Here at CrowdTangle, we regularly use our tool to look at engagement trends and patterns that public entities are experiencing on Facebook and Instagram. A few examples include the public data reports we published in 2019 – German Local News Publishers See Growth on Facebook and How U.S. Local News Is Performing on Facebook. These reports dig into trends like post frequency, video views and interactions for local news Pages on Facebook.

We thought we'd teach you how to do something similar, so you can use CrowdTangle to capture your organization's Facebook or Instagram community engagement patterns over time. 

This guide will help you highlight Page and account trends as well as give tips on how to build an internal report you can share with your teams and senior leaders.

By the end of this, you'll be able to things like:

  • Create a social media playbook based on data for the team members collaborating on your Facebook and/or Instagram presence.
  • Present an overall analysis to senior leaders of your organization's community engagement performance on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Educate editors, reporters and content creators about the optimal content areas for interactions on your accounts.
  • Share length recommendations with your video team for building social video.
  • Leverage patterns you find to optimize your post strategy overall. 

Features You’ll Use:

Use Intelligence to Build a Page/Account Analysis

  1. Step 1: Go to Intelligence, enter a Page/Account or List of Pages/Accounts into the search bar.
  2. Step 2: On the right, go to the Date Range section and set a custom time frame. For example, if you’re building an annual report, set the dates for the full calendar year.
  3. Step 3: Next, select the Compare Dates check box. If you’re building an annual report and want to do a year-over-year comparison, select the Year Over Year option. 
  4. Step 4: Go to the Group By section and select if you want the data to be presented by Day, Week or Month. For an annual report, we recommend grouping by Month. 
  5. Step 5: Start your data analysis! You’ll have to do some math to figure out the exact +/- percentage change over time, but Intelligence will help make it much easier to grab all your public engagement data and will provide pretty graph visualizations too! 

Suggested Data Points:

A. TOTAL INTERACTIONS – Go to the Interactions tab to see overall engagement data on your posts. 

Also use this section to... 

  • determine any trends or changes around the total volume of interactions compared to a previous period.
  • breakdown interactions by post type and compare to other periods. Use the Post Type section on the right to sort engagement by different post formats.
  • filter by interaction types and identify patterns around specific reactions, comments and shares. Easily find out things like whether shares of your stories are increasing over time or if your videos are driving specific interactions, like the Love reaction. 

B. INTERACTIONS PER POST – Go to the Interaction Rate tab > Show By > Interactions Per Post to measure the ROI of your post strategy.
 
Also use this section to...

  •  narrow in on specific interactions and post types. For example, you may want to measure shares per link post or comments per Facebook Live post. 

C. POST FREQUENCYGo to the Post Count tab to see how overall post frequency did or did not change over time.  

Also use this section to... 

  • narrow in on post frequency for specific Post Types (photos, links, videos, live) and determine any trends around different formats. 

D. VIDEO VIEWS – Go to the Videos tab to see how your total video views did or did not change over time. 

Also use this section to...

  • filter video views by those that occurred on non-live vs Live videos.
  • breakdown your total video views that happened directly on Page posts vs views that were a result of shares of the Page posts.  
  • breakdown video views by video length.
  • breakdown total videos posted by video length. 

E. INTERACTION RATE – Go to the Interaction Rate tab to see the overall rate at which your audience is engaging with your Page(s). 

Also use this section to... 

  • determine any trends or changes around your interaction rate compared to a previous period.
  • breakdown interaction rate by post type and compare to other periods. Use the Post Type section on the right to sort interaction rate by different post types.

F. PAGE LIKES/FOLLOWERS – Go to the Page Likes/Followers tab to surface trends around your Page’s growth rate. 

Also use this section to...

  • view peaks and valleys with your Page’s growth and what the potential contributing factors there were. 

Intelligence Pro-Tips:  

  • Export csvs from Intelligence for a deeper look at the data and to build additional graph visualizations.  
  • Create a Saved Report, so you can easily come back to your Intelligence analysis as you work over time.
  • Create a PDF of the Intelligence report that you can share with senior leaders and peers. 

Use Historical Data to Build a Post Analysis

  1. Step 1: Go to Historical and add your Page/account or a list of Pages/accounts in the “Choose Scope” section. 
  2. Step 2: To pull your top overperforming posts for the period, set the Order By section to Overperforming. To pull your top posts for Total Interactions, set the Order By section to Total Interactions. 
  3. Step 3: If you only want to pull a certain amount of posts, like your top 100, set that criteria in the Limit Results section. 
  4. Step 4: Set your date range.
  5. Step 5: Select Fetch History and check your inbox for the csv of posts matching your criteria. 

Historical Pro-Tips:  

  • Within the Historical Data form, filter by Post Type to discover content that worked well for certain formats, like a Link post vs a Facebook Live video.
  • Once you have your Historical csv, sort the data by different columns to narrow in on content that drove high rates of specific actions, like Shares or Video Views.
  • You can also use the csv to dig into trends around posting times, to see if post time was a factor in a post’s overall success.

BONUS! Referral Tracking:

  • If you're looking for extra credit, you can use CrowdTangle to surface top public influencers that shared your organization's content on social in a given time period. You'll need to set up referral tracking. Then repeat the process above of using Historical Data to pull top posts based off the referral search you've set up in the system.  

A Note about CrowdTangle Data:

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