For marketers who’ve spent any time studying their brand’s Facebook Insights, the feeling of being overwhelmed by all the information is almost unavoidable. Facebook Insights provide reams of data for marketers to pour over when trying to figure out how their brand is being received in the social network. Yes, you have tons of data now, but do you have to pay attention to all of it? Not really.
One of the simplest ways to assess insights about your Facebook Page is to look at the viral rate of your posts. For the uninitiated, the viral rate of your Facebook posts represents the percentage of people who created a story from your post out of the total number of people who saw the post. (Facebook users create a story in their newsfeed by taking an action with your content.)
What Insights tell you about your posts
The higher the viral rate is, the better, because it means that whatever content you posted resonated with your audience to such a degree that they were motivated to engage with it. An engagement can consist of a like, comment, share, or click. By taking any of these actions, it helps bring your brand to the attention of like-minded people who could end up becoming your newest customers. It’s also telling you what your customers really care about, a key piece of information you can use to your advantage.
Use Insights to drive Your Content Direction
At Angelsmith, we use the viral rate and other data points of Facebook posts to help our clients refine the message they’re delivering to their target audience. We launched the Black Angus Steakhouse Facebook page with demographic information gleaned from their primary customer e-mail database. The database showed that most of their customers were primarily in a specific gender, geography and age bracket.
Based on the company’s positioning, Black Angus evokes a sense of nostalgia for traditional American values. However, we didn’t know precisely what content would resonate or who among their fairly broad audience would be the most influential in terms of spreading the word about the multi-unit steakhouse restaurant. We started with the existing demographic information and identified images and ideas that shaped popular culture during the time most of their customers were in high school and developed content to stir emotion.
Looking at the Facebook viral rate of specific, high-performing posts allowed us to hone the tone and direction of our content, helping us take Black Angus from zero to over 20,000 fans in less that three months (all without sponsored posts). In the process we uncovered a core group within a broader set of values that Black Angus can now count on to be engaged and evangelize their brand.
For another client, content-driven travel website Wandermelon, we used Facebook Insights to help identify content that would better target their reader. We initially put up a lot of Facebook content around family travel, assuming it would resonate with people who wanted to take their family to nearby travel spots, and based on the viral rate, it performed fairly well. But when we posted content about traveling with your dog, the viral rate went crazy. We reduced the family-related travel content and increased the dog-related travel content and immediately saw a significant increase in traffic to the company’s website. A new core audience that generated greater sales was established.
The True Value of Facebook Insights
Facebook is a critical part of the modern marketing mix, but not just because it can help drive an increase in sales for your brand. It also acts like a never-ending focus group that savvy marketers can always turn to for help refining messages and targeting. So next time you’re not sure whether something will appeal to your audience, test it on Facebook and let the viral rate speak for itself.
Photo Credit: Coletivo Mambembe