• Joseph Lowe

Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Analytics:Five Facebook Pro Tips to Practice in 2020

In previous blogs, we’ve talked at length about the many benefits of Google Analytics and insights that can be gleaned by using a free Google Analytics account. From simple metrics like pageviews and bounce rate to specific measurements of behavior like events or goals, Google Analytics can provide a definitive answer to the question, “Is my website working as intended?” But what if you don’t have a website?

Today, an estimated 10 million small businesses in the United States use Facebook pages to post content about their company. Several small businesses with little or no organic presence from their actual website update Facebook more than their website because it has a higher chance of getting engagement. Some companies with no access to a web development or marketing team choose to create a Facebook page without building a website all together.

What this means is for small businesses who lean on Facebook for engagement and content updates, an analytics tool with a similar capacity to Google Analytics sure would be convenient. Enter Facebook Analytics.

Facebook Analytics provides similar insight into data for optimization opportunities across Facebook pages that Google Analytics does for your individual website pages. In both platforms you can view funnels across channels, get a general idea of monthly user activity, referral traffic by channel, top engagement metrics, demographic data and plenty more.

What’s the hardest part of Facebook Analytics? Learning how to use it. In this post, we’re going to learn the use case for Facebook Analytics, run through a few examples of those use cases and learn a few tips to remember the next time you login to your Facebook Analytics account.

Before we start, I’d just like to give Chris Mercer from Measurement Marketing a quick thank you as I gleaned some great information from his course from CXL Institute.

Why aren’t we using Google Analytics?

I’m a big fan of Google’s marketing tools as much as the next guy. From Google Data Studio to Google Analytics to Google Tag Manager, these are all systems I work with on a weekly – if not daily – basis. So why am I straying away from what I know and love?

In truth, I have no choice, but I would probably still use Facebook Analytics even if I had to choose between the two. The reason that we have no choice but to use Facebook Analytics is that there is no way to insert tracking code onto Facebook as you would with your website. You could try to call up Mark Zuckerberg, but something tells me that call won’t go as well as you might’ve planned. Think of how Google Analytics gains access to, records and stores data.

First you insert tracking code onto your website via Google Tag Manager, which records data you’re interested in. Google Analytics stores that data that you’re recording and allows you to make the filters needed to get the website insights you’re hoping to gain. Google Data Studio allows you to make charts, dashboard and other colorful visualizations so that your client or coworkers better understands the data-based conclusions you’ve made. The same can be said of Facebook Analytics.

Facebook Analytics can retrieve metrics from Instagram (owned by Facebook) and Facebook pages that simply cannot be accessed via Google Analytics. A few examples include post likes, post comments, shares and the like. Google Tag Manager also plays a role here. Tag Manager allows users to combine data from your website with data from your Facebook page to create excellent cross-channel funnel reports and truly understand if your Facebook traffic is increasing revenue.

Important Facebook Analytics Terminology

Before we take a close look at what Facebook Analytics has to offer, let’s lay out a few terms and review the general hierarchy across Facebook Analytics.

Events: Events are to Facebook what hits are to Google Analytics. In Mercer’s own words, “Everything in Facebook Analytics is an event.” Anything that you measure in Facebook is considered an event.

Event Sources: Every event comes from an event source. The event source options you’re given in Facebook are your Facebook page, Instagram page, mobile app or a pixel (Google Tag Manager).

Event Source Groupings: An event source grouping is simply a group of event sources that you deem relevant to one another that you can group and view together. Similarly to cross-domain tracking in Google Analytics, this allows you to combine data sources and get a better view of all the data in one place.

Private Groupings: Private groupings are event source groupings that can only be seen by one specific user. The only caveat is that the private group will go away if you don’t use if for 90 days.

Business Asset Groupings: Business asset groupings allow numerous tools across Facebook to connect in place. It’s more geared toward agencies with multiple clients or larger corporations with multiple brand or software lines.

Facebook Analytics Reporting Features

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the reason why Facebook Analytics is so important – the data! In Facebook Analytics, there are two basic reports that you can view. They are the people reports and the activity reports.

People reports provide more information on specific user behavior, interests and demographics. Activity reports – which I believe is the meat of Facebook Analytics as a resource – show all the different engagements and activity that are happening via your event sources. Let’s take a look at a handful of the reports available across both types.

Activity Reports

Active User Report: The active user report tells you the number of users that have active within your event sources by different time periods. You can also see a bit of demographic data as well, but it is a good report to view when looking for quick trends.

Revenue Report: The revenue report gives you a general idea of how much money is being made and which event sources are bringing in the most. If you were to scroll down there a few additional line graphs on specific purchases and age & gender by purchase as well.

Funnel Report: The funnel report is perhaps the most telling report that Facebook Analytics has to offer, allowing you to combine multiple data sources to see how people navigated your event sources to eventually complete an outcome. Let’s take a look at the example above.

For the sake of this sample, let’s say your team is running an extensive Instagram campaign in an effort to increase engagement across your website and inevitably influence purchases. Your team has included a linktree link in your Instagram header that leads Instagram viewers to specific content pieces that you’re tracking that will hopefully warm up leads and encourage them to purchase as well. So we’ve chosen the four steps of viewing the Instagram profile, viewing content you’re tracking, adding an item to their cart and purchasing said item.

We see here that while 0.28 percent is a relatively low conversion rate, there have still been 5,260 purchases that can be attributed to your campaign over the past 28 days. As you scroll down the graph, users can also see the unique amount of people who went through this specific funnel as well as the completion time by percentage. But what if we wanted to go even further.

Facebook analytics allows users to refine (filter) the events by different parameters including UTM codes, demographics and other customizable parameters so you can pinpoint data even further. The funnel visualization in Facebook often feels limitless, but it’s incredibly important to remember that this data is only as good as your tracking code. If incorrect data is feeding into Facebook Analytics, then this funnel visualization can quickly lead you to the wrong conclusions.

Breakdown Report (Pivot Tables): Breakdown reports mirror Google Analytics Explorer tables in that you have metrics measured by a variable, but the locations are just different. In this case, pageviews in your metric and you’re measuring page views by the UTMs source, medium and campaign.

People Reports

Demographic Report: The demographic report gives a quick view into demographic data about your users, including things like job title, relationship status, age, gender, preferred language and location. It’s a great report to see if you’re attracting the right customers for your product.

Interest Report: Lastly, the interest report is pretty interesting. It displays the pages that your active users have liked and gives insights into what your users are most interested in. It gives you a nice way to focus your audience targeting away from the regular targeting you might’ve previously used.

In the meantime, what reports are you using to show your data via Facebook? What event sources are in your event source groups? We’d love to hear how you’re optimizing your Facebook Analytics account to better suit your business and clients. Thanks for reading and I look forward to sharing more insights next week!

This post was created in an effort to complete my CXL Institute Mindegree Scholarship obligation and speak to the materials reviewed in the course. The information is a combination of my previous knowledge and excellent insights from a phenomenal program.

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