When I was in Grad School at Wilfred Laurier University, which really wasn’t all that long ago (I’m the consummate definition of “late bloomer”), two of my favourite courses were Advanced Behavioural Statistics I and II. These graduate level courses are designed to apply advanced statistical procedures to social science research data. Enjoying these courses surprised me the most considering I remember (vividly and nightmarishly) being challenged with math since Grade 1. To this day, I have this horrific visual image in my pea-sized brain of coming home with a math sheet and seeing “11X” (11 wrong out of 20) at the top of the page. Sigh. When I graduated from high school my mother could be heard saying, “If you took an x-ray of my heart it would be broken in two trying to keep you in school.” I think I threatened to quit school at least once a month mostly due to my hatred and struggles with numbers.
Once I made the decision that I wanted to spend my professional life in pursuit of helping people through research, it meant that I had no choice but to embrace data collection and analysis. If you work in any area of online marketing or social media, no doubt you have had to give measurement and analytics a few hugs yourself. This brings me to one of the agonizing truths of social media data: very few people know what the hell is what, and which tools we should use to collect and analyze one of our clients most valuable assets…… data.
If you’re anything like me, you have perused the interwebs for white papers, black papers, reports, blog posts, whatever you can get your hands on that will explain which is the best tool for analyzing Facebook post-level data. Have you seen the Infographic of Best and Worst Times to Post on Social Media? Considering how mysterious Facebook’s algorithm is (and how ever-changing), you can’t depend on the times listed in this Infographic. May be relevant today, is obsolete next week. Of course you can use the Insights tool built into your Facebook business page BUT if you post once a day, in a one-month period you have to scroll through analytics for 30 individual posts. And, look at the ugly graph that Facebook generates. Ugh. I have found a tool that is completely practical and easy-to-use that I have now incorporated into the Facebook analysis I conduct for all of my social media marketing clients. I feel confident that after this blog post you will at least want to try it!
Tim Wilson is a partner at Web Analytics Demystified (cool name for a group of nerds) and he has been working in digital analytics for over 12 years. I have to tell you, Tim is one of the most helpful people I’ve ever met online. Back in 2012 Tim developed an Excel worksheet that takes post-level data you can easily export from your Facebook Insights, which then provides a visual method of determining and exploring the optimal “times of day” (for particular days) for Facebook posts. As Tim explains in his blog post, this Excel spreadsheet performs these 3 basic but important functions:
- When (weekday and time of day) a page posts
- Which of those time slots appear to generate the highest organic reach for post
- Which of those time slots appear to generate the highest engagement (engaged users / post reach) for posts
In helping Tim to upgrade this tool so that it works with the current Insights format, I repeated the process for obtaining and generating best “time of day” results for Facebook business page posts 7 or 8 times. Let me tell you something – this is the best 2 minutes and 23 seconds you will ever spend making sense of Facebook data. Here are the steps you have to perform (anybody with administrative access/rights to a FB page can do this!) to find out the best times of day to post to your Facebook business page:
- Download the Excel file to your computer here
- From your Facebook business page click on the Insights tab
- Click the Export tab at the top right of the page. It will automatically download to your computer (most likely to your “downloads” folder). The filename is “Facebook_Post_Analysis-2.xlsx.”
- A pop-up window will appear and you must make the following choices: For Data Type choose Post Data. Facebook will automatically generate insights for the past 30 days. If you want data for a specific period (e.g. July 1 to July 31), simply click the dropdown menu for Date Range and manually choose the dates. For File Format choose Excel (.xls) and do notcheck the box that says “Export data using the old template.”
- Open the downloaded file (it will have the name “Facebook Insights Data Export – (Post Level) – Your Business Name – Date Range You Specified.”
- Copy all of the data from this Excel file downloaded from Facebook and paste it into the Post Details tab of the Facebook Post Analysis workbook.
- Go to the top of the Excel worksheet and click Data, then Refresh All. Wa-la – you are finished!
When you scroll across to the Results in the Excel file you will see charts that give you: Post Count; Average Organic Post Reach; and Average Post Engagement. It’s all fairly self-explanatory from here! Now you can see which of your posts organically had the best performance by day of the week for particular time ranges (e.g. 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM).
Give this a try and let us know if you found it helpful. Tim and I would love a shout out on Twitter. Tim is @tgwilson and I am @InspiredAnnette. I have used Tim’s Excel tool many times – if you have any questions by all means email me.
When Google+ first came on the scene of social media platforms, many business owners were already overwhelmed with adapting to online marketing methods and methodology. We were learning about the various types of content to create and share, the best times of day to post to our fans and contacts, and figuring out which social media platforms to engage in for the most efficient use of our time. Basically, where were we going to get the best bang for our buck? We have been told for more than a year that Google Plus is a necessary evil and frankly, even I debated whether or not that was valid. I thought it was just a marketing ploy by Google. The day has arrived when myself and other business owners all over the globe have to submit and admit! I am publicly admitting that Google+ has its virtues and actually, it turns out that it is an essential component of effective online marketing strategies for businesses.
I would like to share with you one of the best pieces of information on how to use Google+ that I have ever read. It’s in the form of an infographic which makes it even more valuable because it is concise, easy-to-read, and will save you researching and studying time. I originally located this infographic in an article by Neil Patel of Kissmetrics. Neil is one of the best SEO Specialists I have ever come across (there’s a gazillion and two!) and believe me, I read a lot of Search Engine Optimization articles. This infographic lays out: how and why to use Google+; what Google+ can do for you; ways to share content; how to boost your business on Google+; and explains why Google+ is best for Search Engine Optimization. Click here for the infographic.
Another piece of current relevant information about Google+ I recommend is an article just published on the blog Businesses Grow of my good friend, Mark W. Schaefer (an exceptional human being and business and marketing consultant). The article is written by Ray Hiltz who is a self-admitted Google+ addict. Ray does a superb job of outlining 10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Google+. Ray suggests and I believe correctly, that Google+ is akin to Google 2.0 – sort of like Google on steroids. There are 1 billion user accounts and 540+ million active users across the various Google platforms. Ray reminds us that unlike Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, Google+ has no ads and what I think is even more important, Google+ posts are indexed FAST! You definitely want to read this article and bookmark it to remind you later, when you’ve spent several hours this week on Google+, why you need to continue.
There are many articles about Google+ and Google archived on the Inspire and Acquire website in the resource section. We update our library of articles every week so be sure to check back soon!
If you have questions about how to apply online marketing methods to enhance your marketing strategy, feel free to contact the author of this article here.
Annette A. Penney, BA(Hons), MA
Strategist, Online Marketing
‘Keep up with the times-don’t be left behind!’
We are delighted to introduce our first in a series of blogs on how to use Social Media to benefit your business in specific industries.
A few years ago advertising in the local newspaper and delivering of flyers was deemed an effective marketing tool. However, with the onset of new and rapidly changing technology it has become necessary to adapt, in order not to be left behind by your rivals.
Alongside the growth of portals, social media marketing has become one of the most essential ways to attract vendors and consumers in your target market.
‘Social Media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way that we communicate’
To start generating leads, sales and opportunities Inspire and Acquire is offering creative social media management packages to businesses. Our in-house team of SEO experts are on standby to set up and customise your Social Media sites for you. We are offering monthly Social Media management packages all custom designed to tap into your specific target market.
Our marketing team will manage daily content creation, commentary, engage with your customers and you will develop a potent marketing weapon.
Due to the labour intensive nature of Social Media, our team will take charge of communicating with your followers with a lightning fast response rate, grow your fan base and pass on valuable leads to your Sales Team.
Depending on the geographical location of your business, we will network your business online connecting you to various target market pages and groups to catapult your business.
With the competitive nature of the marketing world, its best not to be classed as ‘old school’ and be left behind. To excel in any online marketing effort in today’s world, websites alone, unfortunately are no longer enough for online marketing success. The best way forward is to seize the day and embrace new technology.
For some great marketing tips be sure to watch this space for regular Social Media articles over the next few months. In the mean time please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions. For advice and social media assistance simply email us by clicking HERE and we will be happy to advise and assist.