What's working well on your organization’s Facebook page? What kind of content does your audience like? What subject matters, formats, and tone do your supporters prefer? You probably have a gut feeling about the answers to those questions, but wouldn’t it be helpful to have more definitive answers?
That's exactly what our Timeline feature is for. Inside this tab, you'll find roughly 500 of your latest Facebook posts, charting a comprehensive picture of what worked and what didn’t. You can see why some posts performed above average while others didn't, based on data from both Facebook and your supporters.
How to Read Your Timeline
Go into your ActionSprout account and choose Timeline from the left menu. At the top you’ll see the metrics on the overall health of your page.
Posts Per Week
How many times are you posting to your organization's Facebook page per week? Given that you should posting two to three times per day (yes, including weekends) that comes to about 14 to 21 new posts per week. You should aim for at least that amount if you want to achieve optimal organic reach and engagement.
Fan Engagement Score
This score calculates the percentage of fans who usually engage with your Facebook content. A score of less than 20 isn't so good. Over 50 is above average, and over 100 is excellent. How can you increase this number? Post more content that get your fans to engage.
People Engaged Per Post
This is the average number of people who've engaged with each of your last 500 posts. Post engagement means that someone liked, commented, shared, click on a link, viewed a picture, or watched a video as a result of your post.
Any posts that did particularly well will have a large green arrow beside them with the percentage that they over performed. This is calculated by the post's engagement compared to the average for your last 500 posts, with 100% being at average for your page.
This stat will tell you what percentage of a posts reach was from viral sharing (seen by new people) versus organic views from existing fans. The more viral a post, the more your fans shared a particular story beyond your base.
This is the percentage of people who engaged with the post when they saw it in their newsfeed. The higher the percentage, the more likely Facebook will show it to even more people (which is exactly what you want!). Even better, when you consistently have posts with higher-than-average engagement rates, future posts will be shown to more people by default.
Each your content pieces tracked in ActionSprout has some shorthand identifiers. We call these Post Identifiers, which you can see here:
Any post that has an ActionSprout social action associated with it will have this icon listed under it:
A post with this icon has achieved additional reach via Facebook advertising:
Boosted Through SmartAds
If you're using our SmartAds tool, this lightning bolt shows content that's been automatically promoted, per your specified requirements:
Sorting, Searching, and Filtering
At the top of your Timeline you have the option to sort and filter how you see your posts. By default, your posts will be sorted by Date, with the newest posts at the top, and filtered by All, meaning all posts will be displayed without exception.
You may sort by Date, People Engaged, Likes, Comments, or Shares. It will show the most of that category at the top of the list down to the least at the bottom.
You can also choose to filter your feed by type, including whether the posts had an Image, Link, Video, and All of the above.
You can also use a keyword to search the content in your Timeline. This will bring up any piece of content that pertains to that word.
Note: Keyword searches do not go further back in time.
Get Even More Specific
You can also sort and filter your Timeline results at the same time. For instance, you filter by Reach and sort by With Action you can see all of your posts that included a campaign link and gained the greatest reach.
How to Strategize Using Timeline
Timeline is a powerful tool that can show you what performs well on your page and what doesn’t. By analyzing your results, you can gain a deeper understanding of what engages your fans. Then using that knowledge, you can create a content strategy to boost engagement even more!
As you review your results, keep an eye out for recurring patterns in your content in terms of content format, subject matter, and the tone and language of your text.
First, look at the top of your results for recurring patterns that will tell you what your audience likes to engage with. Then check the bottom of your results for patterns on your lowest performing content as well. Simply finding these patterns, following the high performing ones, and avoiding the low performing ones will boost your engagement and reach. Here’s what to look for...
What types of content are performing well? Is it mostly images? Videos? Articles? Status updates? Which content format is dominating. It may be just one or a few.
Another way to think about format is the way the content is presented or framed. Is the content framed as a story? An action? As a study or a recent finding? Is it all about presenting the facts, or is it asking questions and opening up discussion? The length of the posts can make a different, too.
Format aside, what kinds of content do you see? If you lots of images are performing well, what are the images of? Nature? People? Do they include text? If you find a lot of articles are doing well, what is the subject matter? Is there a pattern you can discern?
Tone and Language
What is the recurring tone? Is it light and cheerful? Is it serious and down to business? Are many of your posts celebratory? What kind of language gets the best response from your supporters?
How much text is included in the content? A little? A lot? How much is too much for your audience? Some people enjoy reading long articles and status updates... and some do not. Which kind of audience does yours appear to be?
All of these finding together can create a unique content strategy optimized for your page and audience. By correctly identifying and following proven patterns, you can better increase your page's engagement and reach over time.
And be sure to check back on your Timeline about once a month to keep monitoring your progress. Audience’s tastes can change over time, so no single content strategy will last forever. You'll likely need to tweak your content strategy as time goes on.