Measuring Engagement on Facebook

Two formulas to determine your Facebook engagement rate and virality

By Staci

In my current position, I focus mostly on the digital side of communications. I have searched far and wide to come up with a system of metrics that accurately reflects the efficacy of my organization’s efforts on social media.

The way that I have looked at and measured activities on Facebook has evolved over time, but I have finally landed on an engagement metric that I can get behind…for now. Facebook is an excellent social media platform for most businesses and organizations. However, with the adoption of the EdgeRank algorithm, creating and growing a Facebook page from scratch is a steep uphill battle compared to the good ol’ days of the past.

Our content is not guaranteed to show up in the newsfeeds of those who have liked our pages; instead the visibility of our online activity is linked to the relevance of our posts as determined by the involvement and engagement of our fans. This means that each and every post will have to ride on its merit. (There is a certain formula that you can tweak in various ways to optimize your posts for EdgeRank, but that would require an entirely separate blog post.)

So, let’s get down to business. Factoring the number of “Likes” a page has into the metric for engagement no longer makes sense. It is great to have a ton of “Likes,” but what really matters is the actual activity of your community. The metric that I like to use for engagement measures the number of engaged users versus the number of reached users.

The formula looks like this:

(Daily Page Engaged Users / Daily Total Reach) x 100

I like this formula because it takes into account the actual number of people who have seen your content and helps you determine what percentage of the people who saw your content were actually moved enough to interact with it. (Why should we factor in the number of fans of a page to determine the efficacy of a page or a single post? To me, including the fan base of a page is not logical when trying to evaluate your activity.)

So, some basic explanations might be helpful:

Daily Page Engaged Users – This metric consists of the number of unique users who have clicked on your content or created stories about your page. This measures activity regardless of whether or not the activity actually created a story that showed up in newsfeeds.

Daily Total Reach – This metric consists of the number of unique users who have seen any content associated with your page.

There are a couple of other areas of interest that I focus on when making sense of our Facebook analytics. I regularly measure Daily Total Impressions and Daily People Talking About This (PTAT). I like to measure impressions in order to compare the reach of Facebook with the reach of our online advertising. (This is solely used to provide some perspective when looking at online media buying.)  I like looking at PTAT to get a better picture of the virality of our content.

To look at how many engaged users were converted into volunteer viral brand ambassadors, you would follow a formula that looks like this:

(Daily People Talking About This / Daily Page Engaged Users) x 100

This takes into account the ultimate level of involvement that people can have with your page. PTAT measures the actions that have been taken that create “Stories” that show up in the newsfeeds of your friends on Facebook. PTAT stories are created when someone likes or comments on your post, writes on your wall, shares your content, RSVPs to your events, participates in your polls, mentions your page, tags your page or checks-in at your business on Facebook.

With the engagement formula, we are looking at message penetration. With the virality forumula, we are looking at motivated actions.


You can find the data for the insights mentioned in this post by downloading the Facebook Analytics Report accessible through your admin dashboard. I like to track these metrics on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis.

What Facebook insights do you like to track? What metrics do you like to use? Let us know in the comment section below!

Quick Tip: The 5 Important Parts of a Great Creative Proposal

Steps to writing a great proposal

By Isabel

Proposal writing can, at times, seem somewhat daunting. Many proposal writers fear offering up not enough or too much information to potential clients, making the process confusing and potentially losing the business. Creative proposals should be specific and to the point, allowing the audience to easily navigate through the information and get to the heart of the proposal–budget.

Including these 5 parts and following these simple tips will allow you to write an intelligent and thoughtful creative proposal.

1. Understanding Your Audience 

Be sure to include a one pager on the your client’s business, mentioning also the scope of work at hand as you understand it, and what hurdles the partnership may need to tackle along the way. If you use a proposal template (as many often do), be sure that you are speaking directly to your client and their industry throughout the proposal. Clients want to work with firms that take the time to understand their business and profit model.

2. Revealing Your Approach

Clients want to be sure that they understand exactly what they are paying for, and that the strategies and tactics you suggest within the proposal will effectively assist in their communications and creative efforts. Ease their burdens by providing a clear outline of the approach and process. Include all recommendations and considerations for their business within this section as well. Furthermore, break up the monotony of reading a lot of information by adding easy to read graphics to illustrate your thought process. 

3. Solidifying Your Budget

The budget section is the meat of the proposal. Here is where clients conclusively make the decision to either invest in your approach or walk away. Break up your approach into different sections within the budget, e.g., website, collateral and brand identity. Include all elements and steps of each creative strategy within the budget section, and how much each individual step will cost. If you are proposing a website, include a budget line item for research, one for design and one for construction. Try to include payment options (such as retainers) and payment schedules, so that there are no surprises once work gets underway.

4. Showcasing Your Team

This is the section that allows your personality to shine. Use this section to provide the client with a little background history on your firm, your mission statement and the main players. Be sure to include a bio for all members of your staff that will be involved in the creative process. Including pictures of your staff adds a nice personal touch to the proposal and helps to make you more amiable to the potential client.

5. Providing Excellent Case Studies

Within each proposal, provide no more than 5 and no less than 3 case studies. Use the case studies as a means to explain your approach and process as it pertained to previous clients and projects. Make sure to include visuals of the scope of work whenever possible and keep each case study to a one-page minimum. Also, remember to pull from past work that is relevant to this potential client. You would want to include B2B work for a B2B client for example, versus showcasing a product launch to consumers.

Including these 5 parts in your creative proposal will certainly assist you in writing a concise, and well-defined proposition that will be easy for potential clients to understand, and surely succeed in getting you the business.

A quick tip for using Pinterest to create a customer profile

Track the content of your customers and competitors

By Staci

Pinterest is an amazing social media platform that brought something new to the social media mix from the get-go. Users pin (the equivalent of “sharing”) content that they either create or find interesting and useful from all over the internet. The platform is image driven, giving businesses large and small ample opportunity to grow their brands and reach by providing image rich, sharable content. (I am talking pictures and videos here, folks!)

The point of this post is not to sell you on the background of Pinterest or to sell you on the idea that it is a great tool to use in your social media portfolio. You probably already know if it makes sense for your company. But, if you want to know more about Pinterest’s user base or just how effective the platform is in driving referral traffic, follow the links provided here or do as I do and just “Google” it.

So let’s get down to business. Taking a look at Pinterest sources can help you create a better profile of your target audiences. You can focus on what users are sharing from your site, what they are saying about your products and even take it a step further and look at the other content they are sharing to better gauge their interests. Talk about a qualitative research data gold mine! Your customer profile just became more detailed and accurate.

Pinterest has made it very easy to get your hands on this information. Just insert the website you are interested in tracking into the “” section in the URL below and you are off and running.

You can just as easily do the same research on your competitors by tracking how users interact with their content on Pinterest. In fact, if you aren’t researching your competitors using this tip, you are missing out on valuable information!

Do you have any tips or tricks for Pinterest that we should explore further on The Communicator’s Quick Tip Guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

Getting started

This post is the beginning of a great adventure between two friends. Well, it is the official beginning of a great digital adventure between two friends. (Our real beginning started in grad school.)

Isabel and I are in touch on a daily basis. We are in the same industry (communications!) and we like a lot of the same things. Our conversations are all over the place, but we always circle back to the same thing – tips and tricks that can make each of our professional lives easier. After carrying on this way for over a year, we decided that other professional marketing and PR types might be interested too!

So now, we are making the leap and documenting all of our best practices and new finds in blog form. What you see here is in part for archival purposes and in part to make YOUR life easier, too. Stick around for quick, digestible information that can solve narrowly focused communications problems. Both Isabel and I have diverse communications backgrounds making it likely that we will cover the full spectrum of communications here.

A little about us…

Staci – I have over five years of professional communications experience with a formal education in public relations and communications management. I am definitely a PR girl at heart, but I have always worked in an integrated department. The full scope of my experience includes marketing and PR in traditional and digital mediums. Entering into the world of communications at the onset of the social media revolution for business has been very exciting. I consider myself lucky. I have always worked on the organizational side. However, I have plenty of experience being the client for agencies.

Experience: Small Business | Healthcare | Higher Education | Nonprofits| Cultural Institutions

Isabel – I started my communications career path, later in my life, having gone to undergrad and studied History and Theatre, but have since been lucky enough to build a successful resume with over five years of experience in this field. My theatre background has afforded me a vivacious and spunky attitude that allows me to really connect with my clients on a personal level.

I currently work on the agency side, which has allowed me to work for, and come to understand clients providing many services in many industries. My love in communications is dedicated to PR, but we consider ourselves to be an integrated agency, where we are fortunate enough to be able to piece together different parts of communications and creative work and come up with highly successful campaigns for our clients. I currently reside in St. Louis City, with my boyfriend Steve, our cactus Zelda and our aloe plant, Zoe.

Experience: AEC Industry | Healthcare | Food and Beverage | Pharmaceutical | Neutraceutical | Education | Non-Profit

If there is anything that you would like to see us address on this blog, just leave a comment below!