Facebook has rolled out a major makeover to Page Insights over the past several months, significantly clearer and more useful for page owners. You should definitely be using Insights to see how your page is performing, who your audience is and how they reach you (here’s a great walkthrough), but there’s really just one thing that you really need to know in order to actually improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts on Facebook, and that is:
Why is this so important? Because by knowing this you’ll be able to deduce the types of posts that make the most impact, and create more of them.
Go to the “Posts” tab, and scroll down to the “All Posts Published” section. You’ll see numerous performance indicators, including the new Engagement Rate, which is calculated by the following formula:
What engagement rate tells you is how likely someone who sees this post on their news feed (or on your page) is likely to take any overt action.
However, if we had to choose the one metric to use for ranking posts on effectiveness, it would actually be the absolute number of Likes, Comments & Shares. Why? The main reason is that Not all engagements are equal.
Likes are important because these are people telling you explicitly that they got a positive experience from your post.
Shares are the holy grail, of course, because they increase your page content’s exposure beyond its existing fan-base more than any type of activity.
Comments are deep engagements, in which people take their time to actively participate in a conversation with your brand and community.
Clicks, on the other hand, only mean that you got people’s interest, but don’t tell you anything on their final experience. If they ended up not engaging beyond the click, then you missed out on leveraging your fan power for spreading your word. Furthermore, many posts, for instance pictures and simple status lines, don’t require a click. (The exception to this is posts leading to a funnel on your site, in which clicks do matter a lot).
Another thing with regards to Engagement Rate, is that dividing user actions by reach means taking reach out of the equation – when what you should really do is maximize it, as Facebook doesn’t treat all posts with the same amount of exposure (see the latest on this). The absolute number of positive, deep engagements with a post factors in reach, and represents the bottom-line impact of each post.
One thing that you should actually factor in, if you’re comparing posts over a long period of time, is the changing number of fans at the post date. You can find this number on the “Total Page Likes” graph under the “Likes” tab.
So the one metric that you should use for knowing which posts work better is:
Use this as your compass for optimizing your Facebook posts to maximal impact.