Before customers visit a small business today they scope it out online, and Facebook is their preferred resource for doing so.
More than 60% of shoppers in a G/O Digital survey said Facebook is the most useful social media network for researching a local or small business. Facebook offers, along with positive reviews can have a significant impact on shoppers, G/O Digital reports in “Facebook Advertising: The Social Commerce Lifeline for Small Businesses.”
Posting to your Facebook page isn’t enough on its own to catch the attention of customers though, because only a fraction of your fans are likely to see any post. Facebook constantly updates the algorithm that determines which posts people see in their news feed, to better focus on content users consider valuable. So the more connected and engaged your fans are with your content, such as commenting on and sharing posts, the more likely people will be to see your posts in their news feed.
If Facebook has been an afterthought in your marketing so far, it’s time to take it seriously and start crunching the numbers. Studying the available analytics through Page Insights allows you to post more effectively and efficiently to your Facebook business page.
What the Numbers Tell You
After at least 30 people have liked your small business page, you have access to “Insights” technology at the top of your page. From the data available you can determine:
- Whether your posts are reaching people. See how many people saw a post in their news feed under the Posts section.
- What engages your fans. The Posts section also shows how many people clicked on a post and how many liked, commented or shared a post. You’ll see total activity on post, even after it has been shared by other people. For example, on your own Page, you will see only the number of people who liked a post there, but Insights can also show you how many people liked a post after someone shared it. Under Posts, you can see activity on a specific post, and under Reach, you can see the level of engagement over a date range. Examining trends allows you to identify what types of content your audience responds to most, such as photos, links or videos.
- When to post. Page Insights tells you when people have liked your Facebook page, both day of the week and time of day. Under the Posts section, check When Your Fans Are Online. That allows you to post when your fans are most likely to see a new item.
- How to lead people to your page. The Visits section under Insights shows which sites people were on before coming to your Facebook page. For example, learn whether they were searching on Google or read a news article or blog post that mentioned your business.
- Whether ads are paying off. Insights show how many people saw your post through an advertisement, “paid reach,” and those who saw it without an ad, “organic reach.”
- How your competitors are doing. After at least 100 people like your page, you can set Pages to Watch. That allows you to see how many people have liked and engaged in the past week with your competitors’ pages. Page administrators will know someone is watching, but not whom. So if you see a competitor gaining a big advantage on Facebook, you can study what strategy is working for them.
Under the Ads Manager tool you can also access Audience Insights, which shows information not only about who engaged with your page but groups of Facebook users you can define. It reveals more demographic information, which devices people use to access Facebook and their purchasing behaviors.
Analysis Beyond Facebook
Facebook data is only one of many tools you can use to analyze the impact of your Facebook posts and fine-tune your marketing efforts. With the Social Reports in Google Analytics, for example, you can track how social media sites are driving traffic to your primary business website. You also can see when people from those sources buy from your site or take other actions, such as signing up for a newsletter, even if it’s not on their first visit to your site.
Discover more ways to convert likes on Facebook into sales in “Turn Facebook Fans into Customers.”