance of posts tends to involve measuring the number of Likes, comments, shares, and reach each post receives. But some experts believe that by limiting yourself to those four metrics that you’re missing deeper insight into fan engagement. These are some deeper cuts that you can monitor on Facebook or with Sprout Social’s Facebook reporting tools.
Facebook Metrics At First Glance
While it can be difficult to pin down exactly which metrics are important in every situation, there are some metrics that matter regardless of the type of campaign you’re running. For example, post Likes, comments, and shares will always be important as they help to measure your social reach. That said, if you notice that your posts are receiving minimal interactions, that doesn’t necessarily reflect their true engagement. Here’s where the “Post Clicks” metric becomes more valuable.
When looking at any one of your Facebook posts, click on the number of “people reached” and it will pull up all of the stats for that post. Here you’ll find the more self-explanatory metrics, such as Likes, comments, and shares. And depending on the type of status update you publish, you might also see the number of photo views, link clicks, or video plays that post received. But as ShortStack CEO Jim Belosic pointed out, “just because someone didn’t actively engage with your post through a Like, comment or share, doesn’t mean they didn’t take any action on your post.”
In that same pop-up window, direct your attention to the “Other Clicks” metric below the “Post Clicks” section. This is the number you want to look at because it records any post click that isn’t a link click, photo view, or video play. Instead, Other Clicks measures the number of clicks on people’s names in the comments, clicks on the Like count of your post, or clicks on the time.
The latter is particularly noteworthy because clicking on a post’s timestamp opens the post in its own window. This is a good indication that people are expanding the post to read more or browse through the comments. So even if viewers don’t Like the post or add a comment of their own, at least you know that people were interested enough to investigate it further. From here, you can begin experimenting with the content to see whether you can turn those expanded clicks into measurable engagement in the future.
Another metric visible in this window is Negative Feedback. While we don’t like to think that anyone wouldn’t like our content, it’s impossible to please everyone always. Today Facebook members have the ability to unlike a Page’s activity by hiding an individual post, reporting it as spam, hiding all of a Page’s posts from their feed entirely, or unliking the Page. Through this window, you can see which of these actions were taken on specific posts.
Collecting and analyzing this data is integral to fully understanding the performance of your Page activity. These actions indicate that something about your content isn’t resonating with your fans. If more people hide posts that are text-only compared to those with media attached, then that tells you something needs to be changed about the way you present this particular type of post.
Identify Metrics That Matter To Your Business
Before any of this matters, you must first know your goals. In order to determine whether your social strategy is working, it’s important to identify what you’re trying to accomplish with each post. Are you looking to raise brand awareness? Drive purchases? Generate leads? By defining specific goals, not only will it inform the social direction to take, but also the metrics that indicate you’re doing it successfully. For example, if you’re trying to drive purchases, the number of comments on a post might not weigh as heavily as the number of link clicks.
Once you’ve clearly laid out your goals, you can start building your social metric reports. This can be a huge undertaking for your social team, but if you’re a Sprout Social customer you can help automate the process by generating Facebook Reports. These reports offer a wealth of relevant data (including Likes, impressions, sharing, and content) that will help you develop a more powerful Facebook strategy. Going beyond Facebook, you can also generate Engagement Reports, Team Reports, and Trends Reports for a more holistic view of your social performance.
If you don’t have a Sprout Social account already, you can sign up for a free trial and check out all of the metrics for yourself.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.