April 03, 2017

Reporting Matters: Social Media Audience Insights - What & Why

There’s so much data available to businesses on social media. Depending upon the platform, you can grab trending topics, competitor performance data, video views, individual post click-through rates, traffic to your website, sales funnel completion/drop-off analysis, product sales insights, ad relevancy scores, and so much more.

As a business owner, though, your allotted digital marketing time is already fairly limited. You have so many things on your plate, it would be impossible and impractical to spend your time strictly focused on understanding social media metrics and implementing daily strategy adjustments.

Instead, set aside a small chunk of time weekly or bi-weekly to examine some key insights on your top social media platforms. Most people who come to us are interested in Facebook as a starter platform, so we’ll focus this post on optimizing your time there.

The most important Facebook insights you’ll need to view and understand to help your business make an impact online are those numbers that help you know: who you’re talking to, who sees your messages, and what is important to them.

Who Are You Talking To?

social media audience

Often, business owners incorrectly, but understandably, assume their Facebook audience is made up of their customer demographic. The people who buy your goods or services may or may not be the same people who follow you online. So how do you know?

Luckily, Facebook compiles the demographic and behavioral data of your current audience in the “People” tab of your Facebook insights. From there, you can get ages, areas, and more. If your expectation or ideal customer persona doesn’t match who’s following your page, you can always target those people through social ads.  

Who Hears Your Messages?

Facebook post reach

Once you’ve nailed down who is connected to your page, you should also check to see who is actually able to read your posts and hear your messages. Almost all of the platforms have some form of algorithm that controls what users will see in their feeds. Just because a person is connected to a page or has chosen to follow someone doesn’t mean they will be served every single post.

Facebook reach is the number of unique people who saw your content. This is not to be confused with impressions, which are the number of times your post is displayed in a news feed. Rather, reach is the number of people who received impressions of a post. A person can count as more than one impression, but only one reach.

For example, if a person who likes your page sees your post in their News Feed and then sees the post again when their friend shares the post, that counts as two impressions but one reach.

There are a couple of different kinds of reach you may see in your page’s insights tab. Organic reach counts the number of unique people who saw your post through unpaid distribution. Paid reach is the number of unique people who saw your post through paid Facebook ads. If someone sees your post both organically and as a result of an ad, that person will count in both the organic reach and the paid reach numbers.

Why is reach important?

Facebook has designed our News Feeds to show us content that, according to their algorithm, is most relevant to us. To determine which posts appear in any one person’s News Feed, Facebook looks at factors like when the post was published, how often that user has interacted with the page posting the update, how the user has interacted with that post type (link, photo, video, etc) in the past, and more.

There isn’t a magical solution to getting the best organic reach numbers, and there’s no way to show every single one of your followers all of your posts. The best way to try and reach more people is to optimize your content strategy.

First, look at the analytics on your current posts. Which posts do you see that have higher reach numbers? Are they link posts, image posts, or simple text posts? Keep in mind that generally, people don’t want to see posts that push them to buy your product or service. Your page should be a combination of engaging, valuable, educational, and entertaining posts.

It is important to check your page’s reach numbers each month, because Facebook’s algorithm is ever-changing, as are your audience’s interests. If your reach numbers start to drop, it’s time to take another look at your content strategy and try something new to breathe new life into your posts.

What’s Important to Your Audience?

social media engagement

As already alluded to, engagement plays a significant role in beating the algorithm, but it also goes a long way in building the relationships with your customers that will eventually help convert them to promoters for your brand.

Find the topics, videos, and posts that matter to them. You love your business and could talk about it endlessly. That’s a great sign of your passion and dedication, but it is just frustrating for your customers and prospects. They have to fall in love with your company, too. So it’s your job to find ways to craft content that is helpful to them. Do that well enough, and they’ll be singing your praises, online and offline.

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