Become Insightful with Facebook Insights

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

Facebook-InsightsMeasuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign is a challenge for businesses trying to promote themselves in any form of medium. This is especially true in the world of social media marketing, where small messages can spread farther than intended and big marketing pushes can end up being largely ignored. Each platform has its own tools to help users keep track of their social media efforts, but few are as in-depth and useful as Facebook Page Insights. Though the sheer amount of data can be overwhelming, it’s worth it to learn the basics (and a few of the not so basics) of the Facebook Page Insights features.

Overview Section
When you first go to your Insights page, you are greeted with some basic data from the past week and a chart of the data underneath. This is a good spot to start at since the metrics they use will show up in other sections:

  1. Total Likes – This is simply the total number of Likes your page has. Next to the total is a small up or down arrow with a percentage, this is the percentage change from the previous week. Your Total Likes will vary but you shouldn’t see wild swings in your Total Likes unless you are running a promotion.
  2. Friends of Fans – This is the total number of unique friends your fans have. This metric isn’t particularly useful, though it does let you know the potential reach of your posts on Facebook. To think of it another way, if all of your fans and their friends looked at one of your posts, the Friends of Fans tells you how many people would see that one post. Aside from that one use, the Friends of Fan metric doesn’t tell you much. They also give you the weekly percentage change in you fan’s friends, but since there is no way for you to control how many friends your fans have, there’s not much you can do with that information.
  3. People Talking About This – This metric measures the number of individuals who created a story about your page in the past week. A user creates a story whenever they perform any action on Facebook that involves your page (e.g. liking your page, responding to a post, check-ins, mentioning your page in their own posts, tags your page in a photo, etc.). It is important to remember that this metrics measures the number of people and not the number of actions. So if you have one user who likes every post you made in the past week and tagged your page in several photos, it would still only count as one person.
  4. Weekly Total Reach – Thisl metric, with the weekly percentage change after it, measures the number of unique users who have seen any content associated with your page in the previous week. This includes the paid reach from ads or sponsored posts.

Under the graph, there is a list of every post made on the page (it cuts off eventually, but you can keep loading more). The list shows the Reach and Talking About This data for each post, which means the same thing as it did before except that it’s for the first 28 days of the post and not just one week. But there are two additional metrics.

  1. Engaged Users – This just shows the number of people who clicked on your post when it was in their news feed. This can be something as simple as someone clicking the post so they could read the entire post, it’s not the same thing as People Talking About This. Also, Engaged Users also let’s you know when people click to hide your posts from their news feed. If you see a lot of people hiding your posts, it’s a good sign the audience didn’t like what they saw.
  2. Virality – This is simply a measure of how popular a post is by dividing the number of people who talked about a post by the total number of people who saw the post.

Detailed Metrics Sections
After the Overview Section, there are four tabs to sections with a detailed breakdown of the demographics of your fans, their friends, the people who talk about your page, and the people who check-in to your page through Facebook mobile or from your a computer at your location. Each section parses the data by the gender, age range, location, and language of the users.

This data is extremely useful for planning a social media strategy because it answers the questions:

Each section has at least one graphic with extra information. In the Likes Section, there is a chart that shows when people Liked or Unliked your page, as well as the where the new Likes came from (i.e. did they Like the page on a mobile device, from a Facebook Recommendation, etc.)

The Reach Section has three additional charts. One shows the organic, viral, and paid reach of your page’s content. A second chart shows how the frequencies with which you reached unique users. To illustrate, it would show if 1,000 users each viewed six of your posts during the month.   The final chart in this section shows how many page views and unique page views your page had per day.

The People Talking About This has two charts that simply show the viral reach and the number of people talking about your page per day for the past month. The chart for the Check-In Section just shows how many Check-Ins there were per day and if they were from mobile devices or from a computer at the location.

As you can see, there are lot of information on Facebook Insights so long as you know what you’re looking at. This is one of the benefits of using Facebook for social media marketing. Not only is it easy to see the effectiveness of your campaign, it provides you with useful demographic information that can be used to plan a better, more targeted campaign in the future.



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