social media how toDo you manage a Facebook page?

Are you overwhelmed by the amount of statistics you have access to in Facebook Insights?

Would you like to know the statistics you need to track to help you boost your growth and visibility?

In this article, I’ll show you six ways to improve your Facebook page performance with statistic comparisons.

Getting Started

I’ve already shared with you the 6 Facebook metrics that you need to focus on to better understand your Facebook page performance. But understanding how you’re performing is only the first step of the process.

What really matters is not only to understand the key metrics, but also to understand how you can improve them!

This article will focus more on how to improve the performance of your Facebook content with the fan base you already have. If you want to increase your fan base, you should check out this great article from Andrea Vahl.

By looking at each key Facebook metric individually, it’s very hard to understand how you can improve it. But when you compare one metric to another relevant metric, you can see what’s wrong.

The Metrics You’ll Need

All metrics used in this article can be downloaded into an Excel spreadsheet from Facebook Insights. These metrics are presented as a percentage to allow you to compare one metric to another and see the evolution of that metric over time.

By using the Facebook Insights spreadsheet download or one of these free tools, you can calculate and compare metrics and percentages to find ways to improve the performance of your Facebook page and its content.

#1: Recover Your Fans Reached Percentages

Fan Reach is probably one of the most important metrics to follow to measure the performance of your Facebook page.

You spend a lot of time and energy to recruit your fans so you want to make sure they see your content.

When the percentage of your Fans Reached is below average, but your Engagement and/or People Talking About scores remain good, your content isn’t the problem. The issue is that EdgeRank no longer shows your content in the news feed of your fan base.

fan reached vs engaged

In this example, the percentage of People Talking About is above average, the percentage of Engagement is slightly below average, but the percentage of Fans Reached is way below average. This is a sign that the quality of the content is not the main issue. Fans were lost along the way and you need to get back in front of them again.

In this situation, the best solution is to use promoted posts and sponsored stories to get your new content in front of your fans again, have them engage and fix your EdgeRank.

Your Fan Reach should quickly go back to normal and you won’t have to invest in promoted posts and sponsored stories for too long.

Takeaway: If your Engagement metric is relatively good, but your Fans Reached and People Talking About metrics are lower, then consider using promoted posts and sponsored stories to get your content in front of your fans again.

#2: Regain Your Organic Reach

Fan Reach is a subset of Organic Reach. Because Organic Reach includes people who visit your page or view your content on a widget, but aren’t fans yet, it has to be higher than your Fan Reach. But sometimes it’s the same as or just slightly higher.

fan vs organic reach

For Page 1, Organic and Fan Reach are almost equal, which shows that very little visibility comes from outside the news feed. For Page 2, Organic Reach is more than twice as much as Fan Reach, which shows the healthy generation of traffic from outside the news feed.

If this is the case, you’re not sending enough traffic to your page from outside sources.

Use a Like box or another call to action to put your Facebook page and its content in front of people who read your newsletter or visit your blog or website.

like box

Having a Like box on your blog or website is a good idea. Include your content stream to give more visibility to your latest Facebook posts.

As more people are referred to your page from outside of Facebook, your Organic Reach rises farther above your Fans Reached metric.

Takeaway: If your Organic Reach metric is only slightly higher than your Fans Reached metric, work on sending more traffic to your Facebook page.

#3: Raise Your Engagement Levels

Engaged users (or consumers, as Facebook calls them) are the people who click on your content to view a photo or play a video. They are also clicks that lead to a like, comment or share. These types of clicks turn your engaged users into “storytellers.” The People Talking About metric is referred to as storytellers.

Storytellers are a subset of engaged users, which means that you’ll always have fewer storytellers than engaged users. On average, 20% to 35% of engaged users are storytellers.

engaged vs storytellers

On average, the percentage of storytellers compared to the number of people engaged varies between 20% and 35%.

If your percentage of storytellers is below this average, you’re good at getting people to notice your content, but not good at making them react to it with a like, share or comment.

To generate more engagement reactions, tweak your content to ask questions, publish content worth sharing and compel your fans to like it! Next, do an audit to spot existing content that’s doing well and create similar posts in the future.

As the average number of storytellers per post rises, so does your viral exposure. If you do an excellent job, the number of storytellers could even be nearly as high as the number of engaged users.

storytellers vs engaged users

The best-performing pages can even have a percentage of storytellers very close to the percentage of engaged users. That means that almost all engaged users created a story, which is great news for the page!

Takeaway: If your People Talking About metric is lower than the 20% average of your Engagement metric, tweak your content to encourage more reactions.

#4: Lower Your Negative Feedback Numbers

Negative feedback has a great impact on your EdgeRank and should be closely monitored. A page with good content but high negative feedback has a lower reach than a similar page with the same level of quality content but lower negative feedback.

Negative feedback doesn’t necessarily mean that your content isn’t good. It does mean that the number of people who don’t want to see your posts is too high. This may be because you post too often, or because the “voice” of your brand makes some people feel uncomfortable.

For example, a charity that helps homeless people find a home had a very strong voice that shed light on poverty and the unfairness of certain situations. While the tone seemed to work well for a TV or print campaign, 0.4% of people didn’t respond well to the stories in their news feed.

The percentage of negative feedback was 4 times higher than the accepted average and had a negative impact on the page’s reach.

% negative feedback

On average, negative feedback is 0.1% of the number of people reached. If you are above that threshold, your viral reach will be affected.

The page began to focus on the success stories the charity was able to contribute to, rather than the injustices it was fighting against. In less than a month, negative feedback fell back to normal, Organic Reach increased by 25% and viral reach increased by 80%.

If your average negative feedback is too high and your content isn’t spammy, try changing your “voice” and test new content strategies.

Takeaway: If your negative feedback metric is higher than 0.1% of the people your page reaches, try a new content strategy.

#5: Increase Your Clicks

Occasionally, the number of engaged users doesn’t seem to translate into clicks through to your content.

high engagement low ctr

When you have good engagement and a very high percentage of storytellers, but very few clicks, the goal is to publish more "clickable" content.

The issue relates to the value of your content and its ability to encourage users to click on that content. Remember that clicks are tracked only when users watch a video, enlarge a photo or click on a link in your post. Also, clicks are one of the actions EdgeRank looks at to rank the affinity between your page and your fans.

ctr insights

In the spreadsheet downloads of your posts' insights, view how people clicked on your content by content type.

To encourage more clicks, publish more videos and images and don’t forget to include links in the text used to describe your photos where appropriate. If you publish a lot of photos, the second step is to work on the quality of your photos so people want to see a larger version and not the small one that the news feed displays by default.

image with text

Inserting text into pictures is a tactic some pages use with great success.

When users click more often to view your videos, images and content, you also get a higher EdgeRank score!

Takeaway: If your Click-Through Rate metric is much lower than your Engagement metric, remember to make your videos, photos or links worth clicking on.

#6: Extend Your Viral Reach

Viral Reach is the number of people you reach because your fans like, comment on and share your posts.

Unfortunately, viral metrics have been removed altogether from the new Facebook Page Insights since September 2013.

You can find Viral Reach metrics under the Key Metrics tab. It’s labeled Lifetime Post Viral Reach.

If you want to have more visual graphs, you can also find Viral Reach metrics in third-party analytics tools, which still have access to that data via the Facebook API.

good fan vs low viral reach

Viral Reach varies significantly from one post to another.

Improving your Viral Reach metric recruits new fans and increases your page visibility with people who don’t know your brand. For some pages, Viral Reach is a greater indicator of visibility than Fan Reach.

viral reach vs fan reach

On average, Viral Reach equals 25% of Organic Reach. Pages with many engaged users and storytellers can have a Viral Reach greater than Organic Reach!

Viral Reach is influenced by likes and comments, but most affected by shares. This is because EdgeRank doesn’t show most likes and comments in the news feed, but it does display all the shares. For this reason, a share has much more weight than the other engagement actions.

If your Viral Reach is below average, you need to make sure your content is worth sharing. Here again, you need to audit your existing content and see which pieces triggered the most shares, and find out why.

For example, when you post numbers or use good-looking infographics, you’ll get more shares than plain text or links. The reasons infographics motivate fans to share are too varied to provide one-size-fits-all advice. Test for what works and what doesn’t and track this comparison often.

Takeaway: If your Viral Reach metric is significantly lower than your Fans Reached metric, you need to work on getting your content shared more often.

Your turn

Now that you understand how to compare key metrics to reveal weaknesses in your page, use them to apply some simple fixes and boost your page’s performance.

What do you think? What metric comparisons do you find helpful? How have you boosted page performance in the past? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • Great Ideas!

    Love: 20% to 35% of engaged users are storytellers! Some great take-aways to work on this week.

    Have an Amazing Week ~ Mike

  • Michael Lucy

    Great article thanks for the valuable info … We are trying something unique and maybe someone can lend a suggestion or two since it is not perfected. We run a business organization FB page and dedicate one post per day to promote our affiliates, each affiliate has a branded hashtag (i.e. #LW3V, #LWWW, #LWDSD) such that we can segment the posts by not only post type but also by hashtag. The challenge is REPORTING, we are doing alot of this manually in Excel right now, anybody try something similar to this? Any suggestions? (here is page -> …

  • SciarrettaFarms

    Hi there! Is there any way of auto sharing posts from my business page to one of my personal profiles? I have set this profile as one of the admins for my business page but see no way of autosharing.

  • Great info Emeric! Understanding your current performance so that you have a baseline to work off from is important. Thanks for walking through these examples – love the “takeaways” for each!

  • Emeric

    Thank you for your kind feedback @JohnLeeDumas:disqus !

  • Emeric

    Thank you @MichaelKawula:disqus, hope this will help you better understand your page’s performance and improve it!

  • @disqus_a6LgXoOOIo:disqus!! One of my favorite peeps, especially in the land of Facebook metrics. hehee Thanks for making it all simpler for more folks out there. 🙂

  • I’ve scoured the internet (and FB help) for an answer to this question – has anyone else had a problem getting the multiple tabs/spreadsheets when downloading Insights? If I select the .xls option, I get an incomprehensible single-column file that has what looks like xml coding. If I download as a CSV, I get a single spreadsheet, that doesn’t have all of the metrics folks mention (in other articles). Would appreciate anyone’s hints and suggestions!

  • Joep Claessens

    Thanks for the tips, Emeric, very helpful. Now how do you come up with the percentages? Do you use a tool or do you calculate them manually, starting from the numbers in the Excel sheet? I just started to look into the amount of data FB makes available as a download and to be honest it’s quite overwhelming, so your article is definitely helpful to narrow it down to what’s useful.

  • Emeric

    Thanks @JoepC:disqus! To come up with the percentages with ease (and not do the math myself!) I use the Facebook page Barometer, one of the free tools mentionned by Ian Cleary in this article:

  • Emeric

    Hey @terriz:disqus, you should download the csv, then got to a blank Excel spreadsheet and import the csv by going to “data” and “import from text”. That should work!

  • Emeric

    @MariSmith:disqus, you are my favorite Facebook Marketing Queen 🙂 I can’t wait to see you again in San Diego in 3 months!

  • Emeric

    Hi @michael_lucy:disqus, you should try agorapulse, it will allow you to tag your posts with your affiliate’s name and then see a performance report by tag. There is a 30 day free trial so you can test it fisrt and see if it does what you need!

  • Michael Lucy

    Excellent – Am on my way to give it a test drive right now!!! Thanks Emeric

  • Really great post, Emeric! The takeaway suggestion under each potential issue is so great. With so many metrics to look at, it’s hard to see a clear route for improving. Your ideas are such a helpful addition to each description!

  • Emeric

    Thanks a lot @sarahmordis:disqus 🙂

  • Thanks, Emeric! I left out two crucially important pieces of my puzzle (duh!) I’m on a Mac, and I’m using iWork Numbers. Which doesn’t have an import function – and it doesn’t matter if I open it from Numbers, or double-click on the file and choose Numbers to open it, I get the same result 🙁

  • Joep Claessens

    Thanks for the tip, Emeric, but I don’t use apps on FB, never have, not as long as they -like Barometer- want access to my personal data, which is none of their business. Besides I don’t want just a snapshot, I want to see trends, like how my reach, engagement, talking about has evolved since I started the page. Guess I’ll have to do the math myself. Nevertheless thanks for pointing me in the right direction; no doubt the formulas are to be found somewhere (Google here I come 😉

  • Kristy Henry

    I just sat down and digested this article. Thank you for breaking it down so simply!

  • Really great article and some great screen grab images to communicate the points clearly so you can actually interpret and understand what you are actually looking at and what it means.

    Thanks a lot.

  • Emeric

    You’re welcome @kristyhenry:disqus 🙂

  • Emeric

    Thanks @jamesabbott:disqus, I appreciate!

  • Great article! The images definitely helped a lot to follow along.

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  • Emeric

    Thanks @adampegg:disqus! I like visuals a lot, they really help you tell a story 🙂

  • This information indicates more about how your content brings visitors to your page especially on Facebook.

  • Jurgen

    Valuable information!! About to check my percentages but wondering where you find the percentages in the example. E.G. Fans reached: 1,7% vs. 9,3%. What I see in my newsfeed is that last week I’e reached -25%. How do I get the figures from your examples?

  • nabindustrytracker

    hi, great article. however- is there a place where you can view an average percentage of the page reach or engagement? (referring to the whole page and not a single post or week)?

  • Armin

    I have a question about call to action. How can I put a button on my Facebook page to direct users to my website.


  • yes lovely articles thanks mate
    thanks again

  • Great work diagnosing problems and providing actionable insight at the end of each tip. Particularly, I found this bit very helpful for our situation at Heyo:

    ‘your People Talking About metric is lower than the 20% average of your Engagement metric, tweak your content to encourage more reactions.’

  • Blue Satittammanoon

    How do you compare your data to the the average? (where do you get the average data from?)

  • adrianq

    hey great content !,
    I have a big difference between exported data and the detail from a specific post( negative comments), the score card detail section shows: hide_clicks 1, unlike_page_clicks 5, spam 0, hide all post 0, but In the exported data there is one plus number, 67 xbutton_clicks,( the post reach 71k), what does it mean? Is that number taken into account to penalize the content of a fan page ?

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  • Have a look at Zapier. It might get you part way there. You could also post the update through Buffer to have it appear on both profiles.

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