Are you singularly focused on beefing up the number of “likes” on your Facebook page? Of course, there is some value in this: you can accumulate what amounts to a social media house list for ongoing marketing. If you spend too much time looking at this group, however, you could wind up missing a significant marketing opportunity – especially if your target audience is unlikely to give a brand a public show of support (i.e., unlikely to “like” a page).
Much of my social media marketing experience comes in regulated industries. Currently, I run marketing for a publishing company that focuses on regulated areas (investor relations and corporate governance). Needless to say, the rules are different from most sectors, and this has an obvious and predictable impact on the behavior of the target market. People are more than happy to consume our social media content, but they tend to be less willing to advocate for it publicly. It took some digging on Facebook to figure out the behavior, but the exercise led to some effective marketing opportunities.
There are some people who won’t want to “endorse” your social media content or presence. In some cases, it can be construed as a recommendation, which brings with it liability risk. Or, it will signal their interests, which essentially gives advice to the competition. Needless to say, these activities aren’t exactly productive. Nonetheless, they will consume your content. Readily. Hungrily.
So, how do you keep track of this?
If you haven’t delved into the Insights dashboard on your Facebook page, it’s time to take the plunge. Take a look at the impressions you generate, as well as the demographic information available, and you’ll gain a new understanding of how your target market interacts with your Facebook page. If you only have a handful of followers but wind up with thousands of impressions, you may be doing a better job than you think. Analyze the data that’s available to you, and take action to adjust your social media marketing strategy accordingly.
There are two areas you’ll want to watch: content engagement and page engagement.
Take a look at what content is being viewed, and then head over to your web analytics platform and see where the click-throughs are going. This will give you a sense of the content that is resonating with your Facebook users. Also, note the difference between logged-in and logged-out impressions. The latter is where you may find an extra dose of action. These are people who may be interacting with your content (and brand) without taking the step to like you. Though you can’t get as much information, this data is still helpful in making content and targeting decisions.
Next, spend some time learning how users engage with your page. How are they getting there? Are Google searches sending them to your Facebook page? If so, this has implications for your approach to search engine optimization and search engine marketing. Are they clicking over from your blog or corporate site? If so, they might be abandoning short of a like (which means you should take a look at “social media conversion” or it could just be curiosity traffic. Maybe users are taking a look at photos from your last event. Examine your content to see what else you could do either to get a “like” or simply to make the visit to your Facebook page richer for your users.
The metrics you get from your Facebook Insights, ultimately, should inform your social media and online marketing strategies. Use what you learn from the data to make changes that will help you maximize productive impressions and turn visits into opt-ins and conversions. Spend time understanding your Facebook traffic, and you’ll invest in future results.