With over 1.78 billion users logging onto Facebook daily, chances are you too would like to get a slice of that pie. (Statistica, 2020) While it’s easier than ever to launch a Facebook page or advertisement, whether you are advertising or growing your brand organically, are you sure you are maximising your impact for the time and/or money spent?
That’s a whole different ball game and to do so, you’ll need to understand some key Facebook metrics and how to use them to maximise your marketing efforts.
Vanity AKA Unimportant Metrics for Facebook
Before we start talking about the important metrics, let’s first debunk a few “important” metrics people often like to talk about:
1. Paid Reach
If the first thing your marketing team raves to you is about how many people you have reached with your adverts, you should get very worried and start thinking about engaging a marketing agency.
After all, paid reach is simply the number of people who have seen your ad… which is directly correlated to how much money you are spending and hardly indicative of any positive results!
However, organic reach is important and will be addressed further below.
2. Page Likes & Follows
Likes and follows - another metric which the laymen and influencers love to brag about, but any marketer worth their salt should know better.
Unfortunately, it has never been easier to purchase or canvass Facebook likes and follows today, and it means little to your brand aside from limited positive social validation as most of these likes are likely from dormant or irrelevant users.
Sounds impressive? Impressions are the total number of times your posts have been seen and differ from reach which only counts the first time your post has been seen by an individual.
Some may argue that impressions are a good indication of virality but really you are better off using the number of shares and engagement metrics for that.
So what can you use it for? It basically tells you how often you are showing people your posts and when to stop before it gets annoying.
The 4 Important Facebook Metrics
Or what your marketer doesn't want you to focus on if they aren’t performing well!
1. Conversions (Sales / Referral Traffic / Sign-ups)
This is the number 1 metric for any kind of marketing as it determines how many people are actually doing what you want them to, whether that is becoming a lead, signing up for your newsletter or making a sale!
However you determine your conversion goal, this metric directly impacts your bottom line and hence is the most critical measurement.
If you are paying for Facebook ads, the conversion rate metric is directly available in your Ad Manager and should always be used to measure the success of your campaigns.
There are industry averages for conversion rates available online (9-10%) but ultimately this varies significantly between industries and brands especially given that every brand may have different definitions of conversion. You should take time to build up your own historical conversion rate data, which will allow you to test for higher-performing creatives as well as refine your target audience.
Above all, you should determine the benchmark conversion rate which can provide your business a positive Return-on-Investment (ROI).
Do note if you are marketing on Facebook organically, you’ll need some extra set-up to hook up Google Analytics to Facebook in order to measure referral traffic and conversions on your own website. You can learn more about how Google Analytics can help your marketing efforts here. (Optional CTA line to link to another article)
With all that said, while conversion is your end goal, other metrics are equally important in determining which factors you need to tweak to improve your marketing efforts as conversion can be too high level to give you the details.
2. Organic Reach
Organic reach is simply the number of unique individuals who will see your page post without any paid promotions. This is a better metric than followers and likes as it actually tells you how many people pay attention to your brand’s posts.
Unfortunately, this metric has seen a huge decline in the recent decade due to Facebook Newsfeed and algorithm changes prioritising content from family and friends. While many suspect this is part of Facebook’s plan to push brands towards more paid content, that doesn’t mean you should ignore organic posts in your marketing strategy.
Instead, you should focus on fewer posts with more meaningful content which people interact with. This is more important than ever with limited reach to ensure that posts actually get out there, bringing us to our next metric.
Engagement calculates the total number of people who have interacted with your posts in any way - be it shares, likes, comments, etc.
You can easily find this under Facebook Insights for your posts but relying on the raw numbers is insufficient and posts with greater reach may have higher engagement numbers but lower percentage. Hence, you should divide the engaged users by the reach to get the ratio which will give you a better indicator of how well your posts are engaging with your audience.
Engagement is also an important metric for video content which is one of the most popular Facebook content types you should be considering for your own brand.
Beyond engagement for videos, you should also consider metrics such as Clicks to Play vs Autoplay which could tell you how attractive your video preview is or Retention which can tell you how many people dropped off after what timing, giving you a better idea of how long your video should be.
4. Click-through Rate (CTR)
CTR is the ratio of people who click your ads versus those who have seen it, what it indicates is how targeted your ads are (if your audience selection is on point) as well as how good your copy and creatives are.
Facebook’s dynamic creatives or automated ad creation can help you improve this metric as they will help to generate the most optimised combinations of different ad components that you provide.
However, that’s still dependent on the quality of the copy and creatives you input, not forgetting your audience targeting as well.
If you don’t have a marketing team, services like Canva can be an easy way to step up your creatives, but for high quality campaigns - it’s always a good idea to hire professionals.
Rounding It Up
While these are the top Facebook metrics you should be scrutinizing, that doesn’t mean other metrics are not helpful. Other important metrics for Facebook advertising such as Cost-per-Action (CPA), Cost-per-Click, Cost-per-Mille (CPM), Ad Frequency and many others can help you drill down to which factors to tweak to further improve your results.
Unfortunately, there are far too many metrics to address within one article, so if you wish to measure the success of your Facebook marketing efforts, simply focus on the above 4 metrics as the foundation.