A blog about Facebook marketing

What really works on Facebook? Tag to find out!

fb-success

Since the early days of online marketing, the value - and importance - of measuring all activities have been widely recognized. To a large extent this is the foundation for the success of Google, as advertisers were given the opportunity to value their investment in hard metrics such as sales. Enter social media marketing, and for some strange reason, this seems to have been forgotten. Why should you not take the same approach in your social media activities? The tools and methodology are already in place!

So what are we talking about here? Surely brands and marketers measure their social media activities? Yes they do, and Facebook provides a set of good metrics for gauging the impact of your communication - both in terms of reach and interaction (Reach, Engaged users, Talking about this etc).

Say for instance that you’re posting images of a new product or your latest office party, some trivia about your company or industry or maybe just a simple “Hello! How are you today?”. You would definitely want to know what gets your followers going. If they don’t respond to it in some way, they probably didn’t find it that interesting or useful.

However, while these metrics are in no way unimportant, they only tell part of the story. They are branding related metrics and thus proxies for your long term return on investment only, providing little to no insight into how your short term ROI is affected.

What about the posts where your followers are given the opportunity to take a more response driven action? That is, posts where it is relevant for you to include a link to your website (for instance, your latest blog post, a website redesign, a promotion...). Just like in the case described above with more branding-oriented posts, you would definitely want to know whether your fans found the content interesting, and if it enticed them to take further action!

Without that knowledge you risk spending your time and resources on publishing content that no one finds useful nor interesting - and potentially damage your brand reputation in the long run.

It comes down to tagging

From a practical standpoint this means tagging every single post containing a link to your website. This is easily done with Google's Campaign URL Builder or the equivalent, depending on what analytics provider you’re using.

There's a great blog by Prateek Agarwal which provides a complete guide to getting started with Google's campaign URL builder.

For a new Qwaya blog post about tracking Facebook posts, your Google Analytics link could look something like this:

http://blog.qwaya.com/what-really-works-on-facebook-tag-to-find-out?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post&utm_content=tagging&utm_campaign=w35

The italic part is the URL you want to send your traffic to, while everything following the question mark are Google Analytics tags to help you sort out the incoming traffic from this specific post. Creating this link using Google Analytics URL Builder would look like this:

Google_Analytics_URL_builder

By ensuring this is done, you will know how many visitors entered your website from what post, and more importantly - how they behaved. Did they create an account, place an order, sign up for a newsletter, how long did they stay, what subsections did they visit...

The list can be made long, and with this kind of data at hand, you will;

a) Learn what kind of content drives what kind of behaviour

and

b) Learn what posts are worth promoting as page post ads and with sponsored stories

These insights combined with Facbook insights provides a great set of data to truly get the most out of your Facebook marketing efforts. Optimizing your content based on what really works should be a no-brainer - all the tools necessary are already in place. For free.

Take action on the data

It is likely that you have already created a few homerun posts that made you a fair bit of money (short or long-term), and obviously you would have wanted for these posts to reach an as big audience as possible! Having tracked them properly, you would have known that promoting them as page post ads would have been a very sound investment. And that’s only getting started.

Say you notice that a particular post is great for acquiring new signups, quote requests or demos. In that case, besides promoting it as a page post ad, it’d be a decent bet to adjust your targeting accordingly - targeting people that have not yet liked your Facebook page (assuming your Page following consists mainly of people who have already converted to customers). On top of that you’d want to segment the audience to really find the sweet spots where your conversion rate peaks, and of course adjust your bids and budgeting accordingly.

If you’re using one Facebook page to market to more than one country you would also learn about potential differences in how users from different countries engage with your content. With enough data at hand you’d want to create different content targeted to different locations - or maybe just use that data while creating your targeting when promoting your posts.

The same logic of course applies to posts without links, but as Facebook provides instant feedback on these it is far easier to determine which posts to promote - and in what way. Lots of post likes? Page post like story. Great comments? Page post comment story. Important message to get out there but low reach and interaction? Page post ad.

There is little to no point in spending marketing dollars on display ad placements or search keywords that don’t provide a positive return on investment. The same is true for promoting social content, and not measuring it properly is just throwing away money and resources - leaving your success to chance.

At the end of the day, the reason to why businesses are leveraging social media channels such as Facebook is to make money. Doing this without insights into what really helps reach business goals is not only naïve, but straight up stupid.

 

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