Timeline Feature Overview

Do you know what works well on your organization’s Facebook page? What kind of content your audience likes in terms of subject matter, format and tone? You probably have a gut feeling about what works and what doesn’t but wouldn’t it be nice to have a definitive answer?

Timeline can help. Inside you will find roughly your last 500 Facebook posts and the full picture of what worked and what didn’t.

This guide covers the overall use of Timeline. For more detailed information on your post stats see the in-depth guide on Timeline metrics.

In this guide we will cover

    • How to use the tool
    • How to sort, search and filter the data
    • Strategies for fullest use of the tool

Using Timeline

Inside of Timeline you’ll find your last 500 Facebook posts. Using this tool will help you tease out why some posts performed above average and others didn’t. At the very top of the page you’ll find metrics on the overall health of your page:

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Posts per week:

Ideally your page should be posting about two to three posts per day. This includes weekends. Thus you’ll want to shoot for about 14 to 21 posts per week.

Fan Engagement Score

A normalized score that takes into account the percentage of fans that tend to engage with each of your Facebook posts.

Under 20 is not so good, over 50 is good, over 100 is really good. Increase your score by posting more content your fans like to engage with.

People Engaged per post

The average number of people who engage with each of the last 500 posts. Post engagement means someone liked, commented, shared, click on a link, viewed a picture, or watched a video for a post.

Post performance

On each individual post you will find metrcis specific to that post. The first one, at the top of the post is your overall post performance for that piece of cont.  This is based on how this posts engagement compared to the average for the last 500 posts on your page.

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Virality

What percentage of a posts reach was from viral sharing vs organic view from existing fans. The more viral the more your fans shared a particular story beyond your base.

Engagement rate

The percentage of people that engaged with the post when they saw it in their news feed. The higher the percentage the more likely Facebook is to show it to even more people. When you consistently have more posts with higher engagement rates, future posts will get shown to more people by default.

Post identifiers

Action Post

This post contains an ActionSprout social action.

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 Promoted

This posted received additional reach via Facebook advertising.

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Boosted through SmartAs

This post was boosted by the SmartAds tool as it met your specified requirements.

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Sorting, Searching and Filtering in Timeline

At the top of Timeline you have the option to sort and filter how you view your posts. By default your posts will be sorted by Date, with the newest posts at the top, and filtered by All, meaning all posts will be displayed with no discrimination.

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Sorting

You may sort by Date, People engaged, Likes, Comments or Shares. This will filter your feed from greatest to least in the selected category.

Filter

You can also choose to filter your feed to by type of post. Image, link, video or all.

Searching

You may also use a content keyword search to further explore your Timeline data. This will bring up any piece of content that pertains to your keyword within the displayed content. (Keyword searches do not go further back in time.)

You don’t have to choose just one!

You can both sort and filter your Timeline results at the same time. For instance you can filter by reach and sort by with action to find which of your posts that included a campaign link gained the greatest reach.

Strategies

Timeline is a powerful tool that can show you what performs well on your page and what doesn’t. By looking at these results you can gain a deeper understanding of what engages your fans and form a content strategy based on this that will further boost your engagement. Looking for patterns is the best way to approach this and will lead to the greatest learning and insights.  

When looking at your results check to see if there are recurring patterns in your content in terms of content format, subject matter and the tone and language of your text. First look at the top of your results for recurring patterns that will tell you want your audience likes to engage with, then check the bottom of your results for patterns on your lowest performing content. Simply finding these patterns and following the high performing ones and avoiding the low performing ones will boost your engagement and reach. Here’s what to look for.

Content Format

What types of content do you find here in terms of format? Is it mostly images? Videos? Articles? Status updates? You want to play attention to the format types and notice which is dominate. It may be just one or a few.

Another way to think about format is the way the content is presented or framed. Is the content framed as a story? An action? As a study or recent finding? Is it all about presenting the facts or asking questions and opening discussion. Also pay attention to whether the content is long or short.

Subject Matter

Format aside, what kinds of content do you see? If you find lots of  images what are the images of? Nature? People? Do they include text? If you find a lot of articles what is the subject matter? Is there a pattern here?

Tone and Language

What is the recurring tone? Is it light and cheerful? Is it serious and down to business? Are many of your posts celebratory? What kind of language is used?

Text

How much text is included in the content? A little? A lot? How much is too much for your audience? Some people enjoy reading long articles and status updates and some do not. Which kind does your audience appear to be?

Summary

Combining all of these pieces will produce your unique content strategy that is optimized for your page and audience. Correctly identifying and following these patterns should increase the engagement and reach of your page overtime. Be sure to check back in about once a month to monitor your success. Audience’s tastes can change so one content strategy will not last forever. You may need to tweak your strategy later on.

 

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