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[WEBINAR RECAP] Beyond Reach: Measuring the Metrics that Matter

[WEBINAR RECAP] Beyond Reach: Measuring the Metrics that Matter

You’ve probably noticed that Facebook Organic Reach has dramatically declined in the last few months due to changes in the Facebook algorithm.

Beyond Reach, there are several metrics that Facebook Insights doesn’t show Page managers, which are key to measuring organic performance.

This webinar covers the critical metrics that you should benchmark and track to fully understand changes on your Page’s organic performance. Below, you can watch the full presentation, view the slides, or see all of the questions asked by the audience and answered by our panel of experts.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • How to measure Paid vs. Organic Reach
  • Tips for boosting Organic Reach for your brand
  • How paid ad spend impacts organic performance
  • Which metrics you should monitor on an ongoing basis

Presentation: Beyond Reach


Q: In terms of measuring effectiveness, how would you best set up a benchmark to ensure you compare apples to apples?

Benchmarking can be tricky business. In order to get it completely right, you’d need to be leverage analyses like regression models and confidence intervals. In the interest of keeping it simple, we’ve outlined two commonly used methods for establishing benchmarks below.

  1. 1. Trailing three periods as an average: For more recent benchmarking (like pre-campaign performance measurement or a monthly report), simply average the last three months.. This will give you a solid rolling average.
  2. 2. Period over period: WIth this type of comparison, it makes the most sense to focus on rates and ratios (especially for long-term comparisons like year-over-year.) You should focus on measuring things like Growth Rate and Engagement Rate. This will allow you to normalize over time periods without worrying about the scale differences.

Q: Doesn’t Facebook give you unique reach?

Great question! Facebook only provides users with accurate reach in 1, 7, or 28 day timeframes. Unfortunately, anything outside of those periods doesn’t take into account unique users, so the sum (or total reach) isn’t always accurate as it often includes the same users more than once. Our definitions take that into account, but you’ll see that in our reports we include a disclaimer with some more context. Here’s an example.

Q: Why should you pay for more reach without knowing if it’s relevant to your brand?

It’s up to the advertiser to target to audiences that are relevant to their brand. Facebook offers advanced targeting options to make sure that’s the case — e.g. you can use Custom Audiences to reach people from your own CRM database, then take it a step further using Lookalike audiences to find other users similar to your existing customers.

Q: Is it possible to boost my reach without using paid media?

More than 4.75 billion updates are shared by users every single day on Facebook. With that in mind, it’s understandably difficult for social marketers to cut through the clutter.

One strategy is to create timely, high-quality that is relevant to your community. Great content can help increase organic reach by compelling fans to interact with the content, thus propelling it into their friends feeds and increasing their affinity with the fan page and making it more likely that they’ll see your content again in the future. But because only a fraction of your audience will have the opportunity to interact with these posts organically, this strategy alone won’t probably help you win the Facebook race. This blog post details a few other ways to help mitigate the decline in organic reach.

Q: As an admin of multiple Facebook fan pages, we’re only seeing a decline in organic reach for some. Other fan pages are actually increasing their reach! What could be causing the disparity?

The average percentage of organic reach for brands on Facebook is just that — an average. Brands with especially solid fan page strategies can certainly exist as outliers. Generally, these brands have cracked the code of understanding their community and create content that is high-quality, timely, and relevant. An already effective strategy can then be extended by leveraging Facebook advertising.

Q: Regarding Negative Feedback, is there a way to track a negative post about your brand, even if they didn’t ‘tag’ you or respond to you specifically? Or are you only tracking their response with Negative Feedback to one of your brand’s posts?

In Facebook, this is pretty hard to get a handle on because of privacy settings. If you’re looking outside the Facebook realm, though, it’s fairly simple to use a listening tool to look for commentary about your ads (on social and otherwise). Though, you have to take into account that people who would take to social to talk about your brand usually fall into two camps: those who really like you or those who really don’t.

Q: What if there isn’t any negative feedback?

Then you’ve created some great content! Seriously, though, if you’re seeing no or very low negative feedback, that’s a great indication that your content is well-targeted and the messaging is on point. However. that really only translates to success if you’re hitting your relevant KPIs.

Q: What types of engagement contribute to Facebook’s algorithm?

Like we said on the webinar, Facebook’s actual algorithm is mostly behind the blue curtain. The best we as marketers can do is to make inferences based on what we’ve been told historically and what we can test. Facebook actually takes every action you make into account when determining a user’s connection to a brand, friend, or news source. The weightings of these actions isn’t known, but each like, comment, and share of content creates higher affinity between the user and the brand, friend, or news source.

Q: So you’re saying that paid reach doesn’t always equal more engagement?

Correct. Think of it this way: Facebook ads are less like traditional advertising, and more like paying to increase your organic reach. Just like with your organic content, your paid content needs to be relevant to your audience in order for them to engage with it. So with Facebook advertising, great content is your ad.

Q: Is there a reason why you would get less engagement from a post that has a bigger reach vs. a post that has less reach but more engagement?

Absolutely, and it generally depends on the objective and quality of the content. For example, content that includes a call-to-action (CTA) is often designed to drive users to engage with the post. High-quality content that is relevant to your audience is also more likely to drive engagement.

Q: What type of content (e.g. photo, video, link, etc.) is most shareable?

Some brands’ communities enjoy visual photos and infographics, some prefer videos that let them feel part of the experience, and some like reading insightful articles. Understand which types of posts are most appealing to them so that you can continue to share the kinds of content that resonate.

The Facebook Insights with Ads report lets you do this with your paid content specifically; you can easily compare the spend on each Ad Object Type (meaning the type of post that the ad is pointing to) with the number of actions it drives to determine which type is most successful.

Q: What content is best for targeting mobile users?

Images work well across the board – especially in mobile. Think about how much real estate an image takes up on your mobile device – it’s pretty much a mobile screen takeover. So, the type of content is definitely important, but again, you have to think about what you’re asking the user to do that contributes to your end goal. One of the biggest mistakes brands make when targeting people on mobile via social is they don’t think about the experience after the click. Landing someone on a mobile device on a page that’s not mobile optimized can actually end up being an incredible waste of effort if they immediately bounce.

Q: Does Facebook consider comments to be more powerful than likes?

Facebook doesn’t tell the world the secret sauce of their algorithm, but one can infer that actions that are more scarce and require more effort are higher quality, and thus are weighted more heavily. Shares and comments would definitely fall into that category.

Q: Do you feel Facebook’s recent classification of “like-baiting” as a spam like action will change the way brands go about generating engaging actions – also resulting in a greater need for Facebook Ads?

This change will primarily hurt brands that don’t put time and effort into creating meaningful content. Facebook’s focus on these sort of meme-ified pieces of content or the “Like this if you ______, Comment for ________” type posts as being spam should actually elevate great content rather than punishing brands. If you’re only looking for a bunch of likes on a piece of content, you may be missing the bigger marketing opportunity.

Q: Should clicks be treated as an important engagement metric?

If that’s part of your metrics which lead to your business goals, absolutely. The thing is, Facebook normally reports on clicks on a high level, giving the same weight to clicks on an accompanying photo that it does to clicks on links. In order to get the true value of your link clicks, you’re going to want to be looking at link tracking data and, increasingly, site-side data to show the value your social links are bringing to the brand.

Q: How do Facebook advertising campaigns work?

Facebook introduced a new advertising campaign structure this year designed to help advertisers organize and optimize their ads. Before that, everyone had developed their own system. This helps to standardize and encourage best practices, even with less advanced advertisers. The structure is organized into three levels, campaign, ad set, and ad. For more information, check out this post on our blog.

Q: How should I determine my objective for a Facebook campaign?

We have a great blog post that details Facebook’s new campaign structure. It includes questions to ask at each level to determine what direction you should take. Check it out here!

Q: Should content promoted on Facebook always drive users to purchase?

Your paid efforts on Facebook shouldn’t be solely focused around sales-driven content. Knowing that the amount of your content that your community sees organically continues to decline, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Whether it’s an engagement question or a link to your latest blog post, ensure that you’re promoting content that resonates and isn’t only asking for favors. They’ll be more inclined to take an action, thus increasing their affinity within the Facebook’s algorithm and strengthening the possibility that they’ll see your fan page’s content organically later on.

Q: Is there value in promoting a post that has already performed well organically?

Facebook ads are a great way to enhance your organic reach. If content is already performing well, you can assume that it’s relevant to your community and that people might want the opportunity to see it. Ads enable you to extend the content even further — either to more of your existing fans or to a new group of people that you want to reach.

Q: Do you recommend “boosting” posts?

If you know you have an active and engaged audience on your page and you wish to reach a guaranteed larger number of those people, then “boosting” posts will help you accomplish that. However, many times the goal of content on Facebook may lie outside that defined and limited group of people, meaning that your dollars would be better spent on Facebook ads products to get your content in front of very targeted groups of users and drive toward desired end actions.


To learn how Simply Measured can help you understand, optimize, and grow your Facebook page, click the link below for a free trial of our full product.

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Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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