Intro to Facebook Insights

If you manage a Facebook page, you’ve likely seen the tab labeled Insights at the top of your screen. In my experience working with clients (my clients are primarily local small businesses and nonprofits as well as individuals in business), most folks have peeked at it, but they haven’t taken the time to dig into it.

First off, let me just say there’s a TON of information there. Facebook has done a great job of providing feedback and statistics to page admins. However, the sheer magnitude of the info can be overwhelming when you’re looking at it for the first time (or even the first several times!). Instead of trying to tell you all the ins and outs of what’s there, I’m going to focus on some of the key things for you to look at. For all the tips below, I recommend using your computer rather than a mobile device.

Where we Are: Insights >> Posts

The first page I like to look at is the Posts page. Navigate to it by selecting Insights and then Posts from the menu list on the left.

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When you get to this screen, you’ll see something like what I’ve shared above. The tab selected by default is When Your Fans Are Online. The reason I like to look at this first is because it helps me better understand when I’ll reach the most people with my posts. You’ll see my fans, for the most part, are on equally seven days a week. On average, I’ll catch the highest number of them online at 8 p.m.

If you use your mouse and hover (don’t click) over each of the seven days (the blue blocks across the top), the graph will change. The graph displaying now will show you when your fans are on for that specific day of the week. This will help you determine the best time of day to post for each of the days–it’s likely not the same for all seven days.

Why is this important? Often times, business operate on a standard Monday through Friday, 8 to 5 type schedule. That means that’s also often when it’s most convenient to get on Facebook and post content. Your followers, though, aren’t necessarily also on Monday through Friday from 8 to 5. Many folks are most active in the late evening–after supper is done and the kids are in bed, for example. If you’re posting between 8 and 5, then, it’s likely you’ll miss them completely.

This is where scheduling your posts comes in handy. You can certainly create the content during the day, but then be sure to schedule the post for the best time based on your fans’ activity.

Staying on the Posts page, the next thing I like to look at is the next tab over: Post Types. This screen will show you which types of post (status update, link share, picture, etc.) get the most visibility.

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If you look at the picture above, you can see the average number of people who see the various types of posts made on my page. My average reach (number of people who see it) when sharing a link is 124. A status update gets an average reach of 100, and a photo share gets an average reach of 71. In the right column, you can also see average engagement for each type. Links, understandably so, get more clicks, but status updates on average get more engagement.

It’s important to vary your post types to reach as many people as possible. Even though links might look like the best performing type for your page, for example, you may get more engagement from other types. Shake up your content type a bit!

Again, staying on the Posts page, if you simply scroll down from the screen you’re already on, you’ll see a list of all of your most recent posts in reverse chronological order. For each post, you can see individual statistics.

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The cool new feature from this screen is the ability to see negative feedback. Click the downward pointing arrow all the way to the right (just to the right of the line that says Reactions, Comments, & Shares). From the options, select Post Hides, Hides of all.. Your chart below will refresh, and you’ll see if anyone on a specific post gave it negative feedback–like hiding the post, reporting it as spam, hiding all posts from your page, etc. This, of course, can help you determine how to best word or present your content so as to avoid negative feedback.

If you’re just getting started with Facebook insights, the info provided for you can be confusing, and it can certainly be hard to know what to focus on. The Posts page is a great starting point because it guides what you (most likely) use Facebook for on a daily basis–communicating with your fans!

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