Have you been perplexed by the terminology that’s bandied about in social media, specifically Facebook? You are not alone – many find it confusing to differentiate between Likes and Reach, Engagement and Shares, Views and Click Throughs. This blog aims to demystify all of that for you. Read on to understand some of the basic terms used in Facebook and it’s Analytics….
It’s an adaptation from the commonly used dictionary word LIKE which denotes agreeing and approving something. When your audience “Likes” your post/photo/video, they are showing support or their appreciation of the content. The more number of Likes a post gets, the more popular it is. This term is used generally across most social media channels and is denoted by the Thumbs Up sign.
When someone reposts your content on their channel, then the post is considered to have garnered a “Share”. A post with many shares is even more popular than one with just “Likes”. Content that is amusing or outraging generally get more shares. Personal anecdotes that advice or warn also get shared a lot. Entertainment (movies, music) related and humour are also very shareable content.
For any social media account, there are mainly two pages – one is the profile page with all the posts of the account along with other personal details. The other more important page is the Home page. The Home Page is where the account user can see the posts by all the others that they are connected to. This is also where advertisements get served to them. In Facebook, the home page is called as the WALL or the Newsfeed. The goal of all company Pages and brands on social media is to get on to the Home Page of users.
This is normally the most confusing term to understand since although the direct meaning is self-evident, what it means in social media is slightly confusing. Simply put, Reach is the number of people who were shown your posts. This metric is only available for Facebook Pages and not for profiles (See my post on the differences between a Page and a Profile). The number of people a post reaches depends on the number of followers of a page, the number of shares for the post and the level of engagement on the post. If the post has high engagement, then the potential to reach more people is high even if the page has lesser followers. The converse is also true that a post reaches only a small audience if it is not engaging despite a large follower count.
Organic Reach Vs Paid Reach
When Facebook began introducing Brand Pages about a decade earlier the goal posts were very different and brands were allowed free access to users in the sense that their posts enjoyed a wide reach among followers. However, with Facebook deciding to maximize advertising revenue, the Organic Reach – that is the number of people a post will be shown to automatically – shrunk dramatically. Paid Reach is the number of people who see the post as a result of paying for the post to be placed on users’ walls. Organic Reach today is at an abysmal 2-3% for pages and it is no longer desirable for pages to just buy likes or followers since that does not guarantee eyeballs.
This is the total number of times your post has been seen. It includes multiple exposure to the same user. Some Facebook Ads are run for the goal of getting the maximum number of impressions for a post. Pages with brand building objectives will aspire for more impressions.
This is a more useful term to aspire for than anything else on Facebook. Engagement is the measure of how many people interacted with your post by either liking/commenting or sharing it. The more engagement a post has, the more popular it gets.
Trends are topics that are created by using a “hashtag”- #. Originally popularized by Twitter and later adopted by Facebook, trending topics are ones that are popular among users of that particular social media channel. The use of hashtags is to categorise content under keywords and to enable interested people from knowing what’s happening in that topic. #s can be searched for on Facebook and the more popular a content, the sooner it appears on search results.
When a Facebook user clicks on your post to either play a video or see a picture in full, like or comment it is considered to be a Click. A click is also a measure of engagement with the post. Most Facebook ads are charged on the basis of the number of clicks generated by the ad. The brand page is only charged if a user clicks on the post and hence is assured some level of engagement.
Click Through Rate (CTR)
If you divide the number of clicks an ad received by the number of impressions it got, you arrive at the CTR. It is a measure of how engaging your ad was. An ad can be engaging or not depending on the relevance of content to the audience, selection of the right audience and how compelling the creatives are. The higher the CTR, the better for the brand page.
These are just some of the basic terms that one needs to understand before we delve further into the art and science of Facebook Marketing. I will introduce more terms as we progress along in our understanding of Social Media.