6 Ways Facebook Analytics Ninjas Get Mega-Likes

How can you use Facebook page insights and analytics tools to increase your likes?

If you’re not a complete Facebook beginner, you know you need a good Feedback rate (more likes and comments on your posts) to stay visible to your fans. We’ve already used PageLever data to show that a shockingly low percentage of fans see most pages’ posts.

Okay, so you’re ready to improve your results… But getting better results in online marketing requires good analytics. Which Facebook page analytics should you use?

Although Facebook’s free insights are interesting, the data isn’t easy to use for optimization. I often come away saying, “Well, things overall look good (or bad).” But how do you get more granular and comparative data to help you get better results?

The Facebook analytics service PageLever (which is used by YouTube, Nike and Microsoft and other companies, analyzing a total of 250 million fans and growing) just left beta and is now publicly available. Much of the data comes from Facebook’s API but isn’t available in Facebook’s free Page Insights.

I like to say the most constructive way to use any analytics package is to go to it with a question in mind. Here are five key questions you can answer with PageLever to help you get more likes and comments, thus increasing your posts’ visibility to your fans.

1. How often should you post on your Facebook page?

A lot of people assume it’s best to post at the same frequency all the time — for example, once a day. Should update post again if your last post is still getting new likes and comments? And how do you know if you’re not posting often enough?

In PageLever, you can check on a specific post to watch for when its engagement levels off. If it flatlines and isn’t getting more impressions or feedback, then the post is basically dead, and it’s time to put another one out. If you wait too long after this, you’re missing an opportunity. If you post too soon, you may clutter your fans’ news feeds with more than one of your posts, which could lead to unliking or just general ill will.

2. What if the demographics of your most engaged users is different from your average fan demographic?

Facebook Insights tells you about your overall fan base, but not the demo of your most active fans. PageLever gives you both.

Comparing the demographics of active fans to all fans helps you target your post content and think about whether your posts are written in a way that doesn’t engage more people. Are you accidentally posting in a way that appeals to men but turns off your female fans?

This demographic comparison also helps you think about whether you want to change the ad targeting you use to get new fans. Is the active fan demographic telling you that you actually should be getting more fans with the demo of the active ones?

3. What types of posts and post content get you the best feedback rates? And which get the worst?

PageLever’s posts by page gives you all your posts to analyze, whereas Facebook insights only shows the last ten posts. If you wanted to analyze more, you’d have to go through all your posts by hand, or… PageLever collects all of this into a sortable chart. The first thing you should do is sort by engagement rate, which is the same as what Facebook calls feedback rate, so that the highest is at the top.

Now look at the top five to ten posts and note the type of post (photo versus video or link, and so on), and of course the content. Then sort the other way, putting the lowest engagement rate at the top, and note the same things about those posts. Do you see any patterns? Are photos best? Are links worst? Do posts with calls to action get better results?

This kind of analysis can help you come up with ideas for new posts, and then go back a week or two later and see if your theory about what gets the best engagement worked for you.

4. What’s the best time to post to your fans?

Use the same post analysis from the previous tip to see how time of day affects your engagement.

Make sure to looks at the same post types, since that could throw your analysis off. If photos get you the best engagement, check out how photos posted in the morning versus the evening fare in terms of engagement rate. If you only currently post once a day and always at the same time, you’ll have to switch this up before you’ll have the data with which to compare.

5. Which sources give you fans that unlike your page in bunches?

Facebook’s free insights tell you where your fans come from, but not the origin of the ones who unlike your page later. PageLever tells you both.

For example, if you incentivize fans to suggest a page to their friends, what percentage of the fans you get from that source ulimately click unlike? In a number of the pages I’ve looked at, this percentage is rather high. Here’s an example (image above) where about one out of every 10,000 fans from ads unliked, but almost one third that came from suggestions unliked. Fan retention looks to be much higher when fans come from ads.

6. How To Use These Tips To Get Mega-Likes

To summarize, here’s how you turn all that intelligence into more likes:

  1. Post at exactly the right frequency, which maximizes both exposure and weekly number of post likes.
  2. Post in a way that appeals most to your fan base demographic.
  3. Identify the demo that likes your posts the most so you can get more fans like that with ads.
  4. Switch to favoring the post types that get you the best results.
  5. Find the best time to post in order to maximize likes.
  6. Identify fan sources that might be wasteful because they end up unliking at a high rate.

Go forth and become more likeable!

Brian Carter is Chief Executive Officer of the training company FanReach and freelances as a Facebook consultant.