Facebook: Measuring Social Media Success
Measuring the success of your social media can seem straightforward - particularly on Facebook. Mackman's Digital Manager Jim Carr shows us what's under the surface of tracking and monitoring the success of your Facebook strategies.
Are you measuring your social media success in the right way?
There are two types of metric that often get used when trying to demonstrate the success of your Facebook page: vanity metrics and sanity metrics.
Are you measuring page likes as part of your social media strategy? If so, it might come as a disappointment that this metric sits firmly in the "vanity" metric camp. The same is true of post views... Here's why:
It seems like a really good idea to gather as many Facebook likes as you possibly can. That way, when someone looks at your page they'll think "wow, this page has lots of likes, it must be excellent!".
To a degree, this is true. However, in an era of digital marketing where you can buy page likes, participate in "like ladders" and get your friends to like your page, focusing your efforts on growing your page likes can be a double edged sword if you don't know about EdgeRank.
EdgeRank is the Facebook algorithm used to determine which stories appear in each user's news feed. It's pretty complicated, but essentially the algorithm decides which posts to show to which users based on:
- Affinity Score - how "connected" a particular user is to another user (how often do they interact)
- Edge Weight - each action that can be taken on Facebook has a weight. A post that is commented on has a greater weight than a post that is liked, and makes it more likely that people will see it
- Time Decay - the older a post is, the less weight it carries
This is where focusing on page likes becomes an issue. Yes, your page may have hundreds of page likes, but if none of those users actually interact with your content your EdgeRank will be considerably lower than it could be.
What can be done?
As usual, the best approach is the organic approach. Let your page grow naturally and don't chase page likes as a measurement of success. If the situation really calls for it, you can slowly prune page likes until you start to see an improvement in page interaction, and then follow the organic approach.
What about post reach?
Post reach is probably joint first as the worst vanity metric. The natural thought is "Fantastic! Thousands of people have seen my post, that's great!", but if none of those people have interacted with the post, you've just sent out a huge signal to Facebook that your content isn't interesting and your EdgeRank will be affected.
The only way to turn this vanity into sanity is to measure the interactions with each post. It's always far better for 50 people to see a post and for 10 to interact with it, than for 500 people to see the post and for it to have no interaction.
Where does sanity lay?
Sanity metrics are pretty straightforward, but can be varied depending on the point of your page. Consider some of the following as a guide for thinking about your own success measurement:
- Post engagement - are your posts getting comments, like and shares?
- Action button - is this button being used to encourage conversions?
- Reviews - what percentage of your page likes have left an organic review?
- Page views - how many times have people viewed your page?
- Events - how many events have you booked?
- Audience growth - what is the average number of likes gained from each event?
- Total amount of conversations - how many messages have you received?
Start measuring success the sane way
Once you get your head round enhancing your measurement strategy to be based around sanity metrics, you'll really start to notice how the actions you make on your page start to affect success, and will start to get a really clear vision of how to grow your social media presence in the right way.
If you don't believe us, try it out for a month. We think you'll be surprised!