Facebook Groups: Better monitor them — tutorial and template
👋 Salut ! My name is Elodie, and in 2018, I started to work as a Community Manager in a start-up where I inherited the administration rights of 100+ Facebook groups. Local, national, international; secret, private, public; active, not so active — you name it, I had all types of groups that you can think of.
It was obviously impossible to keep track of everything but I wanted to make a few more impactful by tracking their results. Social Media Managers have access to a lot of data from their Facebook Pages and can clearly report how successful they are, I wanted to find a way to do the same.
My goal with this tutorial is to show you how to report the main metrics of your Facebook group(s) in the long-term by extracting the data, analyzing the growth, engagement, and membership metrics, interpreting and learning from them, and ultimately sharing these results in the best way within your company. Let’s start!
1. Extract the data from Facebook
First of all, you need the admin rights of the group to get access to its data. Once you are an administrator, you can see a sidebar Manage Group with 4 main categories of insights. In this post, I will focus on Growth, Engagement, and Membership. Admins & Moderators is another topic and type of metrics.
By clicking on the different categories, a few graphs will show up. If you click from time to time on this tab, you can get a general idea of your group’s performance but it is automatically set up to show the last 28 days.
But good news! There is a better, more detailed way of analyzing your data as Facebook enables you to download the details. Here you have the choice to download a .xlsx or a .csv file. You need to select the details you would like to download and your favorite date range: last 7 / 28 / 60 days or a customized one.
Ideally, keep the same timeframe and set up a reminder on your calendar to do this monitor session. My recommendation is to do it every 60 days, we will pick this timeframe as a standard for our next steps.
2. Analyze the insights
Now that you have your file full of data, the game is on! I will explain how to use my template in the next lines. Feel free to create a copy of the spreadsheet and save it in your own drive. As you can see on the left, the table is made to highlight the main metrics of your group that are the growth, engagement, and member details.
You can start by editing the top-left cell entitled “My Facebook group” with the name of your own group and a link to its URL.
Once this is done, you need to add the date of your extract at the top row of the next column and keep adding columns on the right every time you extract data. From there, you only need to fill in 10 cells as the percentage of active members and the number of inactive members are automatically filled thanks to other data.
By completing the table, you will generate instantly a graph on the second tab of this spreadsheet.
For confidential reasons, I filled in the template with dummy data but the overall trend follows what I experienced with different active Facebook groups.
3. Interpret & Learn
To interpret the data and learn from it, I would recommend using the graph to have an insightful overview and the table to read each metric more in detail.
I have tables and graphs with more than 3 years of data and it is perfect to see the growth in the long-term but also the seasonality of the groups.
At time T, the illustration on the left is the perfect example of an active and healthy Facebook Group. The column of active members (1867) is almost as high that the total number of members (2103). The number of reactions (3150) is the highest column followed by the comments (1628) and then the total number of posts (166) over the last 60 days. And the column of inactive members (236) is very low. 113 new members.
From my experience, a good Facebook group grows slowly with a steady engagement rate between 70% and 90% of active members. If you have +500 members coming from nowhere in a single day, it might hurt your engagement metrics and increase your number of inactive members in the next weeks. My advice here is to implement the membership questions for new members and to refuse anyone who is not answering correctly.
If your percentage of active members is below 50%, you have to worry and set up a clear strategy to increase this number in the next 60 days.
The member details do not appear in the graph but they are important to have in mind, to know who is in your group based on gender, age, and location and if this data is changing over time. This can help you to create customized content for your members. For one of my groups, I was monitoring the gender ratio on a regular basis as I wanted this specific group to be more gender-balanced.
4. Share the results
To finish, send an internal email to share the insights. Make sure to keep this report as short as possible by writing for instance the 3 main points, such as:
- The main insights of your Facebook group for the last 60 days.
- A comparison with other Facebook groups your manage on the same timeframe or previous data of this group.
- Your strategy and tactics for the next 60 days to keep this level of engagement or to increase it,
- Bonus: specify in your report, the definition of an active member given by Facebook:
“An active member in Group Insights is a group member who has viewed, posted, commented on or reacted to group content in the pre-selected timeframe.”
Click on “send” and that’s it! 🙌
Remember: this is long-term tracking, you need to stick to it, and after 6 months (= 3 reports), the data you accumulated in your table and graph will start to really underline the success of your Facebook group.
Once you are used to doing this tutorial, it should take you up to 10 minutes per Facebook Group every 2 months. Dedicate time to do this report and let’s show how impactful Facebook Groups can be for our Marketing departments.