By Thomas Lashier
Facebook allows you to post photos, links, text statuses, videos, offers (for a price), events, and milestones. That’s a lot of options to consider when you’re trying to decide how to reach the largest audience with your organization’s Facebook page. Plus, you’re already busy running the million other aspects of your small business; you don’t have time to sit and monitor which post performs the best. So, what do you do? How do you know which type of post is best for your audience?
We’re here to help. In the past few weeks, we’ve talked about timing your Facebook posts to be seen by the maximum amount of your followers, we’ve discussed saving time by scheduling posts in the future (and past!), and today we will discover what type of post is actually most popular with your audience. And since we know you don’t want to spend any more of your hard-earned cash, we’re going to show you how to do it for free from within Facebook.
1. Navigate to your Facebook Insights menu and click on the “Posts” tab.
You will need to be an Administrator for your page in order to access the Insights menu from within the Administrator panel at the top of the organization’s Facebook page. Click on “See Insights” at the top of the page, then click on “Posts” at the top of the Insights menu.
2. Scroll down to the “All Posts Published” menu.
This menu will show you all of your recent posts published to your Facebook page in chronological order, starting with your most recent post (you can see even more posts by clicking “See More” at the bottom of the menu). This table shows you what type of post was published (link, photo, status, etc.), what the target audience was for each post (public or custom), the reach for each post (total, organic, paid, page fans, non-fans), and the amount of positive and/or negative engagement each post received (link clicks, likes, shares, comments, unlikes, hides, spam reports). At the end of each row, you also have the option to “Boost Post”, which would push out a post to a larger audience if it is doing well. Get more info and read our article about boosting posts here.
In the above screen shot, you see Freaky Fresh Marketing‘s posts from 1/15/14 to 1/17/14. The first column shows that date and time that each post was published. The 2nd column actually gives you a preview of the post itself. As you can see in the 3rd column, the 3 most recent posts were photo posts, followed by a link post and a status post. The little gray globes in the 4th column indicate that every post was published to the “public” audience, meaning we didn’t target any of these posts to a custom audience. In the 5th column you can see the total reach of each post (notice that our top and bottom posts performed the best). In the 6th column you can see post clicks (blue bar) vs. likes/comments/shares (pink bar). This is the default view when you are looking at your “All Posts Published” table.
3. Analyze your posts’ performance.
With this information in front of you, you can start to analyze which posts are more popular than others. Based on this information, we can see that our photo posts seem to be more popular than our link posts, as the link post received the smallest reach and lowest amount of engagements. You will also see that our two most popular posts were published in the morning, where the other three were published in the afternoon/evening and didn’t reach as many people. Apparently, our fans were more active in the mornings during these days.
4. Dive deeper.
With Facebook Insights, you can access a lot of information for free. Take advantage of this. At the top of your “All Posts Published” table, you can choose a few different options from the dropdown menu in the upper right.
You can see each post’s engagement by post clicks vs. likes/comments/shares (this is the default view), but you can also see just likes/comments/shares. You can choose to see negative engagement like post hides, “all” hides, spam reports, and unlikes. Lastly, you can see your overall engagement rate as a percentage. Let’s take a look at the overall engagement rate for the same Freaky Fresh Marketing posts:
Again you’ll notice our first and last post in this time frame received the most engagement by percentage. One in every 4 people (25%) that saw our post on January 15th engaged with it either by clicking on the post, liking it, sharing it, or leaving a comment. This tells that our fans liked this status post, and we should look to publish more posts like this one in the future. It also shows us that Our link post at 5pm wasn’t very popular, and we should look to eliminate that from our posting schedule.
In the above screen shot, you’ll notice our “reach” column now features a light orange bar and a dark orange bar. This is because we chose to see “page fans vs. non-fans” in the dropdown menu at the top of our reach column. This shows you how your post got spread to your page fans (light orange) and also to people that don’t currently like your page (dark orange). As expected, the two posts with the greatest total reach also reached the greatest number (and greatest percentage) of non-fans, which is great knowledge to have when you’re trying to expand your brand’s messaging beyond your current fans. With this knowledge, we will post more photos between 8am-10am CST!
There it is! Easy. You can access this table at any time through your Insights Menu, and make sure to keep a close eye on this as the numbers will change as your audience changes with each post and each week. Notice what your audience likes and what it doesn’t like, and then adjust your posts accordingly. There is no “golden formula” for which post is most popular, because every audience is different. It’s your job to figure out what they like and give them more of that!
When you dive into your Facebook Insights, what posts are working best for you? Do you have better luck with photos or videos? Are you more popular in the morning or after lunch? Let us know in the comments! And if you have any questions, put those in there too! (Or tweet us @FreakyFreshMktg)