Many businesses wrongly consider the fan growth rate of their Facebook page as their primary success metric. However, even though the number of likes you’ve been able to get are good social proof, they don’t tell you everything about your Facebook campaign’s effectiveness.
In social media, quality trumps quantity every time, and you should be looking at how your fan base is engaging with your page and content, rather than how many followers you have at any given time. Just because you may have a large fan base doesn’t mean those fans will automatically become customers.
Understanding Facebook Insights
Facebook insights is an internal analytics application that gives you powerful insights into your Facebook marketing strategy, particularly your content strategy.
It is extremely important to realize that your potential customers are social people. They love to share, like, post, comment and interact with other human beings, and you or people that manage your page will need to be just like them if you want to sell to them. You need to understand how people engage with your page to know what is working so that you can do more of that and avoid what isn’t.
Facebook Insights will tell you:
- how many people visit your page on any given day.
- how many people engage with your page?
- how many of your fans hid your stories when they received them?
- what sites are sending traffic to your page.
- what is the best time of the day to publish a post?
- what is the best day of the week to post?
- how did people engage with a particular post?
- what content is popular with your fans?
- what is your least popular content?
- how effective is your current Facebook marketing strategy?
Facebook Insights allows you to determine what kind of content tends to resonate with your fans. Understanding which posts gets the most likes, comments and shares will allow you to focus on creating the type of content that will lead to more positive engagement from your fanbase.
You can determine:
- how successful your page is at generating likes;
- how many new and active users you have in a given time frame;
- how users are interacting with your content;
- how often your content is shared; and
- the demographics of your most engaged users.
Note that insights are automatically started. There’s no need to activate it yourself. When it is activated, the application will be visible on the left sidebar of your Facebook page. It also provides reports in graphical form that can be downloaded to your computer for further analysis.
To access your metrics, go to facebook.com/insights or click “View Insights” in the admin panel at top right of your fan page.
There are two types of Facebook insights:
- User Insights: This provides the total number of likes, daily active users, new likes/unlikes, like sources, demographics, page views and unique page views, tab views, referrers.
- Interactions Insights: Daily story feedback (post likes, post comments, per post impressions), daily page activity (mentions, discussions, reviews, wall posts, video posts).
A Facebook story is an activity that is created by your fans through interaction with your content. It includes the number of people who have:
- liked your Page
- posted to the Wall
- liked a post
- commented on a post
- shared a post
- responded to a question or poll
- responded to an event you have created
- mentioned your Page
- tagged your Page in a photograph
- checked into your Page place
- recommended your Page
Engagement is the most important metric to track because it is a larget part of using social media. Essentially, those fans that are engaging with you are the ones that will most likely become customers.
Facebook Insights allows you to try different things. For example, you can find out whether increasing the frequency with which you post will increase engagement with your content. Some tactics you can try in order to increase engagement include:
- Post on different days of the week and times of day.
- Vary the lengths of your post, ask questions, use different calls to action, add humor, emoticons, etc. See how this changes the level of interaction with your posts.
- Once you have identified what is working, focus on doing more of what is working and less on what doesn’t.
Facebook Insights are broken down into the following reports:
The Overview Tab
This tab is a general overview that gives you insights into what is happening with your page on a daily basis. It provides a seven-day bird’s eye view of what has been happening on your page. It shows how your posts are being engaged with and the total number of people who are seeing your page stories.
The Overview tab tells you how many fans you have and if you’ve acquired any new fans within the last seven days. The increase is shown in green and the decrease is shown in red. These numbers represent the percentage over the previous week.
Beneath this, you’ll see data about your most recent page posts, including the type of post (link, photo, etc.), targeting, reach, clicks, and engagement (likes, comments, and shares) alongside the amount you spent promoting your posts using Facebook Ads.
This tab gives you a quick overview of how well each post has worked. You can see how many views each post has had and their level of engagement.
Post clicks are clicks that didn’t result in any positive engagement. These are also known as stealth clicks. If you have a post that is getting clicks but it isn’t being liked or shared, then it is not resonating with your audience.
This section is broken out into three graphs:
- Total page likes over time
- Net likes: what changed (unlikes, organic likes, paid likes, net likes)
- Where your page likes came from (on your page, page suggestions, mobile, your posts, others)
This tab will show you how many likes you’re getting or losing on a daily basis. It will also help you understand the trending growth of your page and where your likes are coming from. The Total Page Likes graph will reveal the number of likes you had after posting a particular update. Beneath this, you will get a breakdown of how your likes changed on a daily basis.
You’ll also be able to see if you’ve had some unlikes after releasing a particular post. Note that getting unlikes is normal. However, if you notice more than a few likes for any of your posts, you cannot ignore them because it means your content isn’t resonating, and you need to find out what it is about the post that might be putting people off. More than a few unlikes might mean that you don’t really understand your audience.
Likewise, if you’re getting spikes in fan growth after releasing a particular post, it should be clear that the post is the main cause, and you should aim to produce more of the same. You need to find out what it was about the post that made it so popular.
What was the post about? What type of content was it? Did you use emoticons? Was it a humorous post? Did the timing of the post’s release have anything to do with its popularity? This is important so that you can do more of what is working.
It is also important to identify the best time to publish your posts. When are people engaging with your content? Is there is a co-relation between the day and time you release a post and the number of likes you get?
Are more people engaging with your page on specific days? For example, are you getting more likes per post on Tuesday than on Wednesday? Are your users more inclined to be on your page late in the day rather than early? This will allow you to identify the best days and times to post your content.
Page suggestions is something that is done automatically by Facebook. The way it works is that Facebook might suggest your page to somebody that likes other similar pages. You cannot do anything to control it, but chances are that if your page is doing well with a particular group of users, Facebook is likely to show your page to similar groups of users.
This tab shows how many unique Facebook users have checked out viewed any content on your page within the first 28 days after its publication. This includes both desktop and mobile users. It also shows which of these people were reached through an organic or paid channel. Note that people might see your content through more than one of these channels.
- Organic reach: This includes the number of unique Facebook users who have seen of your page stories in their News Feed, ticker or on your Page.
- Paid reach: The number of unique people who saw an ad that pointed to your page.
It is significant to note that people might see your content through more than one of these channels so your total reach might be higher than the sum of your organic and paid reach. On that same tab, you can get a breakdown of positive activities such as likes, comments, and shares on your Facebook posts.
This tab will also show you any negative actions to your page such as the number of times your posts have been hidden, reported as spam, or caused an unlike.
This tab shows you the most popular areas of your page, including your timeline, info, and photos tabs. You can also see where people go once they arrive at your page.
Next, you can see the specific actions taken, such as mentions, posts by others on your page, check-ins, and offer purchases.
Last, is a graph that shows where on the web people are coming from before they get to your page. You can effectively increase the number of referring sites by optimizing your page for SEO.
The Posts tab provides insights into how people are responding to your posts. These insights help you create content that resonates with your audience. You can see the best days of the week and times of the day for you to post.
So if you’ve been on Facebook for a while, you can get really great data on days and times of days to post underneath the Posts tab.
When Your Fans Are Online
This graph allows you to quickly determine:
- how many of your fans were online each day of the past week
- thee average number of your fans who saw any posts per hour
Note that this graph only covers the most recent week, and will only let you know when your fanbase is online.
Post Types will show the types of posts on your page that generate the most engagement. This will give you the insights you need to focus on producing more of what is working for you. You can find out which of your post types are getting the most reach and engagement. This will tell you whether status updates or photos generate the highest reach.
Beneath this, is a more in-depth table of individual post data. The default view shows type, targeting, reach, engagement, and promotion budget. This offers the ability to select different Reach and Engagement metrics.
Facebook Insights posts tab
You can filter Reach by Total Reach, Organic vs. Paid and Fans vs. Non-Fans.
You can also adjust which Engagement metrics you view:
- Post Clicks / Likes, Comments & Shares
- Likes / Comments / Shares
- Post Hides, Hides of All Posts, Reports of Spam, Unlike
- Engagement Rate
This tab is where you’ll get find demographic information about your fans, the people reached by your page, and the people engaged by your page. Fhe demographics of your fans are broken down by the actual number of people who have liked your page by age, gender and location.
You can see the total number of users who liked your page broken down by country, city, and language. If you hover over any of those segments, you’ll get more info about each segment of fans. This can give you valuable feedback on how well your message is resonating with your targeted audience.
If you find that you’re not being very effective at reaching the type of audience you want to reach, you can modify your actual marketing strategy so that you’re only targeting the right users.