Marketing a Facebook page requires making use of Facebook advertising and the dashboard that comes along with it. Are you overwhelmed with the amount of information that Facebook can give you? Don’t worry! This article explains step by step the very dreadful, yet full of useful tips, Facebook Insights. Remember, we’re looking at the Insights tab, not the Ads Manager dashboard (stay tuned for this one). One more note, Facebook Insights appear on your business page once you get 30 likes or more, so don’t get discouraged and get those likes!
Okay, here’s probably what you see when you login to your dashboard:
The first sub-tab is called the “Overview”. It gives a very generic, helicopter view of your activities on Facebook and shows you how many people engaged with your posts, compared to the previous week. Note: the overview displays data from the past 7 days!
– Increase/Decrease in Total Page Likes as well as an increase/decrease in New Page Likes.
– Total and Post Reach. Total Reach measures The number of people who were served any activity from your Page including your posts, posts to your Page by other people, Page like ads, mentions and checkins (Facebook) whilst Post Reach measures the number of unique people who have seen content associated with your post.
– Number of people engaged: the unique number of people who liked, commented, shared or clicked on your post.
What I find extremely useful is the table underneath, i.e. “Your 5 most recent posts“. It gives a great overview of which post had the most potential to reach majority of our fans as well as which yielded most engagement. Why is this so important?Engagement metric is crucial in Facebook’s news feed algorithm which determines how many people will be exposed to your posts. Picking posts that yielded best engagement and in consequence, reach, gives you a great indication of what content you need to create or curate. It’s a very important element of your social media strategy! One more tip – this particular overview enables you to immediately “boost post”, i.e. giving it an extra boost in reach for few dollars. Boosting your best performing post from this overview is more cost efficient!
“Pages to Watch” is a brilliant tool to sneak peek at how your competitors or your followers are doing (it appears if you get more than 100 likes). Add a few pages that you follow and get a weekly overview of their:
– Total Page Likes and a comparison to the previous week
– Number of posts that were shared that week
– Engagement they had that week. Tip: based on this data you can measure your Competitive Engagement Rate (Total Engagement/Total Page Likes).
Clicking on each of the windows in “Overview” brings you to more specific view, so let’s go to the first one:
This gives you an indication of how healthy your page is, meaning how many likes you get over time. Advantage of this tab is that you can select any time period you like. Remember – it measures both your organic and paid likes together.
One window below gives you a precise indication of your net likes: how many unlikes you receive (red), organic likes (light blue) and paid likes (dark blue). Clicking on the titles on the right hand side shows your average amount of likes this week and the week before.
This gives a very good outlook on the proportion between unpaid and paid likes. Unpaid likes usually increase when our engagement rate goes up – Facebook then “rewards us” with more organic reach. Having constantly more paid likes than organic might result in very inefficient content strategy and high costs to maintain a big following. In order to lead a healthy Facebook page there should be a balance maintained.
Clicking on the graph itself, shows the sources of likes or unlikes. This is a great way to find out where you’re getting most followers from (either via organic or paid channel) or why you’re losing them.
By analyzing your likes sources helps you determine how new users are finding you on Facebook. This can e.g. explain if investing more in Facebook Ads yields more likes “from ads” or not. The benchmark piece is especially helpful here. The sources that I always analyze are:
– On your own page: people liked it directly or people came across a story with my page mentioned in it
– Page suggestions: people like the page directly when liking a different page
– Page likes: people who liked the page because of their friends’ liking it
– Others: any other extraordinary event, e.g. the impact of a TV commercial
This tab gives you a better view on how much reach (paid and organic) your posts are getting everyday as well as where most of engagement is coming from. At beginning I struggled to differentiate between Post Reach and Total Reach. Post reach gives you a number of people who were exposed to your posts on that day – including any boosting/post page engagement ads you’re running.
For example, if I posted three posts on Monday, I would see the total amount of reach from those three posts (clicking on that day gives you a detailed overview of each post) – plus any ads I’m paying for. Now if someone re-shared the posts, posted something on my page or liked my page because a number of their friends commented on my post, this all goes into total reach.
This one is for those of you that put important information in Facebook Tabs or have currently some kind of competition (App). This graph shows the proportion of visits to our timeline vs. any other areas on our page:
This might be also interesting for those of you who start running an online business and want to drive traffic to their website from the Info Tab on Facebook. Perhaps a better way it to post a series of facebook updates on our timelines, if the Info Tab is not working.
Here Facebook goes deeper into our posts analysis – I’d say it’s a really important one! Let’s take a look:
First thing about when to post – as you see the daily graph indicates that majority of my fans are active on Friday and Saturday. The differences are so small however that posting only on those two days wouldn’t make much more sense.
And times? One advice – TEST IT YOURSELF. Facebook shows exactly at what times your followers are “out there”. But one little note – all your competitors get probably the same graph and guess what? They all post at the same time! And what happens next? The attention span of your followers gets shorter and in consequence – your engagement and reach will go down. Second thing – scheduling a post for 9:15pm will not guarantee that once we log in to Facebook on 9:15pm the first post I’ll see is that post. To cover this point, I’m writing a post about parsing, timing and scheduling on Facebook soon!
What I personally like to check is the engagement rate, as it’s one of the KPI that I’m using for my posts. Just click on the dropdown menu “Likes, Comments & Shares” and it will come up:
Have you checked the “Post Types” tab? Facebook gives you insights into which type of your post brings best reach and engagement. Make sure to check it out! Looking at my stats it’s obvious that videos are the winner however this might vary per industry. A post on Facebook reach is hot topic right now and a blog post is coming really soon!
Facebook has recently introduced this tab and what I like about it is the comparison between short and long (longer than 30 seconds) views. If there has been a very important video released, the number of people who watched it for half a minute or longer can be even 10 times smaller!
Short 15 second clips get most of their completion rate and the higher the rate, the better the post!
Clicking on each of the videos enables you to get even more stats, e.g. the ratio between autoplays and clicks to play. If you check each second of the movie and look how the view rate is dropping you can determine which shots are important to make a good clip or which moments to cut not to lose views. Pretty neat!
Check between who your fans are, who you reach most and who is mostly engaged. Those three categories don’t mean the same thing and can bring very surprising results!
There are few other tricks to learn more about your followers that you can use for targeting your Facebook ads smartly, but this is a topic for a next blog post.
One tip – this tab is the demographic breakdown of people who like your page, not your posts!
If your engagement grows with the amount of new followers, that’s a sign that you’re growing an active and very prospecting following! Keep it going! If this is not the case (yet), it might mean that you’re trying to reach an audience which is not interested in your content or worse – the content you share doesn’t stimulate much interaction. In this case, try finding out which posts yielded most engagement and take it as a base for new posts. Now you know where to find all the information! And that’s it! Still overwhelmed? Try it yourself and explore it a little! In the end it’s your posts and everything that you create for your followers, right?
I’ve created a special Excel sheet where you can keep track of the main Facebook Insights and you can download it here. It’s prepared for the first few weeks, but you can keep it on a monthly basis for your manager.
It’s been a VERY long blog post, but I hope it helped out some of you understand how we can use Facebook Insights to our benefit. Many of online marketing jobs nowadays require the knowledge of Facebook Insights, so get to work!
What are your experiences with data and what is your favorite tab? With what information do you start your day whilst sipping first cup of coffee? Let me know!