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The Three Numbers to Watch on Facebook Posts

Understanding success or failure of marketing on Facebook can be broken down to the basic element: the post. Judging the effectiveness of your posts is clear and easy with Facebook Insights.

While the platform (finally) has a robust dashboard that allows users to dive deep into the effectiveness of their page, there are three numbers to monitor for each individual post that can help you know if you're truly finding success.

 

Post Clicks

This is the easy one, but it's also the one that needs a clear understanding. "Clicks" on a post are different depending on what type of post it is. Any link associated with the post counts as a click, so whether they click the name of the page, the date, the link if it's a link post, the play button on a video, the image itself on an image post, or the "more" button to expose more of a status update, it counts.

This number has to be viewed in relation to other posts of its kind. For example, getting 50 clicks on a link to your website is more impressive than getting 60 clicks to an image because images get clicked a lot more often than links. Comparing how links perform relative to other links is the right way to look at these numbers.

 

Likes, Comments, and Shares

This is a no-brainer. Did they engage? Did they find enough entertainment or informative value in your post to do something publicly with it?

If you make statements, you should get likes from those who agree. If you ask questions, you should get comments from people replying. If it's an image, are people sharing it? These are the pieces of information that you'll want to track and improve upon when viewing this number.

 

Post Reach

This is the all-important number of the group. Regardless of how many people are interacting with your content or clicking through to your posts or links, are enough people seeing it? The previous two numbers have an influence on reach, but they are usually superseded by the advertising dollars spent.

If you're advertising, the previous two numbers are still extremely important. Throwing money at bad posts will get you a short-term gain, but it isn't sustainable. If your advertised posts are not able to get the positive algorithmic benefits of engagement and clicks, your dollars are going to start yielding less. Thankfully, the opposite is true as well.

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Tags: Advertising, Facebook, Marketing, Social, Social Media, measurement, metrics, reports

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Comment by Alexander Lau on November 6, 2013 at 10:55am

Yes, that's absolutely correct Dennis. All of the wrong processes and understanding is at play currently. Very few execute correctly and the ones doing it correctly are getting lucky.

Comment by Dennis Yu on November 6, 2013 at 10:53am

Alexander- I'm with you.  Let's shift the conversation from theory to actual results that dealers share.

Lots of great tools out there, but without traffic, there are no leads or conversions. No different than the website days of 10 years ago where there were all these website making tools, generating no traffic.

Most dealers have no traffic from Facebook to their site and no email collection from Facebook. It's not a Facebook-centric problem-- it's true across most of digital.

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 6, 2013 at 10:44am

@ Dennis Yu, "...drive email collection, check-ins, awareness, leads, and sales." Sound good in theory, but this just isn't the case for most dealers. I'll admit there are some great tools out there, such as http://www.socialups.com (specifically engineered with the automotive retailer in mind), but even they admit the collection of leads and conversions are extremely low. Awareness, yes, that's what it's good for, looking good to the general public and your community. We've been through this many times. :-)

Comment by Dennis Yu on November 6, 2013 at 9:46am

What's interesting to me is that so many people like to talk philosophically about Facebook and like to talk about what they heard someone else say they heard.  How about just applying the principles that we know work in automotive-- to drive email collection, check-ins, awareness, leads, and sales?  

There are plenty of dealers and OEMs that are doing this well, driving business results (not fans or a nonsense social metric). They quietly go about doing what they're doing while the philosophers pontificate.

As an industry, we need to get more into the business of sharing hard results and a step-by-step process that anyone can follow to get the same results on Facebook.  Check out insidefacebook.com/author/dennis and allfacebook.com/author/dennis for real case studies by real small business and let me know what you think.

The more real sharing of data, the better, right!

And if you have real case studies of what you did-- not a testimonial, but hard results-- reach out to me so we can feature you.

Thanks,

Dennis

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 6, 2013 at 9:26am

Does Facebook marketing actually work (particularly for small businesses)? 

Sure, people will offer data on increased clicks, visits, impressions, etc. But those are all soft metrics. You can get a 13 year-old to click on any ad just by varying the image on that ad. It’s not enough to know that Facebook creates less value than other marketing channels. Does it create ANY meaningful value?

Businesses are spending billions of dollars marketing products and services on Facebook. Marketers are making tons of money. Facebook is making tons of money. It’s a win-win – except for the vast majority of the million advertisers burning through their budgets on ineffective Facebook ads.

Marketers and analysts are fiddling while marketing budgets burn. Advertising is broken.

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 6, 2013 at 9:04am

Mr. Zuckerberg:

Facebook is failing marketers.

I know this statement sounds remarkable, perhaps even unbelievable. After all, you offer marketers access to the largest audience in media history and you know a remarkable amount about each of your users. As a result nearly every large company now markets on Facebook. Last year your company collected more than $4 billion in advertising revenues.

But while lots of marketers spend lots of money on Facebook today, relatively few find success.

In August, Forrester surveyed 395 marketers and eBusiness executives at large companies across the US, Canada and the UK — and these executives told us that Facebook creates less business value than any other digital marketing opportunity.

According to Forrester, Facebook came in last out of 13 online marketing strategies and sites.

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 5, 2013 at 9:29am

Actually, Google Analytics isn't going to cut it anymore, entirely. Especially for keyword analysis, as it's no longer going to be made available to the public. 

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/google-gone-dark-search-giant-1429554...

Now, all Google search is securely encrypted, and web site owners can no longer look at Google Analytics to see exactly which words people use when searching Google to find their sites.

Rather go with SEMRush a tool that does analysis on the SERP level.

We're talking about Social Media in this post, in my example interfaces, our tools find out which post or keyword (social signal) is being used to convert via Social Media avenues.

In your post, you're not digging in hard enough Matthew. If you don't know which keywords to go after (search volume) and which keywords convert for you, regardless of having goals set up, you're not going anywhere fast. With gShift, you're able to pull in your GA goal settings and based upon that, keywords are measured for their conversion prowess. 

Now, there are different thoughts on what defines a conversion.

Comment by Matthew O'Such on November 5, 2013 at 9:19am

I respectfully disagree with Dennis' thoughts on Google Analytics (or other services) not being able to properly track dealership metrics and put the responsibility on the automotive industry's slow adoption to the functionality GA can provide any business.

When vendors in the automotive industry make an effort to integrate as much data as they can with GA, the experience changes, data becomes reality   ... but they're not...

.

My comment became too long so I turned it into an industry Question piece, see my ADM post about: 

A Lack of Analytics Integration in the Automotive Industry

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 5, 2013 at 7:25am

In other words, I know what's converting for you via Social Media using our SEO CRM. What I've shown below (Social Media and Signals) can be broken down with granularity. 

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 5, 2013 at 7:22am

Social signals at the page level and domain level are incredibly important now, not just in the future. We measure all of your social signals for you and place an ROI on the performance.

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