When launching your Facebook page as a small or medium sized business, you should setup and use some Facebook analytics in order to analyze and evaluate the effect of your social activities. As we have a lot of discussions with our clients and know the landscape for social media analytics tools quite well, we want to give you some insight on what we would recommend as a initial setup. This blog post should be a starting point for you to see what is possible and then adjust and optimize your Facebook analytics and reporting from there. Here are some recommendations.
(1) Use Facebook Insights To Measure Your Basic Metrics
With Facebook’s built-in “Facebook Insights” statistics you can get information on the performance of your content and your page. You can analyze every individual post you make in near-realtime and see how much reach you got, how many people engage with the post and how many people derive a social action from it (people talking about this). In the last months there were a lot of discussions on reduced organic reach, so this is a great point to actually see how this behaves for your page. You can also see the virality of each post, which is the people talking about this number divided by the reach. Go ahead and compare your posts with each other and see which content works the best with your audience. The post table alone makes it possible to optimize your posts based on content, posting time and other factors. The best thing with Facebook Insights is that they are completely free. You can also export the data to Excel or other apps. Beside the detailed post analyses you can also see the general metrics for your whole page, for example the number of likes/fans you are getting or the overall reach and people talking about values. You shouldn’t focus too much on the like/fan count of your page and rather optimize for interactions. This will make your communication really targeted to the people you want to reach and advertising on Facebook will be more efficient as you don’t waste money on fans that are not in your target audience.
(2) Setup Competition Tracking To Stay On Top Of Your Sector
When you got the basic tracking of your own page done, its time to look at other pages in your sector. It can give you great insight to see how your competitors pages are performing and what works for them. In the first bullet point above I mentioned that you should optimize your posts based on virality. With the competitor tracking it is possible to compare the performance of your posts against other pages as well, so it gives you a much better estimate if the performance you are getting is good enough. Additionally, analyzing other pages performance makes it very transparent for you if they are running ad campaigns other competitions or offline events which have effects on their Facebook presence. When you see a peak in a certain metric for your competitor, you can look up what was the reason for this. By adopting good working examples from other pages and avoid negative examples that you see, you can get a much faster learning curve. To get this competitive data you can do it either manually (by looking at the page every day or by putting data in Excel) or you can use a tool like our quintly. Our tool makes it very easy for you to get these stats, as everything is done automatically. You just need to login and access the stats, we take care of all the rest.
(3) Setup A Reporting Schedule To Get Your Company On Board
When you have defined and setup all the metrics you want to use for your tracking, its time to setup a regular reporting (via email in PDF or similar format) within your company in order to get all the important people on board and show them the success of your work on Facebook. By sending around KPIs in a weekly interval, everyone sees how it is going and if there is room for improvement. Most of the people doing Facebook Marketing struggle because they cannot show the positive effect internally and therefore it gets tough to get budgets for future activities. If you already have a balanced scorecard setup in your company, it makes sense to add the Facebook analytics KPIs to it as well. Note that it is important that your reporting changes from time to time. Facebook develops very fast and new KPIs will be defined sooner than later. Keeping your reporting flexible and adjusting to the right KPIs is very important. The worst that can happen is that you notice after a year or two, that you optimized for the wrong KPIs and educated your management on the wrong metrics.
(4) Analyze The Effect Of Your Facebook Activities To Your Website
When you are an online company or run a website on which you want to drive conversions, it is very important to measure the effect of your Facebook activities to your website. If you generate sales from this, than this is the only way you can proof the effect of your page on the actual sales, which is what most of the management wants to see. You can do this by analyzing all the incoming traffic from Facebook and see what works best in terms of conversions. When creating your posts and you have a link pointing to your website in it, you should add tracking parameters, so that you can use your normal web tracking software to see the effect. Most companies who have setup a web tracking software for their website already monitor conversions, so the traffic coming from the Facebook page is just another channel. When you are using Google Analytics, you should for example set the URL parameters utm_source, utm_medium and utm_campaign accordingly.
(5) Don’t Let The Facebook Analytics And Metrics Distract You Too Much
When taking a look at all these things above, don’t forget to focus on your actual work. There is a nearly unlimited number of metrics you can track which can be very confusing and distracting for you and other people in the company. The setup of the right KPIs is very individual and you should check what works best in your case. In the end I would recommend to focus on the 3-5 most important KPIs and not setup Excel sheets with hundreds of rows. We have seen many examples where people wanted to make it especially good and in the end the whole process was so complicated that no one in the company would understand it.
What do you think? What is the perfect Facebook analytics setup when launching a page?