Interpreting Facebook Page Insights: Reach vs. Engagement
Facebook is one of the most widely used and most popular social platforms (with an estimated 1.15 billion users) providing the opportunity to reach and engage with highly potential customers in an intimate, exceptional one-on-one way. However, it’s also one of the most fluid platforms making it hard for businesses, large and small alike, to keep up with the latest updates on the platform and interpreting the ever-evolving Insights. Facebook has just rolled out the new Facebook Page Insights to everyone. It is a great tool because it offers a ton of new metrics to analyze: Likes, reach, engaged users, visits and more. But it’s not always easy to interpret what numbers matter and what metrics mean “success” for your business?
Most of these metrics can boil down to (1) Reach and (2) Engagement. As with all advertising and marketing, the metrics to gauge success depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you are trying to grow your fan base or get a certain post seen, Reach may be the metric for you. However if you are trying to build a relationship with customers, build brand loyalty or measure purchase intent, you should pay attention to Engagement metrics.
Reach is a good indicator of how well you are getting your product or business name out there, and INTO PEOPLE’S NEWSFEED. But with today’s over saturation of information, is Reach enough? Just because a consumer saw your post in their News Feed, it doesn’t necessarily aid in brand recall, purchase intent or indicate that you have a relationship with your customers. If you are a new business this may be a good metric to measure success because you first have to grow your fan base and capture attention in order to build a relationship.
Engagement metrics indicate interactions beyond just simply views. Facebook defines engagement as including all clicks, not only comments, likes and shares. It’s important to understand that just because your post has a high Reach, doesn’t mean you will have high engagement. For example in the screen grab below of a client’s Facebook Insights – highlighted in red – some posts have LOW Reach but HIGH Engagement.
It really depends on how compelling your post is and how it resonates with your target audience.
Keep in mind that the high Reach can sometimes lower Engagement because more people have to interact with your post.
The more people engage with your posts and create stories, the more likely the post will appear in your consumer’s newsfeed and be viewed by their friends as well. Posts with highly engaged users are more likely to indicate a consumer’s intent to purchase or loyalty. Engagement on a post means the consumer is “leaning in” and willing to take the time and share their connection with your product or business. According to a study by Edelman many consumers trust their peer’s opinions of products over experts. So you can generate more credibility for your product or business if your posts are liked, shared or commented on by your fans. Thus for most businesses, to measure the success of your posts, you should concentrate on metrics that indicate engagement rather than just reach.
So what can you do to get more engagement on your posts?
- Create content with your customer (and not your business) in mind – what’s most important to them and what would they like to share?
- Ask questions or solicit feedback, especially for text-only posts
- Include images that connects to your consumer
- Include some sort of branding on your posts but not in an “advertising” way
- Reward participation/engagement on your posts
- Track the People Who Like Your Page metric to see if your content is relevant to your target audience
TIP: One of my favorite new Facebook Insights feature: See what days of the week and more importantly WHEN your fans are on line! This way you can time your posts accordingly. Nice!
How are the new Facebook Insights working for you? Are you finding interpreting them is helping you better reach your target audience and expand your Facebook (and online) presence? Please share your experiences with all of us.
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I opened my own social media and marketing boutique agency in January 2010 providing strategic consulting to businesses on how to dive into the complex world of social media and integrate this into their ...
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