How much is that click really worth? The hidden reality of Facebook negative sentiment.

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We recently ran a social media analysis and one of the key things our client wanted to know was – what kind of post drives clicks to our site, and how can we drive more?

When measuring or monitoring social media it’s so easy to get hung up on clicks.  Even when you know it’s not just about clicks – it’s about engagement, it’s about reach.  But a click from Facebook to your site, is a click, right?

Nope.  Facebook’s negative sentiment means it’s not just about clicks.  And if you’re measuring your social performance in this way – you’re likely damaging your brand and potential reach.

Negative feedback – your most important metric to mitigate brand damage.

Figuring out what posts generate highest clicks and honing in on that will certainly drive stacks of traffic to your site – but are you listening to what else your audience is saying about those posts?

If not, it’s kind of like launching a new product but not listening to feedback from your first customers.

Here’s a really quick and easy way to check what people really think of your posts.  In Facebook Insights click on Posts, then choose ‘Post Hides, Hides of All Posts, Reports of Spam, Unlikes’ from the drop down alongside Reactions, comments & shares:

Negative feedback on Facebook Insights

In this example, it seems that the third post in the list drove the most amount of clicks.  But drill a bit further and you can see that this post also had the highest amount of negative feedback:

When looking at negative feedback, the post that generated the highest engagement, also generated the highest negative feedback.

So big deal, the numbers are small right?  It would be easy to ignore, but you soon realise the impact when you look at this data at scale and what actions negative feedback includes.

Seeing negative feedback at scale – export the data.

The Facebook insights tab has pretty easy to use Insights, but it’s biggest downfall is the short time period of 7 days that it restricts most views to.  This micro view only gives you a very tiny picture of your overall Facebook performance, and what might seem like minor negative feedback could actually be part of a much larger problem.

To get the best out of your data, export at least 3 months of data out of Facebook and enlist the help of someone that knows their way around Excel or Tableu.  It’s a bit more effort, but absolutely worth it.

Page unlike – the equivalent of email unsubscribe.

Facebook currently has four types of negative feedback:

  1. Hide clicks – When fans click to hide a specific post from appearing in their news feed
  2. Hide all clicks – When fans click to hide all posts from appearing in their news feed
  3. Report spam – When fans report one of your posts as spam
  4. Page unlikes – When users choose to unlike your page

Now if someone dislikes your post enough to hide it, you’re doing something wrong.  But it’s Page unlikes and Report spam that should be the most worrying to you.

If someone unlikes your page as a result of your post, you’ve lost that follower, a potential customer or subscriber to your content, and their associated reach forever.  And if your content is reported as spam – you’re doing something very, very wrong.

Make a change – set benchmarks and set goals to decrease negative feedback.

Negative sentiment – particularly page unlike or report as spam – should be considered as serious feedback to the content you’re creating, and you should be taking these numbers very seriously on an ongoing basis.  While there are no industry benchmarks for negative sentiment on Facebook as yet, we’d recommend setting your own benchmarks and setting some goals to decrease them over time.

Make good work.

The negative impact toward brand perception lives on, even after the person no longer follows your content.

If you continue to reward your Facebook efforts on clicks alone, you will eventually bug your audience enough that they break up with you forever.  The number of people that unlike you will begin to outweigh the number of new likes, your audience will dwindle, and worst of all, your content will suck.

And if you’re not creating work that you’re proud of, then what is there?


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