Insight into Facebook Insights
Facebook creeping. We all do it. It starts out with a banal curiosity of what your old friend from high school is up to these days and ends with you knowing what they ate for breakfast on September 28th, 2009. Did you know that as a business page owner, hard core Facebook reconnaissance is not creepy but actually encouraged? Facebook has a robust analytics dashboard, known as Insights, to indulge your curiosity about your fans and help you plan your social media strategy. If the sight of all of these analytics makes your breakfast rise up in your throat, don’t worry! We’ll break down a couple key bits of info that deserve your focus.
Overview, don’t overthink. This is a great place to start if you’re new to Insights or don’t want to get bogged down with page after page of data.
First things first, your business page overview. When you navigate to Insights, this will always be the first page you land on. Here, Facebook feeds you bite sized pieces of information from the previous seven days, like little data flavored Skittles. Quickly get a snapshot of page likes, both total and new, how many unique users have seen your page and posts, and the total number of unique engagements your posts have gotten. Below that is a breakdown of your five most recent posts, giving you further details on your latest activity.
Like, totally. Would you rather have 100 engaged likes who share invaluable market data, or 1,000 likes who have no idea who you are?
It should go without saying that the number of quality likes your business page gets is a huge barometer of its success (but not the only barometer). You can easily see how many users have given you a big fat thumbs up by navigating to the aptly named “Likes” tab, located at the top of your Insights dashboard.
Under this tab you’re greeted with a graph that tracks the growth of your total page likes. It is similar to the “Likes” graph in the Overview section, but this one spans over an entire month. We want this graph to be showing some steady upward motion, but if yours is a bit stagnant, don’t fret.
The next graph under the “Likes” tab gives you your Net Likes, which means your total likes minus any unlikes. It’s important to track when users are unliking your page so you can craft your updates around their tastes. Did you drop 20 fans after you posted a controversial article to your page? Take note, and consider omitting that kind of content in the future but also take into account whether it got people talking and weigh out the pros and cons of each. Quality likes are just as important, if not more important, than the sum of likes.
Speak to Your Audience. You can’t build engagement if you don’t have an audience!
The key to a successful Facebook page is knowing what and when to post. Hiding under the “Posts” tab is a wealth of useful data on when your users are on Facebook and ready to consume your content. First is a bar graph showing you the average number of users per day that have seen your page’s content. Below that is a line graph showing you which times of the day your users are online. Using these two graphs in conjunction with each other will give you insight on when to post your business page. Do you see an influx of users through the week around 2:00pm? Then make sure to ALWAYS be posting entertaining and engaging content at these times.
But what types content tend to be the most engaging for your users? There’s a metric for that! At the top of your “Posts” tab, there is a link titled “Post Types.” Give that bad boy a click and you will see a breakdown of each different post type (link, photo, status, etc.) and their average reach and engagement. Do photos seem to get your users clicking and sharing? Great! Share more of what your users are already loving. If a certain type of post isn’t exactly getting your users excited, you can divert your focus away, try posting them at different times, or maybe even in a different tone of voice. Even with all of the metrics in the world, there’s still room for a little old fashioned trial and error.
Still with me? Thus far, we’ve barely covered the tip of the polar icecap of data that is available to you through Facebook Insights. Once you’re comfortable with tracking these small chunks of data, keep exploring your Insights and set yourself free into the wild, blue analytical yonder.