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social media how toDo you want to improve your Facebook conversions?

Have you considered combining the power of Google Analytics with your Facebook Insights?

Comparing this data can help you find Facebook fans who are most likely to convert.

In this article I’ll show you how to identify an optimum audience and match it with your Facebook fans for increased conversions.

increase facebook conversions

Find out how to increase Facebook conversions with Google Analytics.

#1: Identify Your Buying Audience

First let’s look at your website. Google Analytics is the best way to identify which segments of your audience are most likely to convert to your goals. In this section I’m assuming you have a clear understanding of how Google Analytics works, specifically how goals and events work.

Below I show you how to use Google Analytics demographics data (location, gender and age groups) to determine your optimum audience. Since Google Analytics won’t track everyone visiting your website, the first step is finding a time period with enough data.

Log into Google Analytics and in the left sidebar click Audience > Demographics > Overview.

demographic overview

Make sure you click the correct Overview option.

Google Analytics will show two charts similar to the ones below. In the top right corner of each chart you’ll see the percentage of sessions on your website where Google has tracked demographic data. Experiment with different time periods until you find the one with the largest percentage.

percentage of sessions in a time period

A higher percentage means more data, providing greater accuracy in the analysis of your audience.

Once you’ve located an acceptable time period, you’ll need to find out which segment provides the best conversion rate. There are two ways to track conversions: events and goals.

Events are conversions (and other interactions) that occur independently of specific pages. To find your event conversions, follow these instructions:

1. In the left sidebar click Behavior > Events > Top Events. You’ll a see a report similar to the one below.

events reporting data

Names under the Event Category column are defined when configuring the events.

2. Click the event category associated with the conversion you want to analyze (e.g., the number of enquiries submitted).

3. Click Secondary Dimension (above the Event action), and select Age, Gender or any Location dimension as your option. In this example I’ve selected Age.

age filter in secondary dimension

You can select among several demographic data to complete your report.

Google Analytics will regenerate the report to include an extra column with information for the selected demographic.

You can use this report to identify which audience segment has completed the most conversions. For example, in the following image you can see the age groups 45-54 and 55-64 show the most success.

total events view

Clicking on the Total Events heading will sort the data from largest to smallest.

Repeat these steps with other demographic data and write down your findings—you’ll use them later.

Goals are conversions that occur on specific pages, so the process here is slightly different.

1. In the left column click Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

2. At the top of the report, go into the search menu and type the name of the page where conversions occur (e.g., the thank-you page that comes up after someone signs up for your newsletter). Google Analytics will refresh the information to show data only for that page.

3. Click on Secondary Dimension and select the demographic you want to analyze. You can choose any demographic data (e.g., location, language, device) that will help you identify your optimum user. The image below shows the data for Gender.

gender filter report

As with the Events report, you can add any demographic data to help you with your analysis.

Based on the data from events and goals, you now know that men aged 45-64 are your highest-converting audience (i.e., your optimum audience segments).

#2: Find Audience Gaps on Facebook

Once you’ve identified your optimum segments, it’s time to find out how that audience is distributed among your Facebook fans. If there’s a gap, that could explain why you’re not getting results from your Facebook marketing.

The easiest way to find distribution is to use Facebook Insights. From your page’s control panel, click on Insights > People.

people report in insights

The People reports from Facebook Insights allow you to compare data with your findings from Google Analytics.

You could use any of the four reports available on the next page of Insights, but for this example I use the Your Fans report. Here you can see your fans’ demographic segments by gender and age group. Compare the data with your findings from Google Analytics.

fans gender in insights

Demographic breakdown is key to better understanding your audience’s behavior.

Google Analytics showed that the website’s optimum audience is males ages 45-64. However, Facebook Insights shows that the same audience only makes up 6% of the page’s total fans. That’s a significant gap.

You can try to close the gap by creating products more suitable for your current Facebook fans. Or you can write targeted posts to increase both engagement and the number of fans from your optimum audience.

Creating new products requires business analysis and decisions, but focusing on increasing engagement and fans is easier and will likely provide quicker results.

#3: Understand Your Facebook Audience

Before you create new content and run campaigns aimed at increasing your optimum audience, it’s important to understand that audience a little better. Using Facebook Audience Insights, you can create a filter to show data about your optimum audience in your desired markets.

Go to your Facebook Audience Insights control panel. In the left column, select the demographics you want information about. Keeping with our example, you would select men ages 45-64.

age and gender options in create audience

Select ONLY the demographics for you optimum audience.

Use the Interest section to narrow the report data to show only users interested in your industry.

Keep in mind that using your page name under the Connections option isn’t a good idea because you’ve already seen that this demographic doesn’t make up much of your fan base. It’s better to use the Interests area and industry-related keywords.

Continue adding filters until you’ve identified your optimum demographic.

interests under create an audience

Identify those interests related to your industry.

You’re going to need this audience a little later. Click Save from the top menu, name your audience (choose something easy to remember) and click Save again.

#4: Create Targeted Content

Based on the targeting information from Facebook Audience Insights, start creating new content that matches your optimum audience’s interests. For example, watch other pages they follow to come up with content ideas. What type of posts do the other pages deliver? What are their engagement rates?

pages to watch in insights

Pages to Watch could be a valuable source of information for your content strategy.

Take a look at Job Title/Industry audience data to estimate the times when most of your optimum audience is looking at Facebook. Publishing when your users are online improves your chances of reaching them.

Another demographic to check is Household Income. This information can help you decide whether mentioning prices will affect how your audience engages with your content, as well as how to develop promotions most suitable for them.

Finally, take a look at Marital Status/Household Size. If your optimum audience is young singles, your message should be totally different than if they are mature couples with families.

#5: Use Facebook Ads

As you know, Facebook’s algorithm limits your reach based on engagement, content and several other factors. If you create highly targeted content, but the right audience doesn’t see it, you’re right back where you started.

If you want to reach your audience, you’ll need to promote your posts.

By using ads to promote posts to your optimum segments across Facebook—whether they’re fans or not—you’ll likely see immediate results (i.e., increased conversions). You’ll also see an increase in fans from your optimum segment, which in turn increases conversions down the line.

Creating a targeted advertising campaign is easy. Open Audience Insights one more time, and click Open from the top menu.

In the next window, select the audience you created earlier. Click the Open button in the bottom right corner to load all of the reports you generated before.

Next, click on Create Ad (top right of the menu) and choose either the Ads Create tool or Power Editor.

facebook ad platform options

Audience Insights gives you the option to choose your preferred advertising platform.

If you choose Power Editor, click Existing Targeting Group and select your saved audience. If you choose the Ad Create tool, Facebook applies your saved audience automatically. Finish creating your campaign and you’re ready to go!

To maximize results, remember to do A/B testing, and consider some advanced advertising tactics like remarketing to your website visitors.

Conclusion

If you’re not seeing similar conversions on both your website and Facebook, your optimum audience and fan base may be misaligned. When your Facebook audience is aligned with your overall optimum audience, you’ll start to see better results for your business.

Use the tips above to generate more Facebook conversions.

What do you think? Does your Facebook fan base match your optimum audience? What tactics have you used to align them? Please share your questions and comments below. 

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  • jack

    Interesting Article. But my Analytics does not show any ‘Events’. Do you have any idea why?

  • Georges Fallah

    Well said. It’s critical to compare Facebook Analytics with Google Analytics to optimize conversions.

  • If Facebook insights are not trustworthy to begin with why would they be anymore trustworthy on Google analytics?

  • John R.

    You make a good point. Google Analytics Demographic and Interest reports are based largely on inferred data (as well as data from your Google+ profile for example). So you should take it with a grain of salt.

  • Great insights, Antonio, thanks! I’ve not tried to track our audiences on Google Analytics and Facebook on that detail, but will try and let you know the results (it’s amazing how different the strategies can be between what’s done in a web page and what’s done in a Facebook page). I find this interesting specially to promote products related to our audience’s interests.

  • Nelson Tapia
  • I have not been able to look at demographics on my Google analytic report- I thought you had to spend dollars with their ad sense program to see the demographic information of your visitors. If you choose to support Display Advertising, you need to make a simple, one-line change to your Google Analytics tracking code. — Which I don’t want to do at this time.

  • Pingback: Marketing Day: Mobile CTRs Offer Little Value, Apple's Biggest Launch Ever & Pinterest's Ad Plans()

  • Lynn Mosher

    Mine doesn’t show it either. ???

  • Lynn Mosher

    Mine doesn’t show it either. ???

  • Hi Jack. The ‘Events’ menu will show only if you have configured at least one event in your account. If this is not your case – or the configuration is not correct – then you won’t have that menu available.

    However, in most cases ‘Goals’ can be used also to evaluate this data and understand who is your best audience. E.g.: views of a Thank You page shown only to users completing a purchase or subscription could be tracked much easily as a goal.

  • Hi Lynn, thank you for your question. See my reply to Jack’s comment above, quite probably you can obtain some useful data using only the ‘Goals’ report. Good luck!

  • Thank you Georges. However, keep in mind this is ‘just’ data. It is paramount to interpret all this figures correctly and do a correct analysis of it. Hope this article has given you some ideas.

  • Lynn Mosher

    Thank you!

  • I’m glad you’ve find this article useful Benet. Google Analytics and Facebook Insights are two great tools, and although each of them have its own limitations, combining them could help you developing very effective strategies.

  • I’m so glad to find this article, Antonio. I watch Google Analytics for my website, and I use Facebook Insights for Facebook. I knew they could be used together, but I didn’t know how to approach this. Thank you for laying out the tools and procedure so effectively. I’ll be doing this very soon, well before my next Facbook advertising push! Great article! And welcome to the Social Media Examiner family.

  • Great post Antonio. I guess you can do something similar with Twitter now with access to the new analytics. I was just comparing the demographics between Facebook and Twitter and there are a few differences.

  • Thank you Charlene. Google Analytics and Facebook Insights are two separate tools, however used in combination they open new possibilities. The key of all is how you analyse interpret the data they report.

  • Thank you Francisco. And you are correct: there are also gaps between Facebook and Twitter. They key is find those metrics that are usually easier to track – which most of the times these are demographic data – and then extend and apply your findings to other metrics.

  • Hey Mitch, I’m not saying Facebook Insights are not trustworthy – although it’s true that some metrics sometimes are too funny. However using demographic data as explained in this article is usually the best option, as the error here is generally minimum.

    Also, in this article I’m talking about optimizing conversions only. When it comes to engagement, it really doesn’t matter who you target as far as they share your interests – as you have pointed out. However, when looking at conversions you should focus on those segments that have proved to be more likely to convert. And your website is the best source of data to find this.

  • Of course! That’s why I recommend to pay attention to the % figure showing the amount of visitors that have generated that data. The higher the figure (considering a good amount of visitors), the lower the risk of having corrupted information – and vice versa.

  • That was a really a great go man @AntonioCalero:disqus!! Content is naturally the ultimate thing on any social media and its no wonder that fb also need one to capture audience interest towards our page.

    I do believe that a great content will not only grasps the audience attraction but also it creates more interaction between the audience and us!!

  • Antonio, I really like the analytical approach combining the two tools! Great post!

  • Indeed Parker: content is key on Social Media, however any content strategy should be built around some business goals. I’ve seen many Pages with great content and fantastic engagement rates that however were not getting any results from their Social Media activities. The reason is, their audiences were not aligned with their website converting visitors.

  • Thank you Zsuzsi, I’m glad you find it useful 🙂

  • Emeric

    Very interesting approach Antonio! Too few people actually take the time to analyze their existing data to improve their ads’ performance, that’s a very smart thing to do. I’ve used that data combined with A/B test in my Facebook campaigns and the results were really interesting.

  • Grant Perry

    Interesting approach and goal tracking in analytics is worthwhile for many reasons anyway. But for FB targeting I think using custom audiences of your actual customers (from their emails and phone numbers) and creating lookalikes based on them is simpler, more accurate and more effective.

  • Of course Grant, I am also a big advocate of Custom Audiences. However, there are cases in which these may not be as good: what about if your subscribers are not on Facebook? Or what about if your mailing list is very small? Or if the reason why you have their contact details is because they purchased from you once and is very unlikely they’ll do it again in the short terms? (I’ve found each of these cases in recent months)

    What I’m proposing here is an additional way to found more quality leads on Facebook; but it does not exclude at all other great tools like the ones you suggest.

  • Thanks Emeric. Data analysis is one of the main pillars of a good marketing strategy. I’m glad you find this article useful.

  • Melonie Dodaro

    Great article Antonio. Without analyzing you can never know what works!

  • Thank you Melonie. Like they said: ‘You cannot improve what you cannot measure’ 🙂

  • That indeed goes true as well @AntonioCalero:disqus, when content is build especially to wrap over on some business goals their has to be a strategy build over the content to grasp the audience and as well as to focus on turning them to our influencers!!

  • Michael Cuschieri

    Thank you Antonio for this great article and look forward to applying to help our clients increase their conversion. Cheers

  • I’m glad you liked it Michael. Good luck!

  • Chelsea Hejny

    Targeting is key. Great post, Antonio! Looking forward to reading your next one 🙂 -Chelsea Hejny

  • Nice post @AntonioCalero:disqus. I would add that for Google Analytics, you will have to setup some of the features you mentioned and it usually takes about 48 hours — but it’s worth the wait.

    Look forward to reading your future posts.

  • Thank you Chelsea.

  • Correct! In some cases, depending on your traffic, it could take even longer to have some valuable data. But once those metrics have been configured, Google Analytics becomes even more powerful!

  • @mitchrezman:disqus, correct. You can setup your own dashboard like this to track things. I believe you downloaded this one from the web from another user, right?

  • Excellent resource Mitch, thank you for sharing. However this is not exactly what I refer to in my article. This dashboard shows only revenue or traffic coming from Social Media, but it does not explain whether if that traffic is organic or paid (on those Social Media channels), and if they are already followers of your Page or not.

  • This is from Google Analytics resource Gallery. They have tons of pre-configured dashboards that you can import into your account.

  • @AntonioCalero:disqus, good to know. I was using the same dashboard about five years ago before they made it available in their resource gallery.

  • Bridget McDowall

    Thanks Antonio – I really appreciate the screen shots, makes the instructions much easier!

  • Thank you for reading the article Bridget. I’m glad you find it easy to follow.

  • I have a 4 week old site map (new mobile site) in GWT that has indexed 1400 products but submitted zero – FYI