Facebook Ads and Insights – Analyzing Your Ads

Facebook Ads – Analyzing Your Success

Last time we talked about how understanding the different types of Facebook ads could help you choose the right ad option for your goals.

Knowing your goals matters, because if you aren’t spending ad money for a reason, you shouldn’t be spending it at all.

So think about it: are you trying to get more likes, comments and shares on your posts? Are you trying to increase the likes on your page? Are you trying to get people to click a link to your website?

Once you have figured that out and set up the appropriate ad type, it’s time to start watching your analytics reports to make sure you are heading in the right direction for your goal.

Analyzing Your Facebook Ads

Insights are where you find the key to making decisions on web-based campaigns, and will give you the ability to make important assessments about your audience and your content.

While not as extensive as a separate program like Google Analytics, Facebook has some decent analytics that can help you to see how well your ads are performing. You can assess your ad performance from the Facebook Insights found on the page’s admin panel and the more extensive Ad Management page.

Ad Management Page

WATCH THE VIDEO: [How do I get to the Facebook Ad Management page?]

From the Ad Management page, you will be able to see every single ad campaign that you have run on Facebook from your advertising account. This page allows you to see metrics like:

Objective of the Ad: Post Engagement, Likes, Offers, etc.
Reach: A rough estimate of the number of people your ad was shown to.
Result: Shows how many people acted to meet the specific objective of the ad.
Frequency: How often people saw the ad. For example, 1.0 means that each person saw it once. Anything above that means people started to see it more than once. 2.0 means almost everyone listed in the Reach has seen it twice.
Clicks: How many clicks the ad has received
Click-Through Rate: Percent of people that clicked on the ad vs. number of people who saw it.
Cost: Cost per impression (1 impression = 1000 views) or cost per page like
Page Likes: How many page likes each campaign has brought

In addition to all the great analytics that you have access to from the Ad Management panel, you will also be able to edit every ad that has been created for your campaign.

If we had three ad campaigns running, a likes, website visits, and app installs. Each ad campaign could create up to six similar ads with different images. Using the Ad Manager, you can adjust the images for each individual ad.

For example: You make a Page Likes ad campaign, in which up to six ads will be created with different images (if you choose to upload different images) and the same ad copy. If you do not choose to upload six when you start the campaign, you can always go back and edit it to add more variety of images. Through the edit feature, you will be able to change the copy but not the targeting of each ad.

Because the targeting comes from the campaign, it cannot be changed on the individual ad level. To change the targeting, you will have to edit the campaign as a whole from the Ad Manager or create a new campaign.

It is important to note that not all ads will be able to be edited in this manner. If you click the ‘edit’ button and are unable to edit more than the name of the ad, then your ad does not support editing.

After creating your ad, make sure you spend a little time getting familiar with the Ad Manager and what types of information you can monitor and track for your unique campaigns.

Page Insights

Although Facebook’s Page Insights will be able to provide you with a wealth of information, it unfortunately is not able to directly tell you how well any of your ads have performed except ads that have been set up directly from the Facebook fan page, such as Page Likes and Promoted Posts.

Using Facebook insights to run ads

Facebook Insights Show Ad Post Reach

You can find these two ad analytics in the Admin panel of your business page. You can access your page insights by navigating to your Facebook business page, at the top of the page you will see a series of buttons, one of which will be insights. On the page you also get a snippet of metrics for the past seven days on the right hand side of the page.

How to get to Facebook Insights

Even though you will not be able to track most of your ads, there is still plenty of valuable information in Page Insights that will allow you to assess whether or not you are running a successful campaign.

Although your Page Likes campaign may be driving plenty of likes, the Ads Manager will not tell you how many people have unliked your page since you started running the ad. Page Insights will give you this information, so that you can tell if your ads are doing a great job getting people to your Facebook page, but your content is not keeping them there. If this is the case, then there is a problem with short-term messaging versus consistent content that will need to be addressed.

Additionally, if you are gaining a lot of fans but no one is engaging with your non-promoted posts, you may want to look at the Insights to see what times your fans are on Facebook so you can schedule your posts for a more appropriate time, or adjust your regularly occurring content to be more similar to the content that you promote.

What else can Facebook Insights tell me?

Insights give detailed information on metrics such as:

Page Likes – This week vs last week, likes vs unlikes, where your likes are coming from (ads, posts, website etc).
Reach & Engagement – This week vs last week, Total post reach, individual post reach, paid vs organic reach, post likes, post comments, post shares.
Visits – Page and Tab(app) Visits, page mentions, posts from other people to your page, check-ins, external referrals (traffic coming from outside Facebook to your page).
Post Performance – When your fans are online, best performing post types (Video, Link, Status, Photo).
People - Demographic of fans (location, age, sex), Demographic of people reached in the last 28 days, Demographic of people engaged in the last 28 days, and Demographic of checkins in the last 28 days.

Analytics give you insights into your audience.

Business owners like to think that they understand their target demographic. And often, they do.

Here’s the thing, though. Sometimes, when you start to post on social media, a new and unexpected audience—one you don’t know anything about—will start to find you.

You need to understand your page analytics for the purposes of understanding your online audience—which may be quite different than the one to which you try to appeal offline.

You also need to understand your advertising analytics specifically so that you don’t waste money. If you see that the budget for an ad is halfway done, but it hasn’t yielded any of the desired results (or not nearly enough), you should not hesitate to stop running that ad. Save the money and try it on another ad type that might work better.

So much of marketing can feel like a guessing game. Analytics can help to take that mystery and turn it into more of a science. Any knowledge that you gain is knowledge that you can apply to your next online campaign to make it even more successful.

Have you ever taken the time to look at your Facebook analytics? What insights did you gain? What were you confused about? Share with us in the comments!

How Your Web Assessment Tools Can Change Your Whole Marketing Approach

The Importance of Web Assessments

When prospective clients tell me about web marketing campaigns that fell short, they almost all follow it with the same question: “What did we do wrong?”

To be honest, it’s usually many things, but it all started in the beginning. When I ask about their research and self-assessment process, most of these same clients also meet the question with a blank stare.

Over the last week on Google Plus and Facebook, we have been talking about the importance of being familiar with your web analytics. We compiled a fairly extensive– though by no means complete– list of the resources available to you, and we are bringing them together in this post so they are easily accessible. Check out the embedded posts and additional commentary below!

Assessing Your Marketing Goals

We believe that assessments should ALWAYS be your first step in planning a marketing strategy. Think of it this way: if you were going away on vacation, you wouldn’t just pick up and go without planning and preparation, would you? Where are you going? How do you get there? Assessments are there to help answer these questions for your campaign.

 

Website Analytics Tools

Understanding your website’s traffic sources and patterns is vital to understanding the nature of your audience.
Know where your traffic comes from – Understanding where your website’s visitors come from is key for planning your upcoming web marketing campaign. This can help you pick precisely the means of communicating your message with your audience. If your web traffic is coming mostly from Google organic search, Facebook, or Google+, then you will want to tailor your message for each one of those individual audiences.
Know your site’s most visited hours  – If your site gets most of its Facebook visits in the morning, then you may want to consider posting during the morning hours so that you know that more of your audience could be watching.
Know which links are clicked – Most web analytic tools can track links, so make sure you are using this feature. Knowing which links are the most often clicked on your web pages gives great information about which headlines or calls to action perform the best. You can also see how traffic flows in your site– what page do they land on and where do they go from there ?

 

Social Media Assessment Tools

When you study your social media analytics in a more in-depth way, you’ll gain a better understanding of your audience. You can learn vital information such as:

  • The days, and times your audience engages with your content.
  • Who your audience is
    • Where your audience is located
    • Age and gender
  • Which kind of content drives maximum performance
    • Images
    • Written stories
    • Video

No matter which social network you are on– whether it’s Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter– understanding these core metrics can help you to fine tune the social media portion of your web campaign.

 

Unraveling the Analytical Mysteries

The information contained within your analytics is priceless when it comes to planning your next marketing campaign. Use the information about your audience to build a message that they can connect with. Use methods of communication that they consistently respond to and take action during the most active part of the day. Some of the analytical data may indicate that you need to make changes to your website, or the way you market yourself on social media. Understanding the data you now possess is a stepping stone to creating a winning marketing campaign.


Must-Have Social Media Analytics Tools

What am I getting out of social media?

Social media is a part of the marketing reality for many businesses today. But not every social network is right for every company, and if your marketing budget has limits then it’s smart to carefully evaluate where you want to spend your time and dollars. If it’s time for you to do a social media audit, choosing the right tools can save you a great deal of time and effort; there are many different free and paid programs available to help you evaluate what you’re getting out of your overall social presence.

Generally Good Social Analytics Tools

hootsuite-reportsIf you’ve been following +Mike Allton on Google+ (and you should be), you’ve probably spotted his fantastic series of posts on getting the most out of Hootsuite.

Hootsuite is one of the more popular budget-friendly social media management services available (and we’ll be returning to look at the management side of it later), but one of the other big benefits of using it is access to regular analytics reports about the performance of social media posts and the links that you share. They have also recently added six third-party apps for analytics and monitoring your social engagement, which adds additional power to the platform.

www.hootsuite.com

 

 

Cyfe is an all in one analytics dashboard that allows you to monitor almost all of your online marketing activities. You can set up multiple widgets on your dashboard that allow you to view:

  • analytics from your website (via Google Webmaster Tools, Alexa, Chartbeat, Compete, etc.),
  • social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, AddThis, Bitly, Klout, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Company, Pinterest, and YouTube)
  • Paypal
  • Salesforce
  • email campaigns and inboxes (Constant Contact, Gmail, MailChimp etc)

And this is only a portion of the services you can connect to and monitor! The free trial account is unfortunately very limited—you can make many different dashboards, but you can only use five widgets across all of them. Paid Cyfe accounts start at $19/month or $168/year.

www.cyfe.com

Social Media Analytics Tools Cyfe

Social Network Specific Analytics

It’s worth noting that when we’re talking about evaluating value, we also have to look at how you are USING the social network. If you aren’t getting the numbers you want, start taking note of how often you’ve posted and what kind of content you’re using.

There’s a good tool out there for Google+ users in particular, called AllMyPlus. You can see how many followers you have and how many +1’s / reshares you have given out. You can view your posts and interactions on them, as well as your most popular posts by comments, reshares, and +1’s. It’s a good tool for looking at your previous Plus activities.

www.allmyplus.com

social network analytics tools

Google+ users should also check out Circle Count for a breakdown of what your “Rank” (or number of followers) is among other Google Plus users.  You can chart your follower growth by increments of one year, six months, thirty days, 7 days, or you can enter a custom time period. You can see the activity from your latest posts (+1s, reshares, comments). You can also see how many times you have been shared in public circles.

www.circlecount.com 

social media analytics circle count

*Do you have an image-centric website? Are you a Pinterest user?* If the answer to the first question is yes, the answer to the second question should be yes too. Pinterest is a very powerful tool for sharing images across the web, and can significantly increase traffic to your website. If you want to find out how many images from your website are getting pinned, check out *PinAlerts*. You can set up as-it-happens, hourly, or weekly alerts that visually summarize the pinning activity on your website.

www.pinalerts.com

pinalerts

Everyone who uses Facebook Pages seriously for their business will want to keep an eye on their Facebook Insights. This free tool will provide a seven-day snapshot of the most important activity on the page. You’ll be able to see how people are connecting with your page, including a breakdown of follower demographics (location, women/men, age range), and compare the performance of all your posts. Additionally, you can see how many times your page was liked and unliked, and determine if more of your Facebook likes come from the page itself or from your website.

Social Media Tools Facebook-Insights

YouTube also offers a solid analytics service that allows you to see the amount of views you gain per day, week, or month. You can monitor your video engagement in the form of likes, comments, shares, and favorites added or removed. You can also easily determine which are your best-performing videos, and their average view duration. YouTube Analytics also show the location and gender breakdown of a channel’s subscribers, and indicates the top traffic sources and playback locations (on YouTube, in an embedded player on another site, on Facebook or Google+, etc.).

What about you? What analytics tools do you find most helpful for analyzing your social media activity? Share with us!

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P.S. If you’re not following us on Google+, you probably missed our post yesterday about website analytics tools. Check it out!


7 Steps to Social Media Strategy Planning

When you first get started on social media as a business, it is tempting to just start sending out posts at any time that the mood strikes you, on whatever topic seems most important that day. In many cases, it’s only once you have been on social media for a while that a strategy planning starts to come together by default. This ad-hoc approach is one big reason that so many business owners become dissatisfied with social media as a branding or marketing strategy– in many cases, they just don’t see the return.

Social Media Strategy Planning

There is another way to approach social media, though– one that is thoughtful and targeted at the right set of goals, the right audience, and the right time. Here are the seven core steps of social media strategy planning that can help to improve your marketing campaigns and branding efforts.

Strategy planning

  1. Assessment: It is a very good idea to take some time and assess where you are with your social media. You will want to find your current target audience, how much engagement you have on each network and what has worked in the past with your audience. It is important for you to know where you have been so you can decide where you are going.  If you are just starting out and haven’t done much on social media, this is a step you can likely skip, or modify to include other web marketing efforts that you may have tried.
  2. Set goals: I would argue that goals are the most important part of creating a strategy for your campaign. Without goals, you will not be able to measure the success of your campaigns, or even devise a solid strategy. Your assessment should be able to give you an idea of the goals that you can achieve in the short term and long term. You should also set some goals that are currently out of reach, which will help you gauge your progress later on.
  3. Strategy planning: How are you going to reach each of your goals? Each goal may require a unique strategy. For example, growing your reach requires a different approach from driving sales. When planning your strategy, you should also keep in mind the best social network to achieve your goals:
    • Facebook: At nearly a billion users, Facebook offers the largest reach of all social networks.
    • Twitter: Around half a billion users, Twitter offers a great reach, and is generally looked at as the best option for real-time interaction.
    • Google +: Late last year Google Plus reached half a billion members and is one of the fastest growing networks in social media’s short history. G+ offers great branding and SEO opportunities, and tremendous reach with its newly implemented communities.
    • Pinterest: With 12 million users, Pinterest is a great place for anyone looking to sell an item based on its physical appearance. Used mostly as a virtual pin board and window shopping experience, branding and product sales are easier to achieve for niche products. Pinterest is also most popular with women, so if your demographic is heavily female, this could be the place for you.
    • LinkedIn: Recently LinkedIn has reported 200 million registered users. Its booming growth has lead to abundant B2B marketing opportunities. Remember, LinkedIn is not just an online resume; it’s a social network just like all the others.
  4. Measurement:Plenty of tools exist on the web that will allow you to measure the success of your campaigns, but picking the right ones is important to your success. If you are not already using Google Analytics, I highly recommend that you get that set up. You will be able to track how your social campaigns are affecting your web traffic. Here are some other tools that you can use to measure your social media success.
  5. Implementation: Now it is time to unleash your social content strategy on the world! Be aware that everything may not go as planned and real world situations (like viral songs or videos) may need to be squeezed in at the last minute to capitalize on trends. Creativity counts!
  6. Analyze: Use the measurement tools you chose in #4 to gauge your social media strategy’s success rates. Find out what is working in your campaigns and what is not working. Keeping up with your analytics will give you a great idea of what you are doing right.
  7. Re-implement:  Now that you have a good idea of how people are reacting to your campaign, you should revisit your strategy. You will often have to refine your strategy to better suit your audience. Once you have developed a new strategy, it is once again time to implement, and analyze.

Remember that clear goals and continuous refinement through measurement are critical to success in any social media campaign. Social media is constantly changing to reflect the current trends in our society. There is no such thing as a social media strategy that works for everyone, because every business has different objectives and demographics to work with. Because of this, you must first know what you want, and then actively engage with your audience to refine your overall approach until you find a strategy that works for you.

Using Google Analytics to Measure Your Social Media Outreach

A lot of sites use Google Analytics – it’s the most widely used analytics platform available today. And most of those sites are measuring all the visitors that came to their site from social media sources they publish on. This can provide great insight – we created this piece of content, and we can look at how popular it is on our Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus networks:

Some marketers would look at this graph and decide their social media outreach was working great. But this data really doesn’t tell the whole story. How many of those visitors came from users who re-shared or clicked through on that content when you posted it on your social site? How many of them came from a link that someone else shared after finding your site through a search engine? It might seem impossible to disentangle the two. The distinction is important – in the former, it shows you’ve created an attentive audience open to your marketing, and in the latter, you’ve created content that is popular on social sites but not necessarily with your current social media audience.

There is a simple way to distinguish between the two. All you need to do is make use of campaign parameters on the URLs that you share. Campaign parameters are just extra information attached to a URL that web analytics platforms can use to learn more about that particular visitor. Here’s an example:

In the above example, that campaign parameter tells my analytics that the visitor came from Twitter, through the medium of Social (our shorthand for our social communities), and as part of our Blog campaign. Now, when I go into Google Analytics, I can apply a campaign filter for ‘Blog’. This will show me only visitors who came to us from our social media outreach.

Whoa! Totally different picture, right? We can compare the visits and learn a few things: 1.) Which content really takes off on social media outside of our outreach efforts, 2.) Which content our following on various networks is most interested in, and 3.) How effective our social outreach really is.

The URL Builder tool from Google makes adding campaign parameters simple. All you have to do is enter in the URL of the content that you wish to tag and then the campaign parameters you want to use. Then you click ‘Generate URL’ and you’re done. Use link shorteners like bit.ly to make the links more portable and gather additional data.

Measuring this later on is also dead simple. There’s a section of reports inside Google Analytics called ‘Campaigns’ – it’s listed in Traffic Sources, under the Sources tab. First, select ‘Secondary Dimension’ and set it to ‘Landing Page’. Then, click ‘Advanced’ next to the Search Bar – enter the campaign name you used in the URL builder into the Campaign filter, then add another filter and select ‘Landing Page’. Enter the URL of the content you shared, and then click Apply. This will show you visits to that content from users with your campaign tag attached – in other words, visitors who came as a result of your social media outreach.

You can then compare this to all the traffic from the social networks you post on in the All Traffic report. You’ll need to filter the sources in that report using a Regular Expression, or RegEx, that includes all of the social networks you’re actively posting links on. Set ‘Landing Page’ as the secondary dimension in this report, just like before. This time, for the Sources filter, select ‘Containing’ and change it to ‘Matching RegExp’. The RegEx to see all traffic from our social sources looks like this:

Facebook|twitter|t\.co|plus

Once you’ve filtered by your social sources, you can compare the two data sets, or compare the same data from multiple pieces of content. This can provide valuable insight into the value of your content, how engaged your social media following actually is, which networks prefer which kinds of content, and much more.

How do you use campaign tagging? Let us know in the comments.

You can find more great blogs like this one at LunaMetrics.com.

When Twitter Comes Alive: The Partnership with Patients Summit, Sept. 2012

Does anybody remember doing a pen pal program in elementary school? You were assigned another student from a different school, and then you started writing short letters back and forth. I remember enjoying those opportunities to get to know people who lived far away. That, arguably, was my first experience with social networking.

As far as I can tell, very few people spend time writing letters anymore. The pen pal has become the online friend, someone that you keep up with through the Internet. But to me, the real beauty of social media is similar to the things I enjoyed about the pen pal program: the chance to connect with people that you may never have had the chance to meet in person. The main difference is that you connect with people on social media as a result of a common interest, passion, or experience. Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest are great examples of this—through open profiles and the use of hashtags, it’s relatively easy to find a community that cares about the same things you do.

Last month, I had the chance to see one of these online communities come together in person for one of the most powerful events I’ve ever attended. The Partnership with Patients summit was organized by Regina Holliday, the widow of one of my college professors who died of kidney cancer in June 2009. Since her husband’s illness, Regina has become a leading figure in the e-patient community that has an online home of sorts on Twitter. And last month, she organized a conference at the Cerner campus in Kansas City, Missouri, that brought many of them together to discuss their ideas, experiences, and insights on how patients can become more active participants in improving the health care system.  Some of these people—like Casey Quinlan and Alicia Staley, the two women in the photo below—had been friends online for years and years, and were just meeting in person for the first time.

@MightyCasey meets @stales in person.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I attended the conference as a patient and a social media enthusiast, and came away with both passions brimming with new ideas. We discussed the need for the health care system to change its approach to topics like mental health, end-of-life care, and patient safety (among many others) in wide-ranging discussions that encompassed a variety of opinions that reflected the views and differing experiences of the patients and providers in attendance.

Technology featured prominently in the all of the discussions throughout the weekend, both as an active and a passive participant. Many elements under discussion—error prevention, fact checking, medical records, and more— relate to the introduction of computerized records systems and even medical processes, which has been taking place over the past several years. The introduction of electronic medical records has led to debates over privacy and security, as well as transparency and openness.

In addition to the discussions about different kinds of electronic medical records, patient access to data, and other related topics, technology allowed other guests to be present in the rooms during the conference. During the Saturday sessions, there were approximately 70 people tweeting on the hashtag “#cinderblocks” from the conference itself. However, there were a total of 201 people who tweeted about #cinderblocks throughout the day… which lead to over 2,000 total tweets… which lead to over seven million impressions of the tweets. Nobody had to “sneak” their use of social media under the table at this event—everybody who wanted to be tweeting from their phone, tablet, or laptop, felt free to do so at any time.

It was inspiring for me to be in the presence of people who so profoundly believed in the possibilities that technology holds to improve health care, and who used it so well in their own lives. I met patients who do not want to be passive participants in their own health, but who want to partner effectively with their medical providers to yield the best results possible, and they believed that information—their own medical information, in particular—is the first step to making that happen. Sites like Twitter have encouraged and expedited this kind of relationship-building, and the Partnership with Patients summit was a great reminder of what social media can be at its best.