How to calculate negative feedback on Facebook

There is a way to analyze posts that your fans hide or mark as spam. You’ll learn more about their preferences than what they ‘like.’

By now, using Facebook Insights to gauge your page’s health is commonplace.

But the number of fans you have the number of likes you get can only tell you so much.

As a social media manager, you’re essentially in a relationship with your page. You have to know what your counterpart likes, what it doesn’t like, and how to turn those negatives into positives.

It’s easier than it sounds, I promise.

How to uncover negative feedback

Anyone familiar with Facebook Insights has probably exported data into spreadsheets at both a post and page level. A little gem called negative feedback stats is available on both. The stats at the post level are the most helpful to tighten your messaging.

In case you haven’t exported data before, follow these steps:

Go to the “insights” section of your admin dashboard.

Click “export” and select “post-level data,” as well as the dates you’d like to analyze. Once you click “download,” you’ll have your spreadsheet.

Within the “key metrics” tab, you’ll see two things: “lifetime negative feedback users” and “lifetime negative feedback from users.” Pay attention to the first, since it’s a unique number. The goal in this case is to see how many fans don’t like your messaging.

Here, negative feedback refers to the amount of times a fan has hidden your post or marked it as spam. You can see specifically what your fans are doing when you check out these tabs. It’s especially important to see how many people choose to hide all of your posts based on just one—this is the most dangerous.

If no one has hidden a post or marked it as spam, consider it positive feedback.

For example, one of my clients used to post links to a monthly sales flier, as well as content about the things you could do with the items in the flier. We noticed fans consistently hid the links to the flier, but not the informational “how to use this” posts. We stopped posting flier links and noticed a jump in likes, shares and comments on our other posts.

Analyze your work

Ideally, you should saturate your page with equal amounts of each content area. Say you’re a pet food brand that usually posts about pet health, things to do with your pet, and the health benefits of your product. You want to make sure you balance the amount of content from each area, or else your page might fall flat.

If you don’t balance your content, it could explain why your fans hide certain posts more than others. In general, you should adjust your content when you notice the following patterns:

  • Content about the same subject is hidden more frequently than content about other subjects.
  • Posts that don’t receive many likes, comments or shares are hidden more frequently than other posts.
  • The same type of post is hidden more often than other types. (For example, fans consistently hide your link posts, but not your photo posts.)

Don’t forget to compare negative feedback to your interactions—likes, shares, comments or answers—to paint a more complete picture. It’s nearly impossible to please everyone all the time, and chances are most or all of your posts will receive negative feedback. Your fans are individuals who have different preferences.

How to calculate your true negative feedback percentage

To see the percentage of people who gave your post some type of negative feedback, divide the number of people who gave the post negative feedback by its lifetime reach. (You’ll find this on the “key metrics” tab of your exported post-level data.) This will help you figure out which posts may have been less successful than others.

Why look at reach instead of impressions? Because reach is an organic number, and impressions is not. One person can see a post multiple times, but it won’t change how he feels about it (most of the time).

Where do we go from here?

Analytics about negative feedback may seem daunting at first, but it’s an important piece of a more thorough report.

You know your community best, and managing one is part art and part science. Using negative feedback as a component of your overall work can strengthen it, but don’t lose sight of your goals, initiatives, and purpose of being on Facebook in the first place.

Steph Parker is a community manager at Neiman, a brand conversation agency in Philadelphia. A version of this article originally appeared on Social Fresh.

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