Is Your Rescue's Facebook Page Working? Read This to Find Out...

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2016


By now you should know a thing or two (or 10!) about your rescue’s Facebook Page - how to set it up, what its goal is, how to use the right Call to Action and ways to optimize Page settings. (If not, check out our blog posts on those topics here)

So once you get everything in order, you need to make sure your Page is actually growing and working for you, right? In other words, you have to find a way to measure the success of your FB page...and that's where the page "Insights" section comes in.

Before we dive into this, we'll take a few paw-prints back and just remind you that before you even start thinking about this, you need to first align on what the goal of your FB page is (a topic we covered in our first blog post on FB) and then what success means to you in the context of your Facebook Page.

In other words, if the goal of your Facebook page is to get more animals adopted, then the right metric to measure this could be number of times someone has shared your posts, as opposed to how many people like your page (after all, lots of people could be liking your page but they may have no interest in sharing out an adoptable profile).


Facebook has an entire section dedicated to breaking down the performance of each of your posts and helping you understand what content is working, and what isn’t. It's called the Insights section and its located at the top of your Facebook Page next to the 'Notifications' section. Note that only those with official 'roles' on your Facebook page (admin, editors, etc) will see Insights (so don't worry, your fans and followers can't)

The insights section is located in the middle, top of your FB page. Once you click on that yor are given a high-level overview of you page insights. This is what ours looks like on Sparkie. Your can see that while our page likes are up this week, our reach is down.

OK so now you've made it to the Insights part and you see a ton of numbers! What do they all mean? Here's a brief overview:

  • Reach - The number of unique people who saw your content. Reach is broken down into Organic (or non-paid) reach and Paid reach):

    Organic reach - The number of unique people, fans or non-fans, who saw any content about your Page in their News Feed, Ticker or on your Page. It's becoming more and more difficult to achieve organic reach given how much content is on Facebook these this metric is important to monitor but can be difficult to move.

    Paid reach - The number of unique people who saw an ad or Sponsored Story that pointed to your Page. Know when FB asks you if you want to 'boost a post'? That means you 'buy reach' or pay to have the story show up on people's newsfeeds.

  • Engagement - Engagement is composed of 3 parts: reactions (so likes), comments, and shares.
  • Likes - The number of times people Like your posts (there are also page Likes, which are separate). Likes are an indicator of how well your content resonates with people, though it's best if people want to share your content as well.
  • Comments - The number of comments people make on your posts. Comments can provide insight into how people feel about your content, products or brand overall.
  • Shares - The number of times people share your content. Shares measure how much your content is amplified by those who see it. So if someone shares a post from your page, that means the post isn't just reaching the first person, but now is reaching someone else, who may not be following you (which is a great way to get NEW followers).

Overall, it's good to keep a pulse on your page Insights but not go too crazy analyzing it on a daily, or even weekly, basis. (Likely checking in every couple weeks is a good idea).

Generally, as a rescue, you want to grow your follower base and "brand awareness" over time, and the best way to do that is to increase how often and how much people engage with your content (and page "likes" should naturally flow from that). That's the engagement rate stat, which you can get to under the 'Posts' section of the Insights Page, and then switching the view to 'engagement' rate. See below:

Once you get to the insights section, click on the posts part on the left hand side...then go over to the right and click the little down arrow, and change the view to engagement rate.

While it's difficult to say what a good benchmark is (given the targeted audience for animal rescue), we've seen a bunch of rescues generally achieve engagement in the 5-15% range. You can try aiming for this as well, but most important is to see a relative increase over time (so if last week a post had an engagement rate of only 2%, make sure the next week your posts are improving on that).

Lots of things impact a post's engagement rate, like time of day a post is launched, the content of the post, how long it is, if there are pictures, etc, when you do compare and contrast posts, try to take a look at these different variables and think about why some posts may have done better than others.


We got nothing to hide, so let's take a look at 2 posts from our Sparkie Facebook page, both of which were published on Thursdays in the morning, as part of our 'Rescue Resource Thursday' feature.

This first post (below) was published on May 26th around 8am...we can see here that we had 157 people reached, which means this showed up in the newsfeed of 157 people. Of them, 8 liked this post and 2 shared it, for a total of 10 engagements. Note that 6 people clicked the post.

Of the 157 people reached, 10 of them engaged with the post (liked it, shared it, etc) which is about 6% (not too bad).

This second post was published 3 weeks later, also on a Thursday morning (around 9am) but had much better levels of engagement. Not only were more people reached (811!) but we had double the number of engagements - 21 total. There's lots of reasons this might be the case - content, hashtags used, etc...but at least by taking a look at this we can start to understand where certain post designs might work better than others.

In this post we had a lot more people engage in the content. Given the day and time were roughly the same as the previous post, this is most likely due to the subject matter or picture.

So as you can see by our examples here, checking in every so often to make sure your engagement rate is improving is key. (This is where that social media intern can help out too :). And if you don't have one yet, or just want to chat with us to get our 'insight', reach out at