Tips and tricks for optimizing Facebook analytics

Looking beyond ‘likes’ is important, regardless of the nature of your brand.

Though many brands are on a clear race for “likes,” those smart Facebook page owners will be looking beyond the number of “likes” and into more detailed analytics that show them how their page is performing, and where they stand in relation to their competitors.

Facebook itself offers a comprehensive analytics dashboard, and I wanted to take a look at tips for using this, as well as offering other tools that can help you get more out of your insights. As with most analytics, remember that the magic really comes when you make actions off the data and don’t fall into analytics overload.

See what you did right/wrong

Under the Users dashboard in Facebook, you can access a simple graph that tells you how many new “likes” and “unlikes” you get each day. This is incredibly valuable information, as it enables you to see what’s working for you on your page. When you see an unusual pattern, such as a sudden increase in the number of “unlikes,” look for what you did that day that might have turned people off. Did you post too often, close a competition, or post irrelevant content? Try to find a pattern, and make sure you don’t keep doing the same thing.

Optimize your traffic referrers

Also within the Users dashboard in Facebook Insights, you can see the external traffic drivers to your page. Pay attention and optimize these in order to get even better results. You should also be looking at those sites that are referring traffic, but maybe not at the level you had hoped for. If you’re running a promotion on your own site or another site, for example, and the traffic isn’t coming through, you might need to look at how well you’re enticing people or how prominent the link is. The external referrers are incredibly important for growing your fan count organically, so make sure to optimize this activity.

Are your fans actually active?

If you’re investing in a campaign to drive up the fan count on your page, you should look at whether these fans are actually active or are just contributing to an idle number of likes. Use Facebook Insights to track daily, weekly or monthly users. If this number isn’t where you’d expect it to be, consider how you might drive interaction or, more important, bring the right kind of fans into your page.

Implement on-click tagging

Although Facebook’s own insights tell you a lot about how fans are performing on your page, you can get more in-depth analysis by combining with your own analytics package. By implementing on-click tagging for a Facebook app for example, you can get a complete overview of how the app is performing. Through this you can effectively see drop-off rates, such as the number of people who entered their email addresses versus the number of people who simply landed on the page. If you’re getting high drop-off rates at certain points, maybe you’re asking for too much information, perhaps or the page isn’t user-friendly, so you’re losing the conversion.

Track against competitors

Social Bakers is a great site for getting free Facebook stats worldwide, as well as those that apply more specifically to you. If you want to see how many “likes” you’re getting compared with your competitors—perhaps for benchmarking before a new campaign—you can do this easily through Social Bakers. Simply click on “pages” at the top, then filter by country and category to view the page breakdown by industry. As well as looking at the overall number of fans, you can also look at the rate of growth to see, for example, whether a new promotion is driving up your Facebook numbers. This information is also important for your own Facebook page, so you can get a quick overview of how quickly you’re driving fans.

Get Insights for your own site

A lesser-known feature of Facebook Insights is the ability to track analytics for your own website. This enables you to see how content is being shared throughout your site, such as the number of “likes,” or links that are being shared through Facebook. Here you can choose who can view that information, setting this either for your profile or a particular Facebook page. You can also access additional insights such as how many impressions a particular link or content has gained. This is great information to show how your content is performing socially; you can see the type of content that is shared most often and then try to replicate it.

Lauren Fisher is one of the founds of Simply Zesty, where this article originally ran.

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