The Single Best Measure of Success on Facebook

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Facebook’s data package, Insights, has been a great addition for anyone using Facebook for marketing.

However, much like other data analytics programs, like Google Analytics for instance, there is no end of data to seek out and report on.

 

Quite frankly, I think some people go fishing into the data hole to find impressive numbers that look great, but really don’t tell you much.

For example, looking at a clients Facebook page right now tells me that in December their “post reach” was over 300,000 – that’s on a website that only gets about 45,000 pageviews a month.

Big numbers where I am not seeing a resulting big impact on other web assets often make me question whether the numbers might be inflated, or at least not living up to their hype.

When it comes to Facebook, there is one metric buried way into the massive spreadsheet (sorry) that I think is the best measure of the effectiveness of your Facebook page.

The measure is called “Lifetime Post Impressions by people who have liked your Page” and it shows how many of your fans have engaged in any of the posts you have – I think of it as the equivalent of a pageview metric for your Facebook posts.

I like this measure because there is no assumptions on reach or potential reach or potential audience etc. – it is as a pure a measure as you’re going to get on Facebook.

As I mentioned it is buried way in the CSV/Excel spreadsheet you pull of Facebook (again, apologies), but it is worth the effort.

Here’s how you find it.

Go to the top right corner on your Facebook Insights page and hit “Export data” and in the pop-up window, select a date range and make sure you click on the “post level data.”

fan reach

Once you have downloaded the file go to column W (told you it was buried) “”Lifetime Post Impressions by people who have liked your Page.”

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Final step is easy, take the total for that column and plug it into a spreadsheet and track it monthly.

From that, I can calculate a percentage in growth month-over-month.

Ideally there is a continuous nice curve upwards over time with some big spikes here and there from outstanding content – when you see these spikes, look to see what post was to blame and do more posts like that one.

To be sure, there other metrics that are important to keep an eye, like traffic referring to your site from Facebook and overall page likes, but when someone asks me “how’s my Facebook page performing?” this is the metric I have the most confidence in using to answer that question.