This hidden Facebook page feature is key to getting your content seen

by Steph Parker on Jul 24, 2012

Facebook InsightsBy now, using Facebook Insights to gauge your page’s health is commonplace.

But, relying solely on how many fans your page has, and how many likes your posts get can only tell you so much.

As a social media manager, you’re essentially in a relationship with your page.

As a good mate, you have to know what your counterpart likes. You also have to know what they don’t like, and how you can turn those negatives into positives.

It’s easier than it sounds, I promise.

Uncovering Negative Feedback on Facebook

Anyone familiar with Facebook Insights has probably exported data into spreadsheets before, at both a post level, and a page level. A little gem called “negative feedback” stats are available on both. And the ones reported at a post level are the most helpful for tightening up your messaging.

In case you haven’t, go to the “Insights” section of your admin dashboard.

From there, click “Export” and select “Post level data”, as well as the dates you’d like to analyze.  Once you click “Download,” you’ll have your spreadsheet.

Within the “Key Metrics” tab, you’ll see two things: Lifetime Negative Feedback Users, and Lifetime Negative Feedback from Users. Pay attention to the first, since it’s a unique number. The goal in this case is to see how many fans aren’t feeling your messaging.

Here, negative feedback refers to the amount of times a fan has hidden your post, or marked it as spam. You can see what specifically your fans are doing by checking out the “Lifetime Negative Feedback Users” and “Lifetime Negative Feedback from Users” tabs. Especially important is how many people are choosing to hide all of your posts based on just one – that’s the most dangerous.

If no one has hidden a post or marked it as spam, consider that your positive feedback.

For example, one client of mine used to post links to a monthly sales flier, as well as content about the things you could do with the items in the flier. We noticed that the links to the flier were constantly hidden by fans, whereas the informational “how to use this” posts were not. To make a long story short, we stopped posting flier links, and noticed a jump in likes, shares, and comments on our other commentary.

Analyzing Your Work

Ideally, you’re saturating your page with equal amounts of each content area. Say you’re a pet food brand that usually posts about pet health, things to do with your pet, and the health benefits of your product. You want to make sure you’re balancing the amount of content from each area, or else your page might fall flat.

If you’re not balancing your content, it could explain why certain post types are being hidden more than others. In general, you should adjust your content when you notice the following patterns:

  • Content about the same subject is hidden more frequently than content about other subjects
  • Posts that don’t receive many likes, comments, or shares are hidden more frequently than other posts
  • The same post-type is hidden more often than other post-types (i.e. your links posts are hidden constantly, whereas your photo posts are not)

Don’t forget to compare negative feedback to your interactions (likes, shares, comments, or answers) to paint a more complete picture. It’s nearly impossible to please everyone all the time, and chances are, most or all of your posts will receive negative feedback. Your fans are all individuals who have different preferences.

Calculate Your True Negative Feedback Percentage

To see what percentage of people exposed to your post gave it some type of negative feedback, divide the number of people who gave a specific post negative feedback by its lifetime reach, which you’ll find on the “Key Metrics” tab of your exported post-level data. This will help you figure out which posts may have been less successful than others.

Why look at reach instead of impressions? Because reach is an organic number, whereas impressions is not. One person can see a post multiple times, but it won’t change how they feel about it (most of the time).

Where Do We Go From Here?

Incorporating analytics about negative feedback may seem daunting at first, but they’re an important piece of a more thorough report, so don’t stop there!

You know your community best, and managing one is part art, and part science. Using negative feedback as a component of your overall work can strengthen it, but don’t lose sight of your goals, initiatives, and purpose for being on Facebook in the first place.

Post Author

Steph is currently a community manager at Neiman, a brand conversation agency in Philadelphia. She gets her hands dirty with digital strategy, content creation, & researching emerging trends. Steph also contributes regularly to several industry publications, & has been known...