Ah, Facebook, the one social media platform that offers the Holy Grail of marketing opportunities, while confounding you by being the most illogical, fickle, and overly complex platform to understand. Sure, there are a bucket load of Facebook Insights to help you figure it all out, but what does it all mean?
With Facebook engagement rates plummeting to an all-time low, and the platform consistently pushing users towards paying to get their content seen, or at presenting it in video format, it’s harder than ever to get tangible results from Facebook, let alone achieve a good return on your investment.
And it’s a big investment.
There’s no getting around it:
[Tweet “Effectively using Facebook to market your business requires one of two things: time or money.”]
Whichever you pick you’re also going to need a lot of patience, and an effective way of measuring your success. For that, you need to figure out Facebook Insights.
The good news is, if you can crack Facebook’s advanced metrics you’ll gain an unparalleled level of…well, insight, into your tribe, audience demographics, and campaign tracking.
The bad news is that cracking that nut can easily give you a headache.
To save you the migraine, and to answer a slew of questions about Facebook Insights that people ask me all the time, I’ve created an easy guide to advanced metrics…
The Key Metrics You Should Be Tracking
To keep things as simple as possible, I’ve split it into three sections:
- General Facebook Insights
- Facebook Ad Insights
- Facebook Video Insights
We’ll start with General Facebook Insights…
What Is Facebook Engagement And Why Do I Care?
Engagement measures the number of times someone took action on your posts. That could mean clicking a link, sharing your post, making a reaction, or leaving a comment.
[Tweet “If you only have the energy to care about one Facebook metric, engagement is the one to obsess over.”]
Your engagement tells you whether or not your audience likes your content.
Literally; there’s a button they push that says ‘Like’!
There was no more direct form of approval from your tribe than getting the thumbs up on Facebook…until they added the option for people to ❤ your stuff!
Beyond telling you exactly how your audience feels about the content you’re creating, engagement has a direct and positive impact on the number of people who get to see your content.
It’s really simple: the higher your engagement, the more people will see your content.
The more people seeing it, the more opportunities there are for people to engage with it, pushing your reach higher still.
[Tweet “Facebook Engagement is the mother of all digital snowballs.”]
So while the one Facebook metric that is arguably more important than anything else is engagement it’s also the most problematic thing to achieve. And it’s only getting harder. There was a time when all you had to do was post a couple of times a day and your audience naturally engaged with your content.
Those days are long, long gone.
If you have terrible engagement (and believe me, everyone does at the moment!), the problem isn’t that your audience doesn’t like your content.
The problem is that they aren’t seeing it.
If your tribe don’t see your Facebook posts, they can’t engage with them.
Facebook have become incredibly selective about the content they show to people for two reasons:
- The amount of stuff on Facebook has reached insane levels. If they showed everything to everyone, nobody would be able to use the platform – it would be utterly overwhelming.
- Facebook began as a completely free enterprise but has gradually shifted to a more profit-driven model.
These days, if you want people to see your content, you have to either:
- Advertise it, or…
- Prove to Facebook that it’s so valuable they should be showing it to people over and above the massive amount of other content being published.
To demonstrate that you have great content, you have to have a high level of engagement on that content. Your engagement measures how many times people have directly interacted with your post by taking an action (liking it, commenting on it, clicking a link, or sharing it).
To find your engagement, go to your business page, click ‘Insights’ at the top, and select ‘Posts’:
Essential Reading: How To Boost Your Engagement And Organic Reach On Facebook
What Is Facebook Reach And Why Is It So Important?
Another intricate part of the Engagement snowball is Reach. Your reach on Facebook is largely driven by engagement (organic reach is pretty much entirely driven by engagement, while paid reach is also driven by advertising).
[Tweet “Facebook Reach is the metric that tells you how many people are actually seeing your stuff.”]
At its simplest, the higher your reach, the better. That being said there are a couple of caveats:
- If you have high reach and low engagement your audience aren’t connecting with your content. They see it, they just don’t care!
- Low reach isn’t an indication of bad content or too-few followers; Facebook’s algorithms have changed drastically in recent years and everybody is experiencing astonishingly low reach as a result; both engagement and reach are currently at an all-time low!
To find your reach, go back to Insights and click the Reach tab:
While it’s true that organic reach on Facebook has massively decreased in recent years, it’s still super-important that you measure it. It’s also not a completely lost cause. There are still ways to boost your organic reach and engagement on Facebook, despite having to work against the algorithms!
What Are Facebook Impressions And How Do I Measure Them?
One metric that’s often overlooked despite being really useful is Impressions. While your Facebook Reach tells you how many people have seen your content, your Impressions indicate how many times your content was viewed.
What’s the difference?
[Tweet “Really good content deserves a second viewing.”]
Say you stumble across a hilarious gif in your news feed…are you seriously only going to watch it once?
What if there’s an awesome video, but you get ten minutes in and realise you’re late picking the kids up. If it’s truly spectacular, you’ll come back to it another time!
And how often do you start a conversation with, “I saw this great thing on Facebook….” and immediately reach for your phone to show everyone the post?
One person can view a piece of content multiple times, either by looking at it themselves, or showing it to other people. But your Reach doesn’t understand this. Your reach only counts the users looking at it, not the number of times that user views it.
So someone could show your post to every single person they know, and wh