Guest Post by Simon Campbell, a writer from a facebook ad campaign tool, Qwaya.

A large portion of brands operating on Facebook don’t really have a crack team of statisticians nor do they typically understand how to read and assess various page statistics. This is because many brands operating on Facebook are relatively small, relatively new, and/or unfamiliar with various social media metrics.

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It goes without saying that navigating Facebook’s page statistics can be rather confusing. And even if you do understand how to read them and know what they mean, what exactly are you supposed to do with that information?

Below, you will read a very simplified, layman’s version of Facebook page statistics, as in what they mean for you as a brand. Any Facebook marketing strategy you develop relies greatly on accurate, real-time stats. So use this information to help you find and address your key metrics on Facebook.

Navigating Facebook’s Page Statistics

Your Organic Reach

The organic reach of your page measures how many people are actually seeing your page and your material in their News Feeds or who view posts on your page. This only measures direct reach; i.e. your brand’s material directly reaching a user. There are two types of reach here you should be concerned with – fan reach and overall reach.

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1. Fan Reach

This is a calculation of the different fans—and only fans—who have seen your material directly. By measuring your per-post reach to fans, you’re actually able to assess the effectiveness of the posts you’re creating. In other words, by measuring this statistic, you’re directly able to tell which of your posts have the most impact. From there, you can see what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.

The idea should be to keep fans interested. A high influx of visitors, like through a promotion, can cause the “health” of your Facebook page to suffer. In other words, this is an important category here. You want to keep your fans returning to your page and seeing your material in their News Feeds.

2. Overall Reach

Your overall organic reach measures fans and non-fans and how many of them have viewed any particular post. You can find this metric via Facebook’s Insights. From there, you can click on “posts” and go to “reach” to find your options.

This particular metric should matter to you for a few reasons. First and foremost, it’s important to see who you’re reaching organically so you can figure out why they’re not fans. How are they ending up on your page and why are they not true fans? You want to improve the overall visibility of your fan page so that people in the overall reach category can more easily become fans. If your overall reach is high (higher or even comparable to fan reach), you need to figure out where your fan page promotion is lacking compared to individual posts and other avenues.

Your Engagement Numbers

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Engagement is the metric that comes right after reach, and it basically tells you how many users have actually spent time on your material through some type of action. You get to see the action taken by the user (Liking, commenting, etc) and you even get to see if anyone has reported your post.

Your engagement numbers matter because they paint an accurate picture of how well your material is received. For example, if your reach numbers are high but your engagement numbers are low, then you know that there’s something off with your material. People aren’t Liking, commenting or sharing it at a rate you want. So, knowing this information, you can see which posts are engaged with, and with what type of engagement, and you can ultimately tweak your efforts to entice more engagement from more users.

Overall, higher engagement levels make you stand out better per EdgeRank, which will put you in more News Feeds. Higher numbers also mean that more people are actually interested in your content and want to spend actual time with it. This gives you more options to attract more leads and direct more traffic.

People Talking About You

This metric is known as the Storytellers stat after Facebook’s upgrades, but it can still be found in the Insights section where the “People Talking About This” metric used to be. It’s the same metric, which basically tells you who’s talking about (and taking action with) your post and page. This goes beyond simply clicking on a link; Storytellers focuses on people who have Liked, commented or shared, which generates a story.

For this particular stat, known as the friend-of-friend or the viral metric colloquially, you get to see how willing people are to engage with your material, and how willing they are to share it with their friends. Finding posts that are shared by more people with more friends obviously gives you a better template to work with. Material henceforth can be designed with that metric in mind, helping you to increase your reach.

Your CTR (Click-Through Rate)

There’s a lot of Facebook software out there to help you create material, but it’s solely up to you to create the interesting angle of that material that people are going to engage with. Getting people to click-through on your links is very important. It means they’ve taken the time to assess and follow your links, whether they’re from basic posts, status updates, hashtags, or paid ads.

Figuring out your CTR numbers will help you decide which plan of attack is working the best. Once you see which material is being clicked-through at the highest rates, you should also be able to streamline your campaign and cut costs down. And if you find that your CTR is really low, you can use other metrics to see where you’re at and add a different, stronger call to action.

Your Negative Feedback

If someone hides your page/post, dislikes it, or reports it, then you have received negative feedback. This type of feedback won’t always come by way of embittered, spam-like comments on your post. Some people are silent yet deadly in their efforts to make their frustrations known. Locating your “Engagement” stats in the Insight menu, you can find all the different metrics pertaining to Post Hides, Reports of Spam, etc.

Facebook weights negative feedback against you in a big way. It’s on par with a neg rating on eBay. If you’ve ever sold there, you know what one negative review out of dozens can do to your image. So finding out who’s neg rating you and where they’re doing it will lead to the answer you’re looking for: Why.

Use this statistic as a great opportunity to change the way you’re doing things. Maybe you’ve broached the topics of religion and/or politics. Maybe you said something that was insensitive. Maybe you’re simply marketing too broadly and people from unrelated niches are seeing your material and aren’t happy about it. Whatever it is, you should work to change it before the weight piles up.

Finding and understanding these different metrics will help you run a cleaner, more efficient campaign that will attract more true fans and ultimately cause them to engage more. Facebook gives you the benefit of figuring out what you’re doing wrong. However, don’t stop there. Look into different third-party apps to help you assess what you’re doing right/wrong with your advertising campaign as well. Go through everything and tweak your approach to ensure maximum efficiency.

Author: Simon Campbell, a writer from a facebook ad campaign tool – Qwaya. He loves to write different topics about social media and participates in some communities and forums. If you have more social media marketing questions, feel free to ask Simon on Twitter.