Understanding Facebook Boosted Post Metrics

Cardboard rocket

Cardboard rocket (Photo credit: Matt Biddulph)

 

As you may be aware, Facebook is making it more difficult for companies and organizations to engage directly with their intended audiences.  To counter this (and to make revenue), Facebook offers the ability to boost an individual post so that it shows up in the news feed of your intended audience.  These boosted posts can be fairly low-cost, with a minimum boost of $5 per day.  So how well do these boosted posts perform and what sort of metrics does Facebook provide? To find out, I boosted a post on Lady Paragon’s Facebook page (a site I run with my sister for Women in STEM careers).

Facebook Post Pre-Boost

Here’s what the post looked like before I boosted it:

LP-beforeboost

The metrics we see are:

  • 1 person liked it (red circle)
  • There was 1 share (green rectangle)
  • 976 people saw the post (blue rectangle)

I boosted this post for 1 day at a budget of $5 and targeted fans & friends of fans of Lady Paragon’s Facebook page.

Facebook Boosted Post Metrics

Here are the metrics after the boost:

ladyparagons-FBafter

The metrics provided are:

  • 4 people liked it (red circle) — 1 was from before, which Facebook properly reports in the red circle in the How people engaged with your post section.
  • 1 share (green rectangle) — this was from before the boost
  • 3102 saw the post (blue rectangle) — Facebook reports that 2079 were from the boost in the Paid Reach box.  You can also see the percentage of paid to organic in the box with the 3102 — blue was organic, green was paid
  • 4 link clicks (purple circle)
  • Engagement of 7 — this is the number of link clicks added to the number of post likes

Facebook Post Insights

When you look at the post in the page Insights, you see the following metrics (more recent data):

FBboostedpostinsights

The orange bar shows the number of people who viewed the post, divided into lighter orange for organic, darker for paid.  3.1K is pretty close to the 3102 mentioned above.  218 is the number of post clicks and 116 is the number of likes, comments and shares. This is very interesting. Either the boosted metrics didn’t include some of the stats, boosting the post helped increase the organic reach and engagement, or the post received an unusually high number of engaged traffic from some of the people who saw it (remember that when someone likes a post, their network sees that they liked it, at least for a short time period).

Hypothesis: Boosting a Post Improves It’s Organic Reach & Engagement Too

I boosted another post on the same page (same budget $5) and got the following results:

  • 1331 Paid Reach
  • 5 Engagements – 3 link clicks, 2 post likes

FBboostedpostinsights2

According to the post insights, the post  got 15 post clicks and 4 likes, comments and shares.  Not nearly as high, so there probably is a difference in the influence of the people who engaged with each post.

If we look at the Google Analytics traffic to the actual post on the website (April 2-April 22), the April 2nd post (Jessica Kirkpatrick) had 338 pageviews (20 from Facebook), while the April 9th post (Kate Synder), had 93 pageviews (77 from Facebook).

Conclusion: Unclear, More Results Needed

The results do tend to show that a boosted post receives more organic engagement, especially if there are people with good influence that do engage with the post.  Using good targeting to reach the right audience to improve engagement on a boosted post may provide the most beneficial of results.  More testing is needed — I’ll continue to monitor my efforts.

What have you found with Facebook boosted posts?

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Thoughts on #Socialnomics 2014 by Erik Qualman

Erik Qualman is at it again, with an updated 2014 installment of his #Socialnomics video (see below). If you are still unsure of the impact social can have on your company, consider these statistics from the video:

  • “53% of people on twitter recommend products in their tweets”
  • “93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media”
  • “90% of consumers trust peer recommendations only 14% trust advertisements”

Whether or not your company is using social networks, your customers are — in order to inform their purchase decisions and opinions about your brand.  Being active on social media gives companies an opportunity to listen, connect and contribute to the opinions consumers form of their products. Or as Erik states “Goodbye 4Ps – hello 4 C’s of digital: creating, curating, connecting culture”.

What do you think?

Social Media ROI is Always a Number

Numbers

Numbers (Photo credit: RichardBowen)

Wishy-washy marketers may try to tell you that Social Media ROI doesn’t matter, or that it’s about the conversation, or some quirky statement asking how you measure a phone call.  But ROI of any marketing does matter, especially to decision makers (whether your boss or your client).  People want and need to know how well any particular marketing tactic is working, so they can make decisions about what to improve and on what to spend money. Nichole Kelly has a great article over on Social Media Explorer about how to apply ROI to social media:

So how do we fix it?  We’re going to have to accept our reality that we need to be able to tie social media to an impact on customer acquisition. Sure you can tout customer service savings and other types of cost based results, but you’re going to have to bring a huge volume of conversations for that savings to really mean something to the leadership team. But the minute you start generating leads and adding new customers with a reasonable volume at at a reasonable cost, ears start to perk up.  Social Media ROI is Nothing But A Numbers Game by Nichole Kelly

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Does the Facebook News Feed Algorithm Leave Out Lurkers?

FACEBOOK LIKE

FACEBOOK LIKE (Photo credit: owenwbrown)

There’s been much news about the Facebook News Feed Algorithm which seems to remove posts from most of our friends and the pages we’ve liked — some might claim for reasons of wanting people to buy promoted posts.  While Facebook claims that the changes are to boost engagement — claiming that people are more likely to make updates when they see updates from others (but not from pages) — I think this leaves out a huge chunk of the Internet/Facebook audience — The Lurkers.

If you manage a Facebook Page for you ecommerce business, you may have noticed your organic reach and engagement has tanked lately. Analysis of the Internet Retailer 500 Facebook Pages shows engagement sunk 27% in 2013 vs 2012, and rumors abound that Facebook’s News Feed algorithm is increasingly hiding Page posts to force marketers to pay for exposure in the News Feed. Hacking the Facebook News Feed Algorithm by Linda Bustos

Lurkers are people who read and consume content — probably even regularly, but never share, like or comment on it.  They find the content valuable enough to consume, but not enough to take an action.  Many people just aren’t the type of person that feels comfortable with commenting or sharing online.  But they do find content valuable, and sites that can provide valuable content regularly are useful to this type of content consumption.

If Facebook discounts people who just read content (maybe not even clicking on the links), and removes that content from feed — is that providing a service to that type of person?  My argument is that is not.  Even the least Internet saavy has noticed that Facebook is “tampering” with their feeds.  Will this make Facebook less useful in general?  Time will say, but I certainly have seen the impact in my own content consumption — preferring to get content from my feed reader, Feedly, or maybe even Google+ which doesn’t filter my feed.

What do you think?

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Want to use Social Media? Listen, Reply & Be Human

Amtrak California locomotive train.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re wondering how to use social media for your business, it’s really not difficult — you should do the same things that you would do if a potential customer was in your store.  Listen to see whether or not they have questions, reply to any questions or concerns in a timely manner, and above all, be human.  MarketingProfs has this great article on how an old business – Amtrak – has been successful with social media:

The lessons are simple, and they should be applied by any business using social media to connect with customers.

1. Listen relentlessly. I was shocked that this “old-school” business was so attentive to the pulse of social media.

2. Reply immediately. Not only will you impress the daylights out of customers, you’ll also defuse tension and often turn it into a positive.

3. Have a human voice. I love the fact that whoever was monitoring the Amtrak Twitter account was not at all above shilling for a raise! Three Timely Social Media Lessons From an Old Business by Steve Woodruff

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The Diverse Paths for Google+ and Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Facebook is a social networking site that is trying to diversify into other applications (Poke, Messenger, Camera, etc), while Google+ is trying to integrate into the already existing array of Google Apps. CIO has a great article on the differences in the two company’s future direction:

Yet these two sites are embracing opposite strategies for the future. Specifically, Facebook is an integrated social network that is trying to become many different products, and Google offers many different products that it’s trying to integrate into a single social network.

The reason for such opposing strategies is that the problems, constraints and opportunities for each company are completely different. Why Facebook and Google+ Are Headed in Opposite Directions by Mike Elgan

While the article goes into some great reasons that Facebook and Google+ have different paths, I think that one missed point is why Facebook has been losing active users — not only because teens have been leaving and new teens have not been signing up, but also because Facebook has started more aggressively controlling what you see in your newsfeed — much of which feels like ads.

As my colleague Earl Lear pointed out:

I think what irritates me the most about Facebook is the fact that I personally clicked the ‘Like’ button on her page so that I could keep up with her, and read the content that she posts on a regular basis.  However, Facebook has determined that I really didn’t mean to ‘Like’ her content and has chosen to silence her in my newsfeed.  The motivation here is clearly to raise the revenue at Facebook by forcing people into paying for ads but aren’t they taking away from my experience to achieve their goals and thus lowering the level of satisfaction with their product?

I guess the question is, if you liked a page, do you expect to see updates from that page?  Maybe Facebook should have distinguished between Like and Subscribe earlier so they wouldn’t have to guess what content people want to see.

While people often aren’t keen on the amount of data Google collects about them, they’ve typically been pretty open and truthful about what they’re doing — they even provide good measurement tools for both AdWords and Analytics so you can see what’s going on with your websites.

Will this openness serve Google+ in the future?  Will Facebook’s past gaffs cause problems?  What do you think?

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Relationships are Key to B2B Online Marketing in 2014

over coffee

over coffee (Photo credit: lanuiop)

B2B marketing, whether online or off, is all about relationships. With longer sales cycles, and often, larger purchase amounts, it’s the relationship that a customer has with a business that really determines whether or not they’ll make the sale.  This also means that how the customer thinks and feels about the B2B company is vital to understand, throughout the relationship — especially in customer service after the purchase.  eMagine has a good article on B2B online marketing tactics for 2014: The B2B Online Marketing Quick Checklist for 2014, and while they mention Facebook and LinkedIn, I think that social media marketing has to be one of the top tactics for any B2B company in 2014 — and that means finding the social networks that make sense for your particular business (which may mean publication or association social networks or even creating your own).  Also vital to the success of any social media marketing efforts are being able to track customers throughout the sales cycle — which means a CRM that can be tied to social networks and campaigns and can find customers who are on social networks to know what they’re saying.

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Connecting Content to Your Audience

John Donne, one of the most famous Metaphysica...

John Donne, one of the most famous Metaphysical Poets. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all want our target audience to consume the content we create — why else would we create it? People consume content that resonates with their needs and wants.  They like companies that provide solutions to their problems.  Creating content that’s more than boilerplate how-to’s can be difficult.  Duct Tape Marketing has some tips on how to create content that connects with your target audience…

Clients enjoy original content because they find it useful, informative, and entertaining. They should also feel that it is being written by people that understand them. Of course there are many facets to any individual, but, as English poet John Donne succinctly put it, “no man [or woman] is an island.” Look for the common bonds between a business and its clients that go beyond services rendered. Here the type of valuable relationships that benefit both parties are formed. 3 Tips for Creating a Strong Connection between Audience and Content by Steve Giangola

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Consumer Social Sharing

Two young girls sharing a plate of spaghetti. ...

Two young girls sharing a plate of spaghetti. Original caption: “I’m not sure Mina knew what she was in for when Viola wanted to share.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The hope and dream of all content creators is that their content will be shared so that it can be seen by more people.  How, when and why people share content is extremely important to marketers because it will help form not only where you post your content, but also when and what content you post.  Jason Falls over at Social Media Explorer has a nice analysis of ShareThis’ quarterly report on how content has been shared across the web….

Unfortunately, clear understanding of share metrics is hard to come by. Installing share buttons on your website provided by the social networks don’t often provide analytics to go along with them. Your website analytics only go so far. So we have to rely on sharing tool companies and their aggregated data to understand this critical component to our communications efforts. Understanding Consumer Sharing by Jason Falls

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Social Media Hype for 2014

Social Media Outposts

Social Media Outposts (Photo credit: the tartanpodcast)

Everyone and their grandma is writing a post about the trends for social media in 2014… which is good, but I think we may be on the brink of something different.  Social media is definitely mainstream — that happened a couple of years ago.  But we’re starting to see more people become annoyed enough with sites like Facebook that try to control information that they’re seeking alternatives.  Facebook isn’t going away in 2014, but I think we’ll start to see other ways that people try to communicate with their friends.  Snapchat and Instagram are all the rage right now — but that just proves the point.  People will go where their friends go and to places that let them communicate the way they want.  Be on the lookout for new sites and technologies that let people communicate — that’s where the trends will take us in 2014.

Eric Tung over at Social Media Explorer has a great round up of more macro trends to watch for:

While some folks are still figuring out SoLoMo, Social Graph or Owned-Paid-Earned, these are the larger trends at play. Businesses and marketers need to understand how these trends affect users to be prepared for these major shifts in Social Media. THE SIX BIGGEST TRENDS IN SOCIAL THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND by Eric Tung

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