Facebook’s free metrics tool - Facebook Insights, gives marketers a powerful platform to measure the performance of the pages they manage and the posts they create.
Facebook Insights can be quite overfacing at first. Users are presented with a wealth of data and wisdom without any clear direction on how best to use it. That’s where we come in.
Below you will find each metric clearly explained, as well as reasons why you may wish to add one to your marketing report.
The overview tab is the first part of Facebook Insights you’ll land on when you’re looking to track your progress, and it shows a brief but useful selection of key metrics. You might not always have time for a thorough analysis of your stats, so this is the quickest and best way of having a look to see how things are generally going.
The overview section is made up of a grid of data, including page actions, post reach, and post engagements, and its highly visual layout means you can easily keep track of trends within your stats. A majority of the metrics on the page are displayed in a line graph format, and have highlighted percentage changes - a couple of minutes looking through will bring you right up to speed with just how positive or negative things on your page are going.
There are options to change the time period of data you view at the top of the page, meaning you can look at trending graphs from today, yesterday, the last seven days or the last 28 days. Once you’ve selected your timeframe, you can export the overview of data in a range of formats, perfect for sending as a quick update to someone or attaching to a report.
However, this data isn’t always enough. Looking through more specific elements of your Facebook page is crucial when you’re trying to get your social media campaign running efficiently, and that’s where the next tabs come in.
Page likes are the number of people who essentially support your page, are interested in what you’ve got to offer and want to see what you’re posting.
Why track Page Likes?
The number of likes a page has very much contributes to the way people measure a brand or business’s authenticity i.e. the more likes, the more reputable it must be, right?
While it’s very much viewed as an image-boosting factor, there’s also a great benefit to be had from increasing your page likes - your content will be reaching more people. For that reason, you should be tracking your page likes over time with the aim of seeing that number growing. If your page likes aren’t increasing, you should look at revising your content strategy, both paid and organic.
This shows the overall trend of your page’s likes, measuring the number of new likes minus the number of unlikes. If you’ve been running Facebook promotions or ads, you’ll also be able to see the number of paid likes gained from this here.
Why track Net Likes?
When simply tracking your overall page likes, you might not see any changes day-to-day. However, when looking at your net likes you may find that you are bringing in new fans but also losing as many as you’re gaining, which is halting your page growth. While some unlikes are due to Facebook deleting unused accounts, it’s good to get an idea of your Facebook page unlike stats as it could become a cause for concern if people aren’t sticking around for your content.
Where your page likes happened
This provides a useful insight into where exactly your new page Likes have come from, which could be any of the following: Ads, Page suggestions, News Feed, Your Page, Search or Restored Likes from reactivated accounts.
Why is this important?
It’s good to know how your fans found you. This can indicate how visible you are on Facebook as a whole, and how your paid content measures up against your organic. The information can be used to analyse how you perform in particular areas, and can be used to shape your future social media marketing strategies.
This shows you how many people your posts have reached i.e. when any post from your page has appeared on their screen. This measures the reach for both your organic content and paid promotions, displayed definitively in the graph.
Why should you measure post reach?
When you’re posting high-quality content, you want people to see it. So it’s useful to track your reach over time to see the growth of your content, or if there is none, you can take appropriate action. It’s also a quick way to see if your ads are working.
This is different to post reach, and shows the number of people who have seen any activity from your page; such as your content, ads, check-ins or any mentions about your page.
Why should you measure total reach?
This is a great way to measure the success of both your organic and paid content, and gives a clear indicator of how your page is growing over time.
Page and Tab Visits give you an insight into the number of times each of a page’s Tabs were viewed over a period of time.
There are wide range of Page Tabs, including: Posts, Events, Photos, Videos, Shop, Notes, About, Community, Info and Ads.
Why track Tab Visits?
Facebook pages are set up for different reasons, some are created to promote events while others are an extension of an ecommerce store. Here, you can track the Facebook traffic direct to the Tabs you use the most.
External Referrers provides data for the number of times users arrived at a Facebook page from a website outside of Facebook.
While direct traffic from inside Facebook will always make up the lion’s share of an audience, Facebook pages are often cited on external directories as part of company information.
Why track External Referrers?
As marketers we can learn a lot from referral paths. This analytic gives us an idea of how impressionable a Facebook page is outside of Facebook itself.
Tip: Ensure Facebook pages are fully populated with a company website, phone number, address and any other accurate information that could aid a citation.
This section shows you information about your fans (those who like or follow your page), and the times they are online on Facebook. Although the date it will show isn’t customisable or from a specific time frame, it comes from a “recent” 1-week period, and Facebook gives no further hints as to just how recent it is. You don’t really need the specific dates the data is from though, as the information still gives you a useful idea.
It gives you the exact number of your fans who were online on each day of the week, as well as a graph showing, on average across the week, how many are online at each time of the day. Hover over the days above to see more specific graphs, rather than the weekly average.
Why track this?
Of course, you want your posts to get the biggest reach possible - the more impressions the better. As such, it’s handy to know when you have a captive audience. Finding out when your fans are online is hugely beneficial. If your graph shows that on average, 10% of your followers use Facebook at 1pm, but 60% are online at 4pm, you wouldn’t be putting posts out at 1pm anymore, instead trying to get it out to the much bigger audience three hours later.
This metric takes your posts and splits them into categories, with the most common ones being “Link”, “Photo” and “Video” - this is the primary content of your posts.
After splitting your posts into these categories, it shows you the average reach and engagement each type has received on your post, splitting the engagement metric into post clicks, and other engagements (reactions, comments & shares).
How to use the Post Types data
A social media marketing campaign can sometimes be quite broad, as you experiment with different styles of posts to try and determine what is most effective. The ‘Post Types’ insight section is a great way of tracking this. As it shows you which type of post gets the most engagement and impressions, it enables you to focus your efforts on creating more content of this kind.
Facebook encourages a bit of competitive research with this feature, that allows you to see how things have performed on other pages. To get started, you have to add pages to your watch list - you might have some competitors in mind, but if you don’t, Facebook suggests some from what it knows about your business when you open up the feature.
Once you have a minimum of five pages on your watch list (you can add more than five if needed), it will show you what posts they’ve made this week, specifically filtering to their best-performing ones and showing how many engagements they received.
Tracking Facebook watched page posts
In a similar way to tracking your own post type data, this type of analysis will help you to choose what sort of posts you should be focusing on creating. You can gauge what is popular for similar businesses, but for the information to be truly beneficial, it’s important you’re watching the right pages - make sure the sector, type of page, and location are all similar enough to your own to provide you with worthwhile data.
Video content is more important than ever, with it becoming one of the best ways to grab the attention of fans on social media. The performance section of this page will show you key metrics for videos you’ve recently shared, with this split into two primary trackable stats: total minutes viewed, and number of 3-second views.
The first of these stats shows how long in total your video content has been viewed over a selected time period, with the window completely customisable from a chosen start and end date.
The second stat shows how many times any of your videos have been viewed for at least three seconds, or 97% of its total length in the event it has a shorter run time.
Tracking your video performance
This is the main way of judging overall how well your videos are performing. If you’re getting a good number of viewed minutes, than your videos look to be grabbing the attention of Facebookers. This is a great KPI to include in a DashThis report, as a way of tracking your success with a video-focused social media campaign.
This section shows which videos are performing the best on your page within the time period you’ve selected. With a list showing your videos in order of their ranked success, you’ll also see the date and time they were published, along with their total viewed minutes and 3-second views.
Analyzing your top Facebook videos
It’s good to see what’s making an impact, and looking through your top videos means you’ll be able to see what sort of content is garnering the most views. Of course, this means you’ll know exactly what to post more of, while if you notice certain types of video aren’t appearing in your top videos, it’s time to stop wasting time making them and focus on a more beneficial format or topic.
Fans offer a valuable insight into the demographics of the people who like a Facebook page. Here, there is a breakdown of variables such as: gender, age, location and languages spoken.
Why track Your Fans?
Who doesn’t want to better understand their own audience? Any solid marketing campaign will have a clear and defined target audience, so this insight can help marketers to confirm that they are serving content to the right people.
Not to be confused with the information on Post Reach above, People Reached is a more broad data set which describes the number of people who viewed any content associated with the Facebook page.
It takes into account not only the reach of a Page’s posts but also users that viewed photo albums, Stories, Reviews etc. People Reached also includes users who have been reached by any ad campaigns you may be running.
Why track People Reached?
Analysing a page’s reach on a daily, weekly or 28 day interval helps marketers to differentiate between what is organic, and what was paid for.
Use this metric to discover who engaged with a page’s posts over a daily, weekly or 28 day interval.
Why track People Engaged?
Marketers rely on this metric to determine who their most engaged audience segment is. From there, they can tailor their content to better suit this demographic.
Facebook Insights provides such a comprehensive set of analytics tools for page managers to use for free, so it’s really in your best interests to check them out and get some in-depth knowledge about your page performance. Depending on your specific business goals, it’s up to you to decide which metrics are the most valuable, and track them accordingly.
Who knows, taking a look at your Facebook Insights could be just what you need to help take your social media marketing efforts to the next level.
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