The Complete Guide for 2021
Facebook Post Metrics
Facebook post-level metrics refer to metrics at the post-level only. Be mindful that some metrics exist as both the post-level and page-level with the same name but measure different things.
For example, Impressions at the post level is the total of Impressions on all posts in the report’s time range while Impressions at the page level include not only all the post Impression totals but also Impressions of the Page itself (which includes but is not limited to visiting the Page, seeing the Page suggested in News Feed, checking-in to the Page and/or viewing the Page’s About section).
Facebook Impressions is the number of times that a post has been seen on Facebook. Impressions are commonly confused with Reach but are very different. Unlike Reach, Impressions are non-unique. This practically means that if 1 user sees the same post 3 times, that post will have 3 Impressions but only a Reach of 1.
Impressions are also considered a ‘top-of-funnel’ metric meaning, this number will be the biggest, most impressive number you can report on when it comes to your Facebook posts.
Facebook Reach is the number of unique people who have seen a post on Facebook. Remember, this metric is different to Impressions. Although 1 person can see a single post many times, they will only be counted as a reach of 1.
Warning: avoid the temptation to sum the reach of all posts and report on “Total Reach”. Doing so would be technically incorrect. Since reach represents unique people, you would be summing multiple unique people (since 1 person is likely to have seen multiple posts) and would end up with a number somewhere between Impressions and true Reach. You might call this “non-unique reach” but you should avoid introducing exotic metrics into your report which aren’t considered standard. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t provide a Total Reach number on posts in a given time interval such as a month. So instead, we recommend you rely on Impressions above or use the Average 28-Day Reach metric below.
Facebook Average 28-Day Reach
Since Reach can’t be summed, the 28-Day Reach metric exists as a proxy to “Total Reach” when averaged. While Facebook does not provide a Total Reach number on your posts, it does provide a 7-day and a 28-day total post reach number instead. You can see this by going to Facebook Insights for your page and downloading the “Page data” from the Export Data button in the top right:
Once downloaded, open the file in Excel and scroll to column J. This column shows the 28 Day Total Reach listed as a daily count (each row is a separate day in the month). Social Status takes this 28-day number daily and averages it over the month, resulting in Average 28-Day Reach.
Facebook Organic Reach Rate
Organic Reach Rate (ORR) is the Organic Reach on a post divided by Page Likes averaged out across all published posts in the report time interval. This metric is shown as a percentage and represents the degree to which your Fans (Page Likes) saw your published posts organically. If you rely on organic performance only and don’t have a budget for paid promotion, this is a very important metric for understanding the success of your content publishing. If you see ORR falling month-on-month, this might be an indication that you require some spend to promote posts so they are seen by more people.
While some industry commentators say “organic reach is dead” and that Facebook is “pay to play” – this is actually not the case. Some Facebook pages achieve excellent levels of organic reach (eg ORR of 50+%).
“Facebook Engagements” is a roll-up metric which means its the sum of 8 individual metrics:
- Reactions (Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, Angry)
- Video Views (3-sec)
- Clicks to Play (clicks or taps on the actual video play button)
- Photo Views (clicks or taps on an image)
- Link Clicks (clicks or taps on a URL or link card)
- Other Clicks (clicks or taps anywhere else on the post including the post text, “See More” link, profile image, page name or post date)
This makes benchmarking Engagements across multiple social channels tricky because all the channels roll-up different metrics so you’re never comparing apples with apples in a multi-channel comparison. For example, Instagram Engagements are based on 4 metrics (Likes, Comments, Saves, 3-sec Video Views). The thing to remember is not all Engagements are equal.
Facebook Engagement Rate
The Engagement Rate (ER) is the best metric to answer the question: “how engaging is the content?”. Engagement Rate is calculated as Engagements divided by Post Reach. The metric is expressed as a percentage and when looking at ER across multiple posts, we simply average the post ER’s.
Warning: there are several ways to calculate ER. Each social channel reports ER based on their channel-specific “Engagements” metric and as we know from above, each channel rolls-up Engagements differently. So keep this in mind when benchmarking ER in Profile Analytics. If you’re benchmarking ER competitively in Competitor Analytics, you’re in luck since this is based on public Engagements (Reactions, Comments, Shares) which is a much fairer cross-channel comparison. The downside is that you can’t divide public Engagements by Reach (since Reach is a private metric) so ER is instead divided by Followers (or Page Likes for older Pages). Social Status also publish a monthly Facebook Engagement Rate benchmark.
Facebook Video Views
Facebook Video Views are 3-seconds by default. This means if a user scrolling through News Feed sees your video and is on the screen for a minimum of 3-seconds, it will count as a “video view”. Some would argue that this is not really a meaningful view which is why Facebook also provide other video metrics such as 10-seconds, 30-seconds and percentage-based views too.
Facebook Video View Rate
The Video View Rate (VVR) is the best metric to answer the question: “how engaging are the videos?”. Video View Rate is calculated as Video Views divided by Post Reach. The metric is expressed as a percentage and when looking at VVR across multiple videos, we simply average the post VVR’s. As mentioned above, since Facebook has multiple view metrics (ie: 3-sec, 10-sec, 30-sec, etc) so too will there be multiple VVR’s. For example, 3-sec Video Views will have an accompanying 3-sec VVR metric.
Facebook Link Clicks
A Link Click is a click or tap on a URL in post text or on a post call-to-action button. Keep in mind that while a Link Click indicates a user has clicked a link, this does not necessarily mean they land on your website. This is why you will always see a discrepancy between Facebook Link Clicks, and your traffic stats in Google Analytics. Because it can take several seconds for your website to load inside Facebook’s mobile browser, some users get impatient and return to the News Feed before your site has a chance to load.
Facebook Click Through Rate
The Click Through Rate (CTR) is the best metric to answer the question: “how effective are our link posts at driving traffic back to the website?”. Click Through Rate is calculated as Link Clicks divided by Post Reach. The metric is expressed as a percentage and when looking at CTR across multiple link posts, we simply average the post CTR’s.
Facebook Post Metrics
Facebook Page-level metrics refer to metrics at the page-level only. Whilst some page metrics include post-level totals, they encompass metrics which are only relevant at the page level.
Facebook Page Impressions
Page Impressions on Facebook is the sum of every possible impression related with your page. Not only does this include all the post impressions, but also impressions from people visiting your page, checking-in to your page, seeing your page tagged in other posts, seeing your page recommended in the News Feed. Impressions are non-unique, meaning if 1 person visits your page on 3 separate occasions, the page impressions will be increased by 3.
Facebook Page Reach
As we covered in the post-level metrics section, Reach refers to unique people (unlike Impressions which is non-unique). Page Reach not only encompasses post reach but also reach achieved by the page separate to posts. This might seem a bit abstract but there are many opportunities for your page to reach people in the News Feed without it being as a result of a post you published. You will notice this when looking at your stats if a page is dormant for several months and hasn’t posted any new content. When looking at Page Reach, you still might see some performance there. This extra type of reach is as a result of people visiting your page directly, checking-in to your page, mentioning / tagging your page or seeing your page recommended in News Feed.
Facebook Page Views
Facebook Page Views relates specifically to the number of total views of the Facebook Page. Users can access your page in several ways including searching for it in the Search bar, navigating to it directly via the URL, following a link, or clicking your Page in the News Feed, tagged post or other Facebook link.
Facebook Page Likes (Fans)
In 2020, Facebook announced the planned deprecation of Page Likes (also known as Fans). The Page Like has been an enduring metric which has polarized marketers due to its reputation as more of a ‘vanity metric’. Facebook announced Page Likes would be replaced by a similar (and very familiar) metric: Followers.
Facebook Page Followers
Page Followers is Facebook’s new metric that represents the ‘community size’ of a page. Facebook introduced the Followers concept in 2017 but didn’t announce the deprecation of Page Likes until 2020.
Facebook Growth Rate
The Growth Rate is a percentage that shows how fast a Facebook Page is growing in Followers (or indeed shrinking if there’s negative growth). Growth Rate is the only metric which is time-dependant. In other words, if you report monthly, you would have a Monthly Growth Rate which will be a different result to say a Weekly Growth Rate or Quarterly Growth Rate. The calculation for Growth Rate is: (number of Followers on the last day of the time interval minus number of Followers on the first day of the time interval) divided by number of Followers on the first day of the time interval. For example, if we wanted to calculate the Growth Rate for January this would be: Followers on Jan 31 minus Followers on Jan 1 divided by Followers on Jan 1. The metric is expressed as a percentage.
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