Facebook can be a very important source of traffic to your site, but as with any marketing channel, it’s important to understand the performance of your campaigns. But Facebook offers so much data that it can be hard to tease out what’s most important. This tutorial will go over the key metrics that a marketer should measure on organic posts and paid ads.
What Facebook Metrics Should a Marketer Measure on Organic Posts?
Facebook and third parties provide very rich data sets around performance of your posts but the key metrics can be categorized into three categories: visibility, engagement and impact.
Three primary visibility metrics are:
- Reach: Aggregates organic and paid reach and it speaks to how many people were exposed to the post.
- Impressions: The number of times your post was seen. It is related to reach, but the same post could be seen by a user multiple times, adding to the number of impressions.
- Likes and Follows: Defines your primary audience size since these are users who have signed up to see your posts. Users who’ve liked or followed your page are sometimes called fans. It doesn’t mean that they always will see your posts since that will be determined by Facebook’s algorithm. It also doesn’t mean they are the only ones who may see your posts since they can share your posts with their own networks.
Visibility metrics have several important uses
- Digging into reach and impressions by post can help you understand what posts resonated with your audience and/or with Facebook’s algorithm.
- Tracking likes and follows over time can speak to the long term health of your Facebook marketing. In general you want your fans to grow over time.
Primary engagement metrics are:
- Engagement (clicks, reactions, comments, shares, etc…): Measures how many people interacted with your content in any way (clicks, reactions, comments, shares, etc…).
- Video retention: If you’re posting videos, this metric will let you know how much content your audience is watching.
Engagement is critical because it is a key factor in Facebook’s algorithm. The more engagement a post has, the more likely it is to be shown to more of your followers. Monitoring engagement by post can help you learn what resonates with your audience.
Often, the purpose of your organic posts isn’t purely to have a presence on Facebook, but to get that Facebook audience to your website. The primary way to measure the real impact
- Referral traffic from Facebook: Reflects how many Facebook users you were able to compel to click through to your website
- Conversion rate of Facebook referral traffic: Measures the percent of users coming from Facebook who converted on your site
These impact metrics can’t be measured through the Facebook platform, but you can easily measure them in Google Analytics in the Acquisition - Social - Network Referrals report. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to parse out performance of each post, but you can monitor the trend of the metrics over time. You can then refer to the posts that were active during that time to learn what posts worked the best.
What Facebook Metrics Should a Marketer Measure on Paid Ads?
If you run paid ads on Facebook, besides the metrics above, you’ll also want to closely monitor these ad performance metrics:
- Click-through rate: Measures the percent of users who saw your ad and clicked on it
- Cost per click / cost per thousand impressions (CPC / CPM): Depending on which pricing option you have set, tracks the cost of clicks or impressions
- Cost per action (CPA): Measures the cost per action out of the actions you have defined in Facebook. These could be watching a video, visiting your site, making a purchase, etc.
- Ad Frequency: Measures the average number of times your audience has seen an ad (impressions / reach). In general, you want your ad to be seen enough times to resonate with users, but not so much that you turn them off.
You should monitor these metrics carefully and across ads to learn what works with your audience and how to optimize your marketing campaigns.
Facebook can be a very important source of traffic to your site, but to take full advantage of it you need to carefully monitor performance of your posts and ads.