Customer engagement in your social media marketing initiative is a valuable marketing metric that should be measured. Marketers know that Facebook is important for branding, relationship-building, and lead generation; however, results can be less-than-straightforward to measure.
How do businesses gauge whether people are seeing status updates? How do marketers know whether a page is growing at a faster or slower rate over time? On any given day, how many fans are actually engaged?
Facebook Insights is a free data tool that can answer these key questions. Accompanying every brand page, the resource quantifies a variety of engagement metrics to help marketers assess reach, growth, and user interaction in their fan communities. Through visual reporting tools and exportable data sets, page administrators can identify changes over time, existing strengths, and areas for improvement.
Here are five metrics that marketers should consistently analyze to determine engagement.
1. Active Users
A page's total number of fans quantifies the total number people who opted-in to express positive sentiment toward that business. In other words, fans are people who have, at some point, committed to "liking" a brand.
After that moment, fans will follow one of two paths: (1) they will stop engaging with that brand or (2) they will continue to engage with that brand by liking status updates, commenting on questions, taking polls, or sharing content.
In addition to tracking total fans, Facebook Insights keeps a record of active users on a daily basis. Defined as the number of unique users who interact with a brand's posts, this metric quantifies how many people are talking about a page on Facebook.
By exporting this data to Excel or another spreadsheet program, brands can easily track the proportion of total fans who are staying engaged each day. Monitoring this metric, marketers can identify content that has attracted attention while maintaining a record of patterns over time.
Facebook Insights presents a demographic overview of a fan page's community. Marketers can quickly see the top-represented gender and age groups as well as the metropolitan areas where users are concentrated. Geography, gender, and age data can help marketers custom-tailor content to appeal to their readers, facilitating improved levels of engagement. Rather than broadcasting impersonal messages, page administrators can write status updates that reach people on an individual level.
3. Referral Sources
This information can help marketers optimize and refine their fan growth strategy. External referrers are the domains that sent traffic to a Facebook page. Through Facebook Insights, marketers can also track internal like sources from Facebook features including recommended pages, profile connect, page profiles, and timelines.
Using this information, marketers can better understand their strengths and weaknesses for fan recruitment. To improve internal referral numbers, brands may want to write more sociable, conversational, and compelling status copy.
4. Impressions & Pageviews
Available on a per-post and per-day basis, marketers can track the number of times that people viewed a page's newsfeed story. This data includes people who are fans and non-fans, alike. Tracking impressions on a day-by-day basis can help brands monitor change over time. Tracking impressions on a per-post basis can help page administrators understand whether certain posts were more popular than others. Overall, impression data helps marketers assess a Facebook page's reach.
Pageview metrics provide an added dimension to impression data by explaining how many people are visiting tabs, walls, apps, and informational pages on a daily basis. These numbers are generally much smaller than impression metrics; however, they provide value by quantifying a brand's pull-mechanism on Facebook. Are expensive game-apps and sweepstakes worth the investment? Pageview data can help answer these questions.
All pages will experience some level of unsubscribing; however, it is important to look for spikes and increases over time. Peaking unsubscribes may be a sign that people are becoming annoyed, and overall increases may be a sign that people are losing interest in the page. Still, unsubscribes should not be a cause for worry; rather, they should provide a reference point for improvement.
For a big-picture understanding of user engagement all of these data points require analysis in the context of one another. This way, marketers will better understand their reach and influence and create a plan for consistent improvement.