Understanding the Changes to Facebook Insights

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

social networkingBack in June, Facebook announced it was changing the look of Facebook Insights to make it easier for businesses to see and understand the activity on their pages. As Product Marketing Manager Galyn Burke explained to TechCrunch, the new makeover helps address a common concern of businesses on Facebook, “Don’t just tell me how my page is doing. Tell me how I can do better next time.” Fortunately, all of the things discussed in the original post on Facebook Insights are still true. Facebook has consolidated some metrics while breaking out others to make them more prominent. It’s a case of a good thing gets better, and this post will show businesses how to make the most of the new data when they get the updated Facebook Insights on their pages.

One of the biggest improvements is that Facebook has broken down the vague “People Talking About This Metric” into its more meaningful components. It is now called Engagement, and it’s broken into four separate measurements. On the overview page, the measures give the number of fans who liked, shared, or commented on a post. The fourth measurement, Post Clicks, shows the number of people who clicked on the post to see more or the clicked the links within a post. Next to each of the measures is a line graph that shows the level of each activity over the course of the week. By going to the page view, page owners can see the activity charted for longer periods of time, or make custom ranges from the tools provided.

Another big improvement is the change to how Likes are reported. Facebook Insights always showed the source of likes, but it now shows the source of unlikes, as well. This is extremely helpful because it allows social media marketers to better understand what is causing people to unlike their page. For example, when a day of the month is clicked and the unlikes are selected, there is a breakdown that shows how many unlikes came after someone hides a post from an organization. Also, many business owners don’t realize that Facebook routinely removes accounts for suspicious activities. Unlikes as a result of Facebook removing an account are now shown as well, so it’s easy to separate when the problem is the business or a Facebook issue. The more focused breakdown of likes and unlikes allows marketers to better understand the cause of activity on their page and how to tweak their methods to better serve their audience.

Figuring out the best time of day and week to post to social media can be tricky. While it’s easy to find out averages for all Facebook users, most marketers are trying to reach a particular group of people who may behave differently from the norm. The updated Facebook Insights tool takes out some of the guess work by showing how many people viewed a page each day and at what time of the day they viewed it. This means that if the target audience is checking for posts earlier on Tuesday than on Friday, social media marketers can adjust their social media campaign accordingly.

Facebook Insights now has a chart of best post types that shows the average engagement and reach of each type of post. As was mentioned in an earlier post, the way an audience engages with certain kinds of posts depends on the audience and the subject matter. The graphs of post types show what resonates best with a particular audience. Also, by separating the data by reach and engagement, social media marketers can choose which metric best correlates to the overall goals of a social media campaign.

The demographic information is mostly the same. However, they have added an interesting comparison tool. Page owners can see how much of their audience is comprised of a certain demographic as well as how much of the total Facebook audience is represented by the same demographics. This seems like it would be more interesting than useful, but perhaps marketers will find a way to use that metric to their advantage.

The biggest change is that it is now easier to view information about individual posts. When a post is clicked on the new Facebook Insights, the user sees the post in its entirety (including the actual image), and then it gives information on engagement, reach, and negative feedback. The negative feedback shows if someone viewing the post clicked to hide the post, hide all posts, report the post as spam, or unlike the page. The new negative feedback information is extremely valuable to marketers. It tells page owners what doesn’t work, which is always a step toward figuring out what does.

The updated Facebook Insights is a great improvement on an already valuable system. Being able to accurately measure the effects of a campaign is essential for social media marketers. Every audience is different, and this more in-depth data makes it possible to better understand the idiosyncrasies of an audience and to decide the best way to reach them. So when you see changes to your Facebook Insights, fear not. As businessman Price Pritchett once said, “Change always comes bearing gifts.”


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