Social Media Insights – the catch 22 for managers
Anyone who has or is currently managing a Facebook Business Page will be familiar with Insights – the graphs and numbers that show us how our page is going and how that clever post that you thought for sure would be a winner is, in fact, swimming dead in the water amongst the world of other clever posts.
Insights give us a look into how our page is performing
Insights provide a snapshot into how well we are doing at maintaining audience numbers, how many new likes, and much engagement we are generating. Insights also break down the figures with individual post performances and audience demographics, amongst other things. Facebook also sends out an email each week with the most important stats for the week.
Green means good, red means not so good.
Social Media insights provide a valuable look into areas of your page that might need some attention and what times of day are the best time for you to post. Using these statistics, Social Media Managers are able to adjust posts and target ads in a more effective way.
Sounds great doesn’t it! And I’m sure you’ve checked these numbers regularly too.
But I’m also sure that you’ve looked at the post reach that’s fallen short of your expectations and felt a little twinge of self-doubt.
Why aren’t people responding? Did I say something wrong? Is there a typo?
Perhaps you notice a few unlikes on the same day. Again you start to wonder what you’ve done wrong to cause people to hit the unlike button. You take it personally. It makes you sad. You stop posting for fear that it might happen again.
This happened to me earlier this year. I found myself obsessing over the numbers for the Townsville Women Facebook Page.
It seemed no matter what I did there was an imbalance in likes vs unlikes. Engagement levels were sliding, post reach took a dive. For about a month the page numbers seemed to be going backwards, and it was having a huge effect on my anxiety.
Part of my monthly reporting to advertisers requires me to look at the numbers, but I took it to the extreme. At least a dozen or so times per day I was checking the numbers, checking the insights and I’d dread seeing all the red numbers on that weekly email.
What was I doing wrong?
I became so focused on getting those unlikers back that I stopped being authentic. I lost my voice and instead of producing great content, I became focused on what was going to get the numbers back. Rather than research content for my own audience, I was wasting time scouring Facebook to see what everyone else was doing.
That’s why I call Insights a double-edged sword, the catch-22 for Social Media Managers and Page Admins.
It can cause you to focus on the wrong thing. Rather than producing better content, you are obsessing over the not-so-good content. Instead of looking at ways to attract new followers, you are focused on the ones who left.
I was caught in a cycle of comparisons and the overwhelming feeling of being ‘not good enough’.
But here’s the thing
Not everyone has to like you. People are allowed to hit the unlike or unfollow button and you are allowed to be ok with that.
How many times have you sat in front of the TV and gotten a few minutes into a show only to then change the channel in search for something else? It doesn’t mean that it’s a terrible show, it’s just not for you.
Exactly the same as your Facebook page – there will be people who ‘change the channel’ on you.
In the case of Townsville Women, I find the numbers dip at various times in the year when bulk people leave town – Defence posting cycles, end of school terms, mid-year, etc. Being a location dependent page that shares information for this particular city means that when people leave, chances are this page is no longer of use to them.
Unless your numbers are dropping significantly, then it’s not worth any more than a couple minutes of your time to check in with your page insights and monitor the statistics. Don’t look at the past few days or past week, but rather look at monthly or even 3 or 6 monthly cycles.
Record your long-term growth and you’ll come to realise that you are indeed doing a fab job!
When it comes to looking at Insights and your stats, don’t become so invested in the numbers that you lose sight of the bigger picture. Numbers on a graph only tell part of the story.
Focus on creating good quality content that your followers will respond to. Give them a reason to share your posts, to tag their friends, and recommend your page to new followers.
Build an organic and authentic following, and never stray from your own message in order to attract the numbers.
Play the long game and avoid falling into the trap of obsessing over numbers. Remember that Insights aren’t the be-all end-all of your Facebook Page, and they certainly don’t give you a complete indication of your overall business success.