Facebook Engagement: The Best Measure of Social Media Success

We all love the social side of Facebook: that warm fuzzy feeling when a client or customer posts a glowing comment on your page, or when hundreds of fans “like” a photo. As businesses, when we look at the bottom line for participating in social media we have to evaluate our return on investment (ROI). Evaluating the ROI for social media platforms can be a fuzzy area, and so here are a few Facebook Insights data you should examine.

Page Likes

The number of likes a particular page has will vary with the industry, and you should watch several other pages within your industry to compare how your page likes stack up against others. Resist the temptation to believe that the number of Page Likes is the best measure of your social media performance; it is simply one variable!

pages to watch photo for Facebook

To evaluate Page Likes data, click on View Insights and then Likes. Examine your Net Likes to measure your overall success in gaining and keeping followers. Do you have frequent, high numbers of Unlikes? Evaluate your posts to see what may be driving people away. Inspect your Organic Likes vs Paid Likes to determine if the content you are providing or the ads you are producing are driving fans to your page.

Facebook likes graph

Facebook graph showing likes and unlikes


Engagement is a much better measure of how your social media efforts are paying off. When customers interact with your page, either by liking, commenting, or sharing posts, they are giving you mini-endorsements to all of their friends and family. The “reach” (or number of total people who saw the post) of these actions will be far greater than your base Page Likes number.

post reach on Facebook

How do you measure engagement? On the wall of your business page look for the “talking about this” number. This is the number of “stories” created by people who liked, commented, or shared your posts. These stories show up in the news feed of friends of the person interacting with you; thus showing your name to many people. The Talking About This number compiles those interactions for a week with a 48 hour lag time; you won’t see this number increasing for today’s posts until two days later. Bonus: you can see the Talking About This for your competitors pages too and compare your engagement with theirs!

Evaluate individual post engagement regularly to ensure you are posting quality content with which your fans will engage. Click on your Insights Tab and then Posts. First you’ll notice the days of the week and times when your fans are online. Pay attention to this data! If your fans are online more on Fridays at 8pm then time your posts for that time frame. Another option is to post at different times of the day and monitor what posts get the most engagement. It may be that your engaged fans are online at different times than overall fans.

Facebook graph of when your fans are online

Next examine the All Posts Published area. Click the drop-down arrow beside the Reach and check Fans/ Non Fans. A post with higher engagement will have more non-fans seeing it, which means more potential clients are seeing your name. Next click on the drop down arrow beside Post Clicks, Likes, Comments & Shares, and click on Engagement Rate. This is taking the number of people who engaged with your post and comparing it to the number of people who actually saw the post. High engagement on posts will help you determine if you are posting content relevant to your fans. Just remember this is a ratio of the number of likes, comments, and shares divided by the number of people who actually saw the post, and so a post with high reach is going to need a high number of interactions to have a high engagement rate.
Another handy data point within this tab is the Post Hides, Hides of All Posts, Reports of Spam, and Unlikes of Page in the drop-down menu of Post Clicks. If you have a post or posts with more than 1 or 2 of these negative indicators you need to reevaluate what you’re posting!

Facebook posts published and engagement on posts

By evaluating Page Likes and engagement, we can be sure our content is relevant to our fans which will drive business to our doors as well as solicit new customers.