How To Use Facebook Metrics To Give Your Audience the Content They Want Most

Posted on February 23, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

This article by Beth Kanter is very informative and wil give you some great ideas on how to spice up your social media posts.

In terms of Social Media metrics and measuring the effectiveness of your posts, CommsConsole has very powerful reporting capabilities so you have all your reporting in one place. Plus, CommsConsole enables you to schedule your posts so you can experiment with timing, as Beth suggests below.

Thank you for the information, Beth!

Kathie van

How To Use Facebook Metrics To Give Your Audience the Content They Want MostAre you achieving your goals?

This post covers some simple techniques to give your fans the content they want most and inspire more engagement. Many times we’re on the hunt for the tips of what to do and when we find them, we just implement them. But how do you know if those tips are producing results? To get more impact, you need to do some measurement to help you continuously improve and get more ideas about what to try next. This posts offers some tips on how to use measurement to share content on Facebook that your fans really, really want. You’ll enjoy more visibility, more interaction, and more conversions.

I found this wonderful infographic that takes you through the process of setting goals, making them measurable, picking your metrics, and making decisions based on your data. What caught my eye was that last step of looking at your data and figuring out if you have met your goal. The infographic offers a yes/no decision tree that I think is an excellent analysis framework that can lead to improvement.

Facebook analytics programs like Insights, Edgerank Checker, and Simply Measured free reports give you tons of data points. I only look at these:

Content Analysis of Comments on post and shares

I look at these on a per post basis. I also pay attention to and test these variables: Time of Day, Day of Week, Content Type

Here’s some tips on providing powerful content for your Facebook channel that you can improve with measurement.

1. Timely, Relevant, and Quality Content: I have found that using the technique of ”news jacking” or piggy backing on breaking news that is relevant to your audience and giving it your spin, inspires more comments and shares. For example, when I shared this cartoon about PR disasters during the Komen’s flap, received a high number of shares and comments compared to other content post in the last month. I’ve learned by tracking my content against metrics that relevancy rules – and sharing relevant links with conversation starters produces interaction.

2. A Picture Can Inspire Many Shares or Comments: Again the visuals have to be relevant to your audience. I also know from tracking my metrics against content for years now that my Facebook audience responses to easily digestible practical information, especially tips expressed visually or relevant humor. For example, this post illustrating some simple privacy tips received a high number of post shares and comments. This post, testing the concept that babies and cute animal photos get shared more often, received a high number of likes and no shares.

3. Variety of Content Adds Spice To Your Page: Want to claim a space in your fans’ News Feeds? Vary the content you post. Facebook’s Edgerrank, the score that determines what content gets into users newsfeeds, rewards variety. Don’t just post links all the time. Make sure your posts vary and include photos, videos, polls, status updates, questions, and links. When I’m sketching out my editorial plan for the month, I column for “type” to make sure I don’t get stuck in a content type rut. I also look at the analytics for engagement by content type per post.

4. Consistency is Not the Hobgoblin of Small Minds: Research has shown that if you have a consistent posting schedule of high quality content that your audience wants, they will come to you. Dan Zarrella’s research suggests posting every other day is is optimal. This is a general rule of thumb that you should test and adapt for your audience. Watch for signs in your metrics that you’re posting too frequently. I use this rule: I don’t ever post content for the sake of posting content and if there is breaking news that I know from past data that my audience will love, I post more often.

Having a regular theme each week is also useful. I discovered this by doing a content analysis on comments. I posted this fun, but practical link to social media icons on a Friday. In the comments, someone shared it with their network calling it a “Fun Friday Geeky Share.” I started a regular post on Fridays to share a “Fun, Friday Geeky Share‘ which gets a high number of shares, likes, and comments.

5. Short and Sweet: Research shows that posts of 80 characters long perform well. But don’t be a slave to this rule. As Mari Smith points out in her post about encouraging more shares, now that Facebook increased the maximum update size from 420 characters to 5,000 characters, experiment with “mini-blog post” as long as the content is timely, relevant and helpful, you stand a greater chance of getting lots of shares.

6. Experiment With Timing: There are several research studies that look at averages for page likes and comments and have suggested that weekends and evenings are optimal times for posting – perhaps because there is less clutter in the newsfeed. My takeaway is to make sure that I am posting when my audience is there to engage, not when it is convenient for me. Again you need to test. When I experimented on posting on Saturday, I got the most ever shares on this post – but it is hard to say whether the timing was the critical factor or because it was a visual with practical information.

7. Include a call to action: share, like, comment: Many nonprofits have discovered that a simple, clear call to action to share some content results in their fans sharing content. Of course, the content itself has to be timely, high quality, and relevant.

8. Celebrate milestones, share good news: Audiences love to celebrate victories no matter how small. My Facebook Page recently welcomed its 10,000th Fan, so I posted an update to celebrate and thank everyone. It generated a higher number of likes than other posts.

9. Always be commenting: I had the pleasure of hearing Guy Kawasaki speak about his book “Enchantment” and one of his tips was “Always be commenting” was a big takeaway for me that I have tested and tested. It works. I always post content as my page administrator, but then I comment in the thread as an individual. I don’t have to respond in real-time to comments, but part of my work flow is to respond to comments in batches in two ten minute spurts a day. I use Nutshell Mail to make it manageable.

10. Repeat proven stuff: I don’t do cut and paste repeats. I look for themes that work and repeat those. If I repeat the same content, I try to do it slightly differently – like just a visual versus the link.The most important practice is the sense-making of comparing my content to metrics and getting ideas of what to test next.

What have you learned about what works best in using metrics to give your audience the content they want?

Source: How To Use Facebook Metrics To Give Your Audience the Content They Want Most –
Author: Beth Kanter

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Is social media helping you meet your mission? It can!

Posted on January 19, 2012. Filed under: Social Media Marketing | Tags: , , , , |

Amy Sample Ward has such a clear way of explaining how your social media data can be used in a strategic way. So many nonprofits become bamboozled with the data they have at their disposal and this article is a great example of how to break it down and apply it in a helpful manner.

Thank you Amy!

Kathie van

Is social media helping you meet your mission? It can!Is social media helping you meet your mission? It can!

Last week, I had the opportunity to run a webinar on Nonprofit Webinars. I had thought to myself that there wouldn’t be anyone registered because it wasn’t a very buzzy topic. I was presenting on the way we can identify metrics in social media that help us reach our mission and how to use those metrics strategically. No “make money on social media” or “top 5 Twitter tips”. I was so thrilled, then, to see a couple hundred registered! Thank you to everyone who participated and recognized the value in being strategic with our use of social media!

Strategic Data

I have done a few webinars and presentations about social media tracking and metrics and frequently used the phrase “actionable data.” After one of these presentations, a participant came up to me and pushed back a little on what I’d said, explaining that data was for evaluation and that seemed very passive. I responded that data, without action, isn’t worth our effort to track it. That’s what actionable means.

But then I realized, the reason people didn’t see action tied to their data was because they didn’t see how the data, or even the actions that data could indicate, were strategic. Data we don’t want to take action about is even worse. We need strategic data. And, as it turns out, that doesn’t just mean data from your programs and services, but from your social engagement, too.

Step 1: Linking Strategy to Goals

Most of us on this call probably have an elevator speech or even a few that we use to explain what it is we do as an organization, what our role in the organization is; maybe even why people would want to get involved or donate. That’s where we start. We can use that general or generic even mission statement to start putting our social media use into a strategic place.

If your organization has a strategic plan or even a Theory of Change, you are already equipped with even more deliberate language that can help you get started. Most strategic plans include program area or service area specifics and you can use those to help frame why you use social media.

Step 2: Linking Goals to Social

Now that we have identified some areas where social media fits with the overall purpose of the organization, we can start putting certain aspects of social engagement into goal areas. We want to be specific here about the why and less specific about the what. For example, our goals with social media should identify the influence or impact we want to make, but not necessarily say we will do it on facebook. You may, actually use facebook for part of your social media activity, but you want to form your goals so that they are impact-specific, and open to either multiple or changing platform use.

Step 3: Acting on Strategic Data

And the last part, identifying your metrics to track and really tracking it! When it comes to tracking, there are a few things I recommend:

  • Nothing is finished: if you’re tracking something and the number is the same every single week, that’s an indicator that you should see if you are able to influence that area; if you try and no matter what you do, that number is the same, maybe it isn’t the number you really need to track. Remember, you want this data to be actionable for you!
  • You may not have all the numbers you need: it might take you a couple weeks or months of tracking in this way to realize you really need some other numbers to really tell the full picture of your online impact. So, add them! Don’t feel that all your data has to start on the same day. It’s better than you realize it and add in the new metrics as you go, than never add them in for fear of consistency.
  • Let the numbers tell stories: use the data in your social media tracking to identify the larger stories of your organization’s work or impact. Look for patterns or activity that comes from other actions in the organization (do Facebook comments increase when a staff person attends an offline event? do website visits change depending on comments?), help identify opportunities for coordinated effort.
  • Share it back: Be sure that you don’t just track and store the data, but you report back out to the organization and even community. Be sure you share some of the highlights and trends back to your organization/staff and includes ways they can help influence your numbers and reach goals (do you see certain kinds of stories do better than others? let your staff know so they can keep their eyes out for you!). Don’t just share with your staff, but share back with your community!
  • Context is king: don’t just use social media data! Be sure you’re tracking what happens on your website, newsletter, and others actions like whether staff were mentioned in the news or on a blog, if staff attend or present at an event, etc. 

Get Started

You can use this template to get you started. Be sure to change the blue rows in the document to reflect your goals and align your various metrics underneath. Make a copy of the file for your own use (otherwise anyone on the web will see your data if you put it in my template), or download the file.


Slides & Video

You can review the slides below, or check out Nonprofit Webinars to watch the full recording!

Webinar: Strong Connections; Linking your strategy to goals to data

View more presentations from Amy Sample Ward

Source: Is social media helping you meet your mission? It can! –
Author:  Amy Sample Ward
Photo credit: Flickr myklroventine 

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