Would you like to get more insight, analytics and information about the people sharing your content on Facebook? Of course you do!
The more you know about the people sharing your content the better you can improve your content overall to make it more compelling for them to consume and share. Or in other words, if you can measure it you can improve it.
I’m not sure if you’re aware, but Facebook knows a lot about you. It also knows a lot about the people sharing your content on Facebook. And if you want to take full advantage of the insights it has on the people sharing your content, you definitely want to create a Facebook app that integrates with your website content.
You’re probably saying to yourself, “Wait a second here, Dustin–I’m not an app creator. There’s no way I’m creating a Facebook app!”
Hear me out, it’s not nearly as difficult as you might think. In fact, it’s pretty darned simple–anyone can do it!
If you’ve ever shared a post on Facebook using our Social Warfare plugin, you may or may not have noticed that there is a Social Warfare link on the Facebook post right beneath your name.
It’s subtle, and tucked in between the time/date and privacy level icon.
If you click on that link it sends you to the Warfare Plugins homepage. This is a result of us creating a Facebook app and integrating it with the Social Warfare plugin.
The reason we’ve done this is twofold:
- Because it allows us to gather important information about the people sharing our posts on Facebook using their App Insights
- It allows us to allow you to add your own Facebook app integration so you can get those App Insights about your own audience
We could have just wrapped this functionality into our own site, hidden it in a custom version of the plugin or written another custom plugin just for internal uses. However, we know that our users love digging deeper and gleaning insights from the social sharing on their sites.
So I’m going to show you exactly how we set up your own Facebook app. Then I’ll show you you how dead simple is is to integrate it with Social Warfare so that every time someone shares one of your articles, a link back to your homepage is created and you get to gather more insights from Facebook’s App Analytics.
How to Create Your Own Facebook App
The first thing you’ll need to do is register yourself as a Facebook Developer. You can start by going to the Facebook For Developers site and clicking on the Register button in the top right.
Once you’ve accepted their terms, entered your phone number and confirmed it for security, you can then select a Platform for your app. Choose the Website option.
Type a new name for your app—this is what will display on your posts, so choose wisely.
Facebook will then have you Create a New App ID which requires you to give a contact email address and then choose a category that your app/website fits into.
Once you’ve done that, you can click the Create App ID button in the bottom right.
You’ll then have to jump through one more security hoop to ensure you’re not a robot.
You will then move to a Test your Facebook Integration section which you can also scroll right past. Beneath that section is a section labeled Next Steps where you’ll want to click on the Skip to Developer Dashboard link.
On the page that follows you’ll be able to see your Facebook App ID in the top of the page. You can simply click to copy it to your clipboard.
But we’re not done yet.
As of now, your app is only in Development mode and can’t be used publicly until you’ve done a few more things.
Click on the App Review tab and you will see a box at the top labeled “Make [your app name] public?” Switch this to Yes and you’ll be prompted with a confirmation message.
Once you’ve done this, you can now go back to the Dashboard, copy your App ID and head over to your WordPress install.
Open up the Social Warfare settings page and navigate to the Social Identity tab. You can then paste in your App ID in the Facebook App ID input, Save Changes and you’re all set!
In less than ten minutes you’ve created your own Facebook app and equipped Social Warfare to allow it to integrate into your website. Wah-hoo!
Now, every time someone shares one of your posts or pages using the Social Warfare Facebook button your app will be listed instead of Social Warfare’s and it will be a link to your homepage.
You can continue to tweak your settings if you want (adding an app icon, privacy page, etc.) but it’s not necessary.
Wonderful, Dustin, thank you so much for outlining this! Now what does this unlock for me?
You’re so very welcome, and I’m glad you asked!
What Facebook App Insights Reveal
From your App dashboard you can click on the View Analytics link next to your App ID. You may see a brief walkthrough of what Facebook Analytics are if you’ve never seen them before.
Now, the only tab on this page that will be relevant for our purposes is the Facebook Platform tab. Within this tab is where you will find the insights about the people sharing your content on Facebook.
This page will show you the amount of traffic or click-throughs on Facebook posts that link to your website for a given timeframe. You can adjust the time frame in the top-right corner.
One thing I recommend doing is using the Show By menu and selecting Platform. This will break down the chart by which platforms people are using when they clicked on the Facebook post that led to your website.
This is very helpful if you’re wanting to understand how your content is most consumed so you can create content that is more conducive to the most popular platforms.
This page will tell you how many Stories (Facebook posts) have been published using your app—in other words, how many times people have shared your content using Social Warfare’s Facebook button. You can also see how many impressions those Stories have gotten and how many clicks they have gotten as well.
Within this page you also have a number of sections that each have their own valuable insights to play with.
In this box you can see a number of metrics that relate to how your content is being distributed in Facebook. In their own words,
You can use this to understand how stories your app published in News Feed are being seen by people on Facebook.
You can switch the chart to show:
- Click-through rate
- Stories Published
And again, you have some more detailed view options in the Show By menu to the right of the chart.
Positive Engagements with Stories
This chart shows you how many Clicks, Likes or Comments these posts are receiving.
Negative Engagement with Stories
This chart will show you if people are reporting posts as Spam from your site. The numbers represented are by volume of per 10,000 posts.
You can also switch this section to see if people are choosing to Block your app.
This section can be fascinating. Here you are able to see the age and gender demographic breakdown of:
- Publishers: people sharing your site’s content
- Viewers: people seeing the shared content from the publishers
- People who Click: Viewers who actually click through on the content shared by the Publishers
From these you can glean exactly what audiences your content is resonating most with. Very valuable information.
This is one of my favorite tabs. This page is where you can see where your most popular content is and drill down on which demographics it’s most successful with.
The top chart is nice with the ability to see the trend of shares throughout the given time frame. You can then change the chart to show by:
- Age & Gender
- Top Cities
- Top Countries
But the really great piece of this is the second section labeled Top URLs where you can see a list of all your site’s most shared pages and drill down by Share Type, Gender, Age and Country. This is really cool to be able to see!
You can then click on any one of the listed URLs and see more information about that specific URL.
The last tab that will have relevant information to you is the Login tab. All this will show you is the number of Daily Active Users sharing your content and the number of Monthly Active Users sharing your content.
Over to You
That’s all there is to being able to harness the power of Facebook App analytics for your website using Social Warfare. I hope you can take what you’ve learned and give it a try very soon!
If you’re already trying this out, we’d love to hear what you’ve discovered in the comments below!