Understanding your (Facebook) data (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this post, we established that the problem isn’t data, it’s about understanding what it means – being able to take direct actions from what you’re seeing. In this part we’ll look at identifying and understanding the difference between different types of content.

Sharing vs Commenting

For businesses, having a brand message go ‘viral’ is exciting and can bring instant reach. But regardless of the quality of content, virality is heavily down to luck – being in the right place at the right time with the right content. Plenty of great content sinks like a stone – just as old content can ‘enjoy’ popularity long after the original was made.

Businesses on Facebook want to grow their audience and engage their community, so understanding the properties of your content is essential. Is the content you are about to post interesting within your community only, or can it appeal to the wider public?

You cannot resist the compelling nature of the pyramid of compulsion

Basic content will attract likes – but likes are the least valuable interaction. They may bring a slight increase in visibility on people’s timelines. A very small percentage of your Facebook page fans will see any given post you make. A post that generates comments will appear to a much higher percentage of your fans – it’s considered interesting and treated with more importance by Facebook’s algorithm. Comments will also increase the visibility of the post outside of your community – and when people who are not fans make comments it pushes visibility up amongst their own friends, giving genuinely organic reach and growth.

This sort of engagement differs from a post that generates a lot of shares without comments – it will be seen by a lot of people (reach). This is valuable – but the important thing to note is that it is a different type of interaction. Being able to identify and predict what sort of content will attract comments and what will be shareable is something every company should know. It’s something community and online managers sometimes know – and crucially, it’s what anyone using the EzyInsights tool can know.

Let’s have a quick look again at RadioShack. We saw in the last post that they managed to generate a lot of comments within their community. This time we’ll look at their most shared post of the last month – this image of an old electronic basketball game, tagged with the #ThrowbackThursday hashtag.

No defensive 3 second rule here

Simple, nostalgic crossover appeal to a degree that RadioShack’s audience felt it worth sharing on their own timelines.

Another example is found on TIME Magazine’s Facebook page regarding the recent solar eclipse:

Pretty picture, dude.

This post generated 103 comments vs 1412 shares. This is a pretty good example of a ‘look at this’ post. You want people to see it, even if there’s really not much to say – anyone can understand it. Why would TIME post this? Increase reach, increase awareness, back it up with deeper content on your own Facebook page.

The shotgun approach to posting is not efficient

EzyInsights tool helps you order your own posts (and those of your competitors) quickly and easily. This helps you understand how your posts are performing against each other, identifies what your audience reacts to and how they react. Data combined with the context that a community/online manager brings is much more powerful than either of them on their own.

Have you made a post that attracted a lot of comments or shares? Did you understand why this happened? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

If you’re interested in knowing more about tracking your competitors or the EzyInsights tool, sign up for a demonstration on our website or drop us an email or tweet.

We want to help you get better on Social Media.

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