How to Track Facebook Shares from Your Web Site

If you administer a Facebook Page, Facebook Insights provides an abundance of useful metrics. There is one crucial metric that is not visible in the basic Facebook page analytics Insights dashboard: Shares of your web site’s contents that originate not from your Facebook Page, but from your site itself.

The good news is that you can track those shares with Facebook’s Insights for Your Domain. Follow theses simple steps:

Step 1: Go to the Facebook Insights Dashboard. Go to http://www.facebook.com/insights/

Step 2: Get the Insights for Your Domain Meta Tag. Click the green “Insights for Your Domain” button in the upper-right of the dashboard.

In the dialog box, enter the domain of your web site. Then use the “Link with:” drop down to choose the Facebook Page associated with that web site.

Highlight and copy the entire meta tag displayed in the dialog box. Leave the dialog box open so you can come back and confirm the code installation after the next step.

Step 3: Install Meta Tag on Your Site. Access the HTML code for your site’s root page, and paste the copied meta tag in between the <head> and </head> tags. Upload the edited page to your site’s server.  (In reality, there will be a lot more code in your header section than shown in the example below. If you are unfamiliar with editing HTML, see your site’s webmaster.)

Step 4: Confirm the Tag is Working. Go back to the dialog box on the Facebook Insights Dashboard and click the “Check Domain” button.

Verification of the meta tag installation may take some time, so be patient. In some cases, if you are not the admin who set up the page originally, your request to claim the domain may be denied. In that instance you will need to have the original admin follow the steps above (or use their login).

If your tag is successfully verified, sharing data should begin to be available after about 24 hours.

One more thing: You don’t access the Insights for Domain stats from your Page’s own Insights dashboard. You will check your share statistics at http://www.facebook.com/insights/ , where a new “Domains” section will appear.

How to Track Facebook Shares from Your Web Site by

Mark is Director of Digital Outreach for Virante Inc. Mark helps businesses build strategies to increase brand influence and attract natural links and social signals. He has a special reputation as an expert on Google+ and Google Authorship. A former teacher, Mark has worked directly in Internet marketing since 2005, but has been involved in social media and online community formation since the mid 1990s. When not helping Virante clients improve their online presence, Mark participates in competitive storytelling, plays with a Dixieland street band, and (surprise) spends more time on the web.

Comments

  1. This is fantastic — but what if your posts link to, say, important news stories elsewhere, and not necessarily back to your own site? Is there a way you know of that allows you to track how users share your FB posts, regardless of where they link to? Just trying to gauge how valuable our content is.

  2. Christie:

    Unfortunately, there is no any way I know of to see that level of detail for clicks on links you post to sites other than your own. The most regular Facebook Insights will tell you is how much others interacted with a particular post of yours (i.e., commented on it, liked it, shared it)

  3. Hello. am on the client’s FB page but I see no green button when I click into insights, as you show. Is it different for venue pages?

  4. bit.ly lets you shorten URLS and has some good analytics on their backend. You can shorten a link to a source other than your site and see where, how many and what time people are clicking on your links

  5. Thanks so much. I’m going to try this out now to see what I get. We’ve been trying to identify how many people have shared our post on facebook.

    One simple method we used to use was to head to the search bar and start typing out the first few letters of our facebook page, and over time, our post which was shared started coming up on the drop down list, along with the number of people who had shared the post. However I think it gets listed only if it crosses 50, if I’m right.

    Best,
    Neil

    • That’s right, Neil. There is some threshold before your shares will show up in the method you used to use. Obviously what we’ve posted here is a more direct and thorough way to keep track of this metric.

      Thanks for your comment.

  6. Hello! I came aross this article while searching “how to track fan shares on Facebook.” I am trying to find out if it is possible to track specific fan shares. I am a fan of a competitor’s page who claims that they are able to see individual fan referrals (meaning that if Ashley shares the page with Becky and she likes the page, they can see that Ashley referred someone and give her an extra raffle ticket to the weekly giveaway).

    Is this really possible? I have the insights set up for our Domain, but I cannot seem to figure out how to do it. Any insight would be greatly appreciated :)

    Thanks!

    • Michelle, I have not heard of any metric that would allow you to see that. To my knowledge, there is nothing in the public Facebook API data that would give anyone outside of Facebook the ability to see individual behaviors of users.

  7. Arjun Rajkumar says:

    Hi Mark,

    Great article! I will try this with our Facebook page immediately. Can you tell me if this will also show me the name of the person who has shared the post via FB or directly via website? I am not looking at the number of shares, but at WHO is the person who shared. Will this also be available? And, if not do you know any way we can find this?

    Thanks.

    Arjun

    • Arjun,

      It doesn’t, just the aggregate numbers. You can see that information, but only on an individual-post basis. On your page’s wall, under each post that’s been shared, you’ll see a link showing the number of shares. Click it, and it will show you who shared the post.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by CCEF.org, Mark Traphagen. Mark Traphagen said: RT @virante: How to track shares from your Facebook Pages http://bit.ly/h1I2Ym [...]

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