How Facebook Analytics Can Improve Your Social Media Engagement

There’s no denying that when it comes to social media marketing, Facebook continues to be the top dog on the web. Even as other platforms like Instagram and Snapchat gain popularity, it’s hard to argue with the appeal of 2.07 billion active users from all over the world who use Facebook each month.

With such a large audience available, it’s only natural that companies big and small have made Facebook a key element of their digital marketing strategy. Yet, while valuable resources are pumped into producing what is (hopefully) high-quality content, all too often, these Facebook marketing efforts go almost completely ignored.

This isn’t to say that people don’t engage on Facebook. In fact, in 2015, users “liked” content on Facebook at a rate of over 4 million posts per minute—proving that there’s ample opportunity to build an engaged digital community via social media.

But if you’ve been struggling to get likes, comments, or shares on your own content, it can be tempting to throw in the towel altogether. Don’t do that. Rather, your best bet is to turn to Facebook’s robust analytics platform to improve your posting strategy and increase your engagement.

The following are a few key analytics insights you should watch out for.

When should I post?

No matter how good your content is, if you’re posting it at the wrong time, it’s unlikely that many of your Facebook followers will interact with it—let alone see it. Of course, trying to determine the best time to post your content can be a frustrating task, especially when the various social media experts all offer differing opinions regarding the ideal time to post.

Thankfully, Facebook Analytics can offer you key insights beyond the demographic makeup of your Facebook audience. That’s because Facebook’s insights allows you to see when your fans are online.

Since the vast majority of engagement on a post occurs during the first few hours after you post it, finding the peak times (or days) when your audience is online can make a huge difference in your engagement levels. Perhaps even more importantly, posting during these times increases the likelihood that your content will reach new audiences thanks to your fans’ engagement.

If there are multiple times of day when your number of online fans peaks, don’t be afraid to try posting during these different hours to see which period gets the highest engagement.

Targeting

While we’ve discussed targeting before, combining Facebook’s Insights and targeting features can go a long way in helping your messages reach key audience groups. Facebook’s audience insights allow you to break down your followers by age, gender, geographic location, interests and more—but even more importantly, it can also showcase which of these groups has been most engaged with your content.

As you discover which of your audience groups are the most or least engaged with your content, you can subsequently adapt your post targeting and create content that is specifically meant to engage with these groups. For example, with Facebook’s “preferred audience” feature, you can prioritize your post distribution so that your content will be more likely to show up in the newsfeed of individuals whose interests make them more likely to interact with your page, while still reaching other audience members.

Alternatively, you can use audience restrictions to limit a post to a particular location or audience. This can be especially useful when you are conducting a promotion or campaign that is only applicable to one audience. By ensuring that your content only reaches relevant audience members, you can improve a post’s overall engagement and ROI.

Most importantly, Facebook’s Insights take these types of targeting into account in the reporting process, allowing you to better understand how targeting impacts your overall engagement levels.

Content is king

At the end of the day, the content you post to Facebook is the most important determining factor of your social media success. But how can you know which content is having the greatest impact on your audience? Once again, Facebook’s insights can come to your rescue.

It’s worth acknowledging that there are certain types of posts that have generally been found to be more effective at increasing user engagement. Posts that use high-quality photos or videos, ask questions, or promote contests are almost certainly going to be more intriguing than a short text-only post.

But the thing is, these rules aren’t set in stone. Your fans are unique, and the type of content that appeals to them may be different from what appeals to a broader audience. While it’s a good start to follow some of the experts’ content recommendations, you should also pay close attention to your post insights provided by Facebook.

Facebook Insights can provide you with a post-by-post breakdown of your content’s reach, clicks, and both positive and negative engagements. By examining the different levels of engagement on your posts, you can find patterns and trends that will allow you to tweak your content for greater effectiveness. Maybe your audience doesn’t respond well to certain types of videos. Or maybe the inclusion of a key CTA increases your comments. By using Facebook Insights to identify what works (or doesn’t work), it will be easier to adapt your content and improve your overall engagement.

Conclusion

While these are hardly the only factors that can affect your Facebook engagement, leveraging Facebook Insights to make key improvements in these areas can have a huge impact on your social media results. By using analytics data to adapt your posting strategy and content, you will be better equipped to form meaningful interactions with your audience.

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