Let's face it: Social media takes effort. If your going to use valuable resources to create, distribute, and even advertise or boost posts, it's worth knowing how they performed. Then you can use that info to make future posts that much more efficient (and effective). 

To Get Started

First, log into ActionSprout and select the Facebook Page you'd like to work with on the Accounts screen. 

Next, click Timeline in the left hand menu: 

Under your posts, you'll see some tags with words. These highlight various metrics regarding the performance of each of your Facebook posts. 

Let's dig into what each one of these indicators means, how they're calculated, and what they can tell you. 

Of all the people who saw your post, what percent of them reacted to it by liking it, commenting on it, sharing it, viewing the video, etc.? A post earns the Engaging indicator if that rate was greater than 5%, which is considered a success.

Example: If 500 people view a post, and more than 25+ engage with it, you'll get the Engaging stamp of approval.

High Engagement

A higher-than-average percentage of people who saw this post engaged with it. Way to go! Let's learn from that success by asking a few questions:

  • Did it relate to a trending topic in the news?
  • What was it about the wording, message, or image that grabbed people’s attention and prompted them to react?
  • Are there lessons here that could inform your other posts?

Impact
High engagement helps get your content into more people's newsfeeds, leading to high-quality page growth. Expect more supporters and even more engagement going forward. Just make sure to keep the effort up, using lessons learned from posts like this. You could just as easily lose supporters if you don't continue to engage them.

Low Engagement 

 A lower-than-average percentage of people who saw this post chose to engage with it. Is there something you could do to change that?

  • Does the image, message, or title grab the viewer's imagination quickly and draw them?
  • Could you increase the amount of feeling elicited from the post?
  • What would it say about a person if they were to engage this post? It is possible that people don't want this post associated with how they portray themselves on Facebook? 

Impact
A low engagement rate inhibits the organic, viral reach of a post. The less that people engage with it, the fewer people who will see it. You can't engage with something you never even knew was there, right?

This indicates that there was a higher than usual ratio of people who saw this post who weren't previous supporters, compared to those who saw it and were already supporters. A post is deemed Viral if it has a non-supporter view rate of greater than 24.7%

Example: If 500 people view a post, and 123 of them weren't fans before, that post would be considered viral. 

Highly Viral 

Your post reached a lot of new people through viral reach. Congrats! It's worth trying to figure out what helped cause that, so you can try to duplicate those results again.

  • Perhaps your audience thought the content would be useful or important to their friends and family, prompting them to share it? 
  • Maybe your audience liked what sharing your content would say about them as a person?
  • Perhaps your audience wants to continue to react to and comment on posts of this nature?

Impact
Viral reach helps you reach new people without spending money on ads. By sharing your posts, supporters are giving your organization free reach and engagement. You can't beat that.

Viral content also delivers fantastic results when advertising dollars are spent to boost it. 

Low Viral Reach

If your post had a low viral rate, cheer up. If only one out of every five of your posts accomplishes viral success, you're still doing great! Just keep learning from your successes and failures and trying new things. 

Impact
Low viral reach means your content is not reaching people beyond your Facebook page fans. The more you can entice your current supporters with your content, the more likely that content will be able to spread to potential new supporters.

If the percentage of people who saw this post and clicked on it is high, it's officially Clickable. A good click-through rate is anything greater than 0.9%, which can be harder to achieve than you might expect. People like to skim Facebook. Navigating away from it shows significant interest to see more. 

Example: If 500 people view a post, and more than 5 people click on it, it's considered Clickable.

Highly Clickable

A large percentage of the people who saw this post clicked through to see the content you linked to. That's fantastic! Why? In addition to all those people seeing your content, the more that people click on a link, the more Facebook will make it appear in their friends' newsfeeds.

So what can we take away from that success?

  • Something about the link you shared grabbed people's attention. They stopped scrolling and clicked to learn more. What do you think it was that made them want to take the time to dive in? Was it the topic? Did the image or title catch their attention? Whatever it was, look for more examples like this to share with your audience.
  • When people clicked through they must’ve found what they wanted. How do we know this? Because they spent enough time on the link, causing Facebook to assume the content was as good as the post made it out to be.
  • Was there something about the message you posted with the link that made people stop and take notice? Adding strong commentary to a link you’re sharing can enticing people to dig deeper. 

Impact
Those who click on the link will help increase the organic reach of your post. Facebook takes their clicks as a sign of quality content, and thus they include it in more of your supporters' newsfeeds. 

Low Click-Through Rate

This indicates that a smaller than normal percentage of people who saw this post chose to pursue the content. Low click-through rates can be caused by a number of issues, including:

  • Not capturing the interest of your audience
  • Not presenting clear value that makes people stop and take notice
  • Not providing content that your supporters want to be associated with  

Impact
When few people click on a link in a post, Facebook assumes the content has low value. Therefore, it tends to reduce the number of fans who will see it organically or without paying for ads. 

A post is considered Likeable if a decent percentage of people reacted to it compared to how many saw it. Generally, a reaction rate of at least 2.3% is a great start. 

Example: If 500 people view a post and more than 11 people react to it, that post is considered Likeable.

High Reaction Rate

This indicates that a high percentage of people who saw this post shared their reaction to it. In other words, you made your community think or feel something strongly. 

Reexamine the post to see what you can you learn from it:

  • What exactly that made people feel so strongly? Was it the imagery, the message, or something else?
  • Why do you think people wanted their friends to see them reacting to it? How did there engagement with the content make them look? 

Impact
When people react to your posts, it helps get your content out to more people. That means greater viral reach and less money spent on Facebook ads. 

Low Reaction Rate

For some reason, a low percentage of people who saw this post reacted to it. There many possible reasons why that could've happened, but often it’s a sign that the post failed to make people FEEL. Check the tone and imagery. Make sure that it has a authentic, personable quality to it.

Consider these rules of thumb when trying to boost reaction rates:

  • The stronger a post makes people feel, the better.
  • Make sure your posts aren’t only about your organization. People need to see how it relates to them.
  • Think about why your target audience would want you or their friends to see them reacting it.

Impact
Low reaction rates tend to decrease the number of followers who will see your post in their newsfeeds. You can't get reactions if no one's looking your way.

This indicates that a significant number of people shared the post compared to how many people saw it. We consider a post Shareable if it earns a share rate of more than 0.4%. While that may seem pretty low, getting people to share something on Facebook requires the greatest engagement investment. The people who shared your post liked it enough to want to get the word out. They also liked it enough to have it prominently part of their personal timeline. That's big-time support.

Example: If 500 people view a post and more than two people share it, that post is Shareable.

Highly Shareable 

A Highly Shareable ratio shows that the people who saw your post valued it and thought their friends would, too. When people share your posts, it helps you reach new audiences, which is your best bet for gathering new supporters.

So let's learn from that success by asking a few questions: 

  • What was the value of this post that drove people to share it with their friends?
  • How did sharing this post make the person look: smart, caring, kind, funny, etc.? Remember: People share content because it helps them show others something about themselves. 

Impact
When people share your posts, you gain valuable viral reach. This gets your content to new audiences and deepens your organization's connections the people you reach, all without even paying for ads.

Low Share Rate

Did a smaller than normal percentage of people who saw a particular post choose to share it? Not all content is designed to be shareable, so maybe that’s fine. But if your goal was to reach new people, consider why that content didn’t go beyond your fans. Here are some things to look for:

  • Could the value of the post have been clearer? Is it possible that people who saw it appreciated it, but didn't believe their friends would?
  • What would it say about a person if they were to share it with friends? Most people won't share content unless it matches or amplifies their self image. 

Impact
Posts that get low share rates simply aren't seen. Thus your organic, un-paid reach will be lower, often leading to bigger ad budgets that end up resulting in insufficient success for your dollars. 

This indicator is particular to video posts. How many people saw your video compared to how many people watched at least three seconds of it? If it was at least 18%, kudos, you have what we would call a Watchable video. 

Example: If 500 people viewed your video, you'd need at least 90 people to watch it for it earn the Watchable indicator.

People Watched... and Kept Watching 

Your video effectively kept the attention of your audience, well beyond the three second threshold. Take a minute to think about what may have contributed to that—and post more videos like it!

Was the content particularly relatable somehow?
Was it relevant to other popular current events?
Does it reveal something new or that people didn't previously know?
Did it make people really feel?

Impact
By watching your video for more than a few seconds, your audience helped increase the organic reach of your post, ensuring that even more people saw it in their newsfeeds. 

Short View Time

A smaller than normal percentage of people stopped to watch your video, even when it autoplayed in their feed as they scrolled by. Why do you think that is? Most often, it's one of these two reasons:

  • Is your video engaging without audio? Most people watch Facebook videos without sound. Does it need captions?
  • Perhaps it started too slowly and didn't catch people's attention from the first second? Remember, people are very quick to scroll past. You need to catch them in the first instant. 

Impact
When people don't watch past three seconds, Facebook assumes the quality of the video is poor. That tends to reduce how many other people will see it in their own newsfeeds. 

If your post receives at least 110% more (non-paid) engagement than your average post in the last two weeks, then it earns Top Post ranking. As the amount of engagement of your posts changes over time (for good or for... not so good), so too will the reach of your Top Posts. 

Over-Performing

An Over-Performing post has had more people engage with it than most of your other posts over the last several weeks. 

  • Did it relate to a trending topic in the news?
  • What was it about the wording, message, or image that grabbed people’s attention and prompted them to react?
  • Are there lessons here that could inform your other posts?

Impact
High organic reach helps get your content into more people's newsfeeds, often resulting in more engagement and more supporters.

Under-Performing

An Under-Performing post has had less people engage with it than most of your posts from the last several weeks. Is there something you could do to change that?

  • Does the image, message, or title grab the viewer's imagination quickly and draw them?
  • Could you increase the amount of feeling elicited from the post?
  • What would it say about a person if they were to engage with this post? It is possible that people don't want this post associated with how they portray themselves on Facebook? 

Impact
A low-engagement rate inhibits organic and viral reach. You may be putting in the work, but it's not going to be worth it for the results.

A post with an Action indicator shows that it contained a link to an ActionSprout social action. To learn more about the people who engaged with the post and completed the social action, go to the People section of your ActionSprout account. 

Impact:
Social Actions are created for sharing! Every time a supporter completes your social action, it is automatically shared on their Timeline with friends and family. If friends or family complete the action, it is then shared on their Facebook Timeline, and so on and so. This means a popular action can gain a lot of reach for free on Facebook! Check out our best practices post for more information on creating effective calls to action. 

This shows that a post was automatically promoted by the ActionSprout SmartAd system. In other words, the post began to over perform organically with your supporters, the tool noticed that, and then it began boosting it as you indicated. 

Lightly Promoted

Impact:
Since this post was lightly promoted, it may alter some of the performance recommendations we provided.

Highly Promoted

Impact:
If a post has been heavily promoted, it will very likely affect most of the insights we provided as to its performance. So please take that into consideration.

A Discussable post has a number of people who've commented on it compared to the total number of people who saw it in their newsfeed. And what exactly is "a number of people"? Brace for it... 0.1%. That's right. If you get someone, anyone, to comment, then your post enters Discussable territory.

Example: If 1000 people view a post and at least one person comments on it, it's officially Discussable.

High Comment Rate

This post really got people talking. That’s great news for both your page and your community! Make sure that you're a part of that conversation too. Like or respond to the good comments (and maybe even consider hiding those that aren’t). 

Here are some more things to think about:

  • This topic is of real interest to your audience. Some conversations are more valuable to readers than others. Consider why this topic struck a chord and use that knowledge when creating future posts. 
  • The more you engage with the people who comment on your page, the stronger the connection you’ll have as a community.
  • If comments are negative, respond to people with respect. And don't shy away from hiding comments that are offensive or disrespectful. 

Impact
Comments are a powerful way to reach new people. Embrace them as a direct way to deepen relationships with existing community members and entice potential new community members.

Low Comment Rate

This post received a lower than usual number of comments, considering the number of people it reached. That may be fine. Not all posts necessarily lead to discussion. But whenever possible, try to post content that’s conversation-worthy. 

What kind of content leads to comments?

  • Share a real story that evokes an emotional response. It can be a powerful conversation starter.
  • Write like a person, not a brand. People don't want to chat with companies. Be yourself: real and authentic. 

Impact
Comments are a powerful way to find your most active supporters and drive viral reach. If your posts aren't getting comments, they're not delivering enough value to get people to join the conversation. Experiment with your messages to see if you can find a way to fix that.

Have questions? Reach us at info@actionsprout.com

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