Seems everyone these days is telling you how to best manage your Facebook page. But their numbers and recommendations are based on an analysis of the entire Facebook population. And, let’s face it, you shouldn’t worry about how other people use Facebook; you should worry about how your alums use Facebook.
If you allocate countless hours manually collecting analytics, spend untold dollars paying someone else to gather information for you, or are paralyzed just thinking about how to collect that data, these three insights will give you what you’re looking for in minutes…for free.
1. When should I post?
You spend your coveted time and effort crafting posts for your organization’s Facebook page. And then what? You know you should post to your page every day, but what time should you post to make sure you reach the most alums?
Use the “When Your Fans Are Online” Feature
This free feature is part of Facebook’s insights, which are built into every Facebook organization page. It shows you what days and times are optimal to post on your specific page to get the most engagement and reach with your fanbase.
What it does
The “When Your Fans Are Online” feature looks at data from the previous week and shows the average number of fans on Facebook by day of the week and time of day. You can see the overall average for the week or can hover over a specific day to see activity on that day alone.
How to use it
By seeing when your fans are most active on Facebook—updating statuses, adding friends, liking, and commenting—you can post content when your alums are most likely to see it in their News Feeds and engage with it.
On your organization page, click the “See Insights” tab, then the “Posts” tab to see the weekly activity averages. Then, simply hover your mouse over a specific day to compare the weekly activity averages to that day’s activity.
2. Am I reaching my alums?
Facebook has decreased the organic reach of page posts; even if 6,500 alums have liked your page, there’s no guarantee that your posts will show up in all of their News Feeds. That means it’s become even harder for you to know if you’re posts are reaching your alumni, so what’s the solution?
Use the “Reach” Feature
Lucky for you, Facebook’s free insights also report the total reach of each of your posts, so you can track how far your message is traveling through the social graph (which is optimized when you use the “When Your Fans Are Online” feature).
What it does
Facebook considers a post “seen” when it shows up in a user’s News Feed. It then measures Post Reach by counting the number of unique people who have seen a given post. Total Reach, on the other hand, is the number of unique users who saw any activity from your page, including posts, posts by other people, ads, mentions, and check-ins.
How to use it
Facebook breaks reach down further into Organic and Paid, allowing you to gauge if your current Facebook ad campaigns are delivering. Then, you can justify—or rethink—your investment in future campaigns accordingly.
From the “See Insights” tab, click the “Reach” tab. The first graph shows Post Reach, while the graph at the bottom of the page displays Total Reach.
3. Am I posting the right content?
It’s one thing to post a message that your alumni read. It’s another thing to post a message that resonates with and engages your alums. But aside from being in the room with alumni when they read each post, how do you know they like what you’re saying?
Use the “Engagement Rate” Feature
Once you’ve established that you’re reaching your alums, you want to make sure you’re keeping their attention. This feature—also a free part of Facebook’s insights—lets you see which posts are best engaging your alumni, so you can get a clear sense of the content they like and create more of it (and ditch the flops).
What it does
Engagement Rate is the percentage of people who saw a post and liked, shared, clicked, or commented on it. Awareness of your post success is crucial not only because you want your alumni to love your organization but also because Facebook will make you pay if you don’t engage them. How, you ask? If an alum sees one of your posts and doesn’t interact with it, Facebook will gradually reduce the number of times your posts show up in that alum’s News Feed.
How to use it
When combined with your Post Reach and Total Reach insights, Engagement Rate can have a profound effect on the success of your content. Together, these features measure your Facebook performance for specific posts and for your page as a whole. You can pinpoint the posts that drew the most engagement and create similar content to continue to effectively engage your alums.
From the “See Insights” tab, click the “Posts” tab. You’ll see a complete list of all the posts you’ve published on your page. You can sort the posts using the drop-down menu to focus on Clicks, Likes, Shares, Comments, or Engagement Rate. You can see all of these metrics for an individual post by clicking on it in the list; you can even see how many alumni (hopefully none) hid it or marked it as spam on their News Feeds.
So stop spending your energy and resources manually figuring out how to best reach your alums. Facebook’s already collecting that info for you, so you can concentrate on building a stellar, engaged community.