Underrated Ways to Use Facebook Analytics for Growth
It’s a huge misconception that data-driven work is cold and heartless. The truth is that the application of data is downright creative at its core. In this article, I’ll go over the basics of using Facebook analytics for growth. I’ll also cover some of my favorite underrated ways to use data to gain Facebook fans.
Facebook Analytics 101: Overview, Scheduling & Notifications
The Overview is the default page when you access Facebook Analytics. It’s a great way to view your results at a glance. There’s a couple things to note here that are a bit misleading. First, the Page Likes total here is your total likes gained, not net likes. For a more accurate look at page like growth, go to the Likes tab. Second, look at the date range on the default 7-day view. It should show the last 7 days, not including today’s results. I’ve confused myself in the past over this in the past and I imagine many others have as well.
Post Scheduling is the most obvious application of Facebook Analytics in practice. Head over to the Posts tab and you’ll get an hourly breakdown of when your fans are online. The highest points of the graph are when you want to schedule your posts so they can be seen by the most people. I take it a step further and schedule posts slightly before peak. This is so that a post has a bit of time to gain traction before reaching peak hours. I can’t speak for all audiences, but it’s worked for mine and my client’s over the years. The next thing to consider when scheduling Facebook posts is your demographic data. Under the People tab, you can see where exactly your fans are from. In my case, I have a split between American and Asian fans so I’ll actually post content that caters to each demographic during peaks.
The Notifications tab of a Facebook Page often gets vastly ignored for a few reasons. There’s no sorting options, making it hard to navigate. When your page reaches any reasonable amount of engagement, it’s just too much to actively monitor. I typically turn off notifications and emails for Facebook Pages immediately. However, there’s real value in this menu and I make it a habit to check daily.
Actually, we’re more concerned with the Activity section than Notifications. Reviews, Mentions and Shares are incredibly important for young brands on Facebook. Reviews need to be handled delicately and the sooner the better. Reward your positive reviewers with discounts and exclusive content. See what makes the mind of negative reviewers tick. Reach out to them and see if there’s anything you can do to improve their experience with your brand.
Mentions and Shares are great because you can see what other pages are interacting with you. Unfortunately, there’s no way to sort between regular Facebook users and Facebook Pages in this menu. It’s been on my Facebook features wish list for years, so don’t expect that to change anytime soon. The simple solution is to hire a virtual assistant and pay them to fill up a spreadsheet of all brands that mention your page or share your content. From here, it’s time to start the cold outreach game to build relationships. Share for share is a great way to introduce your content to new audiences. Keep it simple, there’s no need to oversell on your first message. Here’s a template that I’ve used in the past:
Hey [Page Name], I saw that you shared my [topic] post. Our brands have very similar audiences, are you interested in cross promotion? I think my fans would love what you do.
Pages to Watch: Facebook Analytics’ Secret Weapon
Honestly, this is the most valuable asset in Facebook Analytics as a whole in my opinion. The only downside is that I’ve found this section to be super glitchy. Sometimes it won’t load at all (from any of my pages or accounts) only for it to return a couple days later. Fortunately, this isn’t something you need to be checking daily. Weekly or even less often will do the trick. To reach Pages to Watch, head back to the Insights Overview and scroll all the way down.
Pages to Watch is exactly as it sounds: Facebook allows you to build a list of pages to monitor. It’s a great way of spying on your competitors and using their data to push your brand forward. It can be a huge wake up call for brand managers. You might realize you aren’t whipping out enough content to be competitive or that you’ve fallen behind trends. Facebook is a rapidly evolving platform, so it’s essential to adapt your strategy to new algorithm and feature changes. The top brands of your niche are likely on top of the ball, so here’s your chance to take notes.
Monitoring Competitors’ Top Performing Content
After adding a page to your list, click on their name. This handy menu will pop up showcasing their top performing posts from the last 7 days. Pretty straightforward.
Monitoring Your Brand’s Top Performing Content
In the same vein that you can monitor competitors’ content, the feature works the same for your own page. Click on your name and you’ll get your top posts from the last 7 days. While it’s possible to get this information from the Posts tab, you’d still have to manually sift through your posts so this menu is the clear winner. There are 3 ways I use this data, all of which have proven to be major factors in achieving consistent organic growth on Facebook:
1. Know exactly what type of content to produce in the future
2. Grab your top posts and share them into relevant Facebook groups
3. Save your top posts and repost it 2-3 months later
Understanding Your Place Among Competition
Most importantly, Pages to Watch shows you exactly where you stand in your niche. If you’re a competitive person, here’s where you’ll spend a lot of time obsessing over page performance. The satisfaction of slipping past a competitor’s page or getting higher engagement than them with a smaller audience is unreal. If you aren’t reaching those levels, it’s a kick in the ass to work harder.
Compare your growth rate with your competitors. If you aren’t stacking up anywhere close, it’s time to figure out why. Are you posting enough in a week or be competitive? Organic fanbase growth on Facebook is almost purely a numbers game. The newsfeed algorithm favors consistent posting and high volume. It rewards that consistency with post reach. Many marketing experts agree it’s best to space out your posts every 4 hours at most. I don’t follow that belief. One post every 4 hours should be the minimum for organic growth. You get on that schedule until your posts have predictable results and then increase your frequency. The larger your fanbase is, the more frequent you should post.
At a certain point, you can actually use predictive analytics to determine a post’s engagement. I’ve found an extremely consistent growth hack for organic Facebook growth using this idea that works best with established audiences. If you have a brand (or a client) that’s above 300k page likes, shoot me an email and let’s chat. I’ve been able to gain 20k-60k page likes monthly for sustained periods of time for a handful of brands already using this method.
Facebook Analytics are the key to organic growth.
Despite practically living within Facebook Analytics, I’m curious as to how others are using them. I assume there’s some creative ways to use demographic data out there that I’ve never touched. If you’ve got a cool applications of Facebook data, leave it in the comments below. Better yet, shoot me an email and let’s set up a Skype call to trade tips. Cheers to a strong start to 2018.