So if you have decided to start benchmarking your Post Reach, you can use the six percent mark as your global average. Keep in mind if you have a large following, your numbers might be slightly lower. But these numbers help us keep our reach in context and understand that our posts may never reach our entire audience. My 21 percent for the period tells me to keep investing in what is working, and to dig further into which posts have been the drivers of success and which have fallen flat.
If I dig into my Post Reach metrics more deeply, I can see a few extra data points. One is the number of people who were reached per day. April 8th was a high point for my reach in the month I am looking back on, so if I quickly reference my content calendar, I can see which post correlates to that spike in reach.
When I scroll down, I can see a little bit more about the engagement my posts have had. Despite having great reach on April 9th, I only got about 20 reactions. Let’s compare this to my March 25th post. It only had a reach of about 350, but had closer to 40 reactions. After April 8th both my reach and my reactions dropped off. This tells me I might need to assess what I was doing differently for my engagement to drop.
Now let’s dig into Post Engagements because this will give us a more complete picture of how our content is performing. At first glance when I see my 28-day metrics, my Post Engagements look healthy because month over month they are up 125 percent. But when I look at the past week, I see that my engagements dropped by 56 percent:
While this might mean I need to adjust my strategy, I also need to take seasonality into account. With Easter and Passover, as well as many schools being on break, this could mean that engagement on Facebook drops for many kinds of businesses. So if you see a drop in your engagement, don’t immediately panic!
When you click into your Post Engagements graph, it will take you deeper into your post performance data. At the top of the page, you’ll see data on when your fans are online. According to Facebook, my fanbase is pretty consistent throughout the week, with no major dips on weekends. The Times graph shows me that my fans are online consistently from noon until 9pm with a few small spikes throughout the day. Because I don’t post late or early in the morning, I know that my dip in engagement isn’t likely due to posting at the wrong time.
Facebook also lets you take a look at how different Post Types are performing. Although it does not specify the time period, my assumption is that like the data showing when your fans are online, the Post Types data is also for the recent one-week period. An odd finding is that while my links have had a slightly higher reach, I have had better engagement with photos.
One thing to note is that there are no videos in my last week of posting. So I decided to scroll down and take a look at the past year of posts to see if I was missing out by not including video. For the sake of this article, I decided to compare the time of writing to a similar time period last year to see if seasonality was playing a role in my declining reach or if I needed to make some strategic shifts.
So far this year, I have been posting a lot more consistently than I was in 2018. When I compare my Reach with the number of Post Clicks and Engagements, I can see that despite my 4/17 post getting a solid number of reactions, the post only generated eight clicks. While we will never know the ins and outs of the algorithm, one could guess that the lack of clicks could have limited my Reach. Conversely, my 4/02 post had 124 clicks with a similar number of reactions. But it had more than double the reach!
Because we know that I am posting when my audience is online, and all of these posts are images, then we can deduce that the lack of reach has to do either with an image that isn’t captivating enough to stop someone’s scroll in the News Feed or my caption didn’t engage the viewer.
Because I cross-post a lot of my content on Instagram, I thought it would be interesting to check my Instagram analytics (which we will be covering next) to see if I would see the same performance on both platforms. Oddly, I saw exactly the opposite situation on Instagram. My 4/17 post had double the reach of my 4/02 post.
Something interesting to consider is that my 4/17 post was more about the image with a simple caption to accompany it. However, on 4/02, I was telling an in-depth and important story along with my image. It may be that my Facebook audience responds more to personal stories, whereas my Instagram audience engages more with pretty pictures. These are now data points that I can test in my future strategy!
Around this time last year, I was experimenting more with video but posting with less consistency. We can see that all of my video efforts in April did little to improve my reach, with all of my posts averaging a reach of about 400. I decided to include May because I had two posts with significant reach and tested a boosted post.
Normally I don’t recommend boosting posts (and we will talk about Facebook Ads in an upcoming article), but I was trying to generate awareness for a product release. If you’re not looking for web traffic or sales, a boosted post is fine. In my case, this particular boosted post helped to increase my reach but did little to help with my engagement.
Two things I posted did ignite the algorithm and increase my reach. One was a behind-the-scenes video of a project that I was working on, and the other was a post about a professional win. This data tells me that my audience really likes behind-the-scenes peeks into my business, process and product creation. Occasionally, they also enjoy celebrating alongside of me.
So, if you have been posting on Facebook regularly, take a look at how your past posts have been performing. Can you make connections between what is performing well and why? If so, consciously test some of these tactics to see if you can fill your content calendar with similar content. For example, after reviewing my data, I have decided that I am going to test behind-the-scenes images and videos on a weekly or bi-monthly basis to see if I can achieve better reach.
If you explore the Posts section, you can see that Facebook also gives you Top Posts from Pages You Watch. Because only one Page I watch posted in the past week, I have limited data to explore, but if I start watching Pages that have more activity, I could get a good idea of what is working among my competitors and industry leaders:
Demographic Details of Your Fans
One thing that Facebook does not make easily accessible in your Overview is the demographic information on the people who like your Page. To access that, you’ll need to navigate down to the People section on the left-hand side of your Insights page.
Here you will be able to dig into information on your fans, followers, the people your posts are reaching and the people engaging with your posts. Keep in mind that if you have under 1,000 fans, you might not have access to this information as it would be a privacy concern.
While the demographic information on your fans is important, my recommendation is to keep a close watch on the data around People Reached versus People Engaged. While Facebook has been delivering my content to more women in the 25-34 age range, the data tells me that women in the 35-44 age range are more engaged.
I can also see that while I don’t reach many men in general, the ones in the 45-54 age group engage the most.
Further down on the People page, you can see the countries and cities that your fans hail from, as well as the language they speak. If your business relies on local customers, you will want to pay close attention to the cities your fans come from to make sure you’re reaching relevant people.
Overall, this is important data to consider when thinking about your ideal client avatar as well as the content that you create in your social media strategy. If you find that your demographic data is not in line with your ideal client avatar, it might be time to rethink what you have been posting on Facebook and the kinds of fans that you have been attracting.
Applying Insights to Your Facebook Strategy
Now that you know where to find the most important organic metrics for your Facebook Page, you can begin to track your performance and see what is working for you, what has worked in the past and what is working for your competitors. Not only will you be able to see what post types work best for your Page, but you will be able to see exactly how many people were reached and how many engaged.
By comparing this data to your content calendar and your overall social media strategy and ideal client avatar, you will be able to track and chart the success of your Facebook marketing efforts. Keep a test and learn mentality. If something really engages your fanbase, ask yourself why. The same goes for when a post falls flat. By keeping an open mind to testing, and tracking your data over time, you will be able to curate a calendar of content that continues to teach you about the wants and needs of your audience.
Remember, you may not be able to reach all of your fans. Data shows that on average, Pages are reaching about six percent of their fans. But by studying your Insights closely and creating engaging content, you can reach a much higher percentage of your fans and make Facebook marketing work for your photography business!