4 Ways the New Facebook Insights Can Grow Your Fans

social media how toFacebook recently rolled out some new metrics that give better insight into what your community wants from your page, enabling you to grow your fans and interactions.

You know it’s important to measure your social media marketing performance, and the new Facebook Insights will make this easier for you.

Locating Facebook Insights

First things first—where do you find these metrics? They are accessed on the left sidebar underneath your profile picture by clicking on the Insights link.

access insights

Click Insights to see more options: Likes, Reach and Talking About This.

We aren’t going to cover every term, definition and nuance in this post because that would be a small book. Most of the terms have a “?” nearby that you can click on to get the definition.

You can also read more in this useful Facebook Insights Guide: http://ads.ak.facebook.com/ads/creative/insights/page-insights-guide.pdf (Note that this guide has graphs and charts that aren’t actually shown, or some are shown slightly differently than in the guide. Facebook may have changed the way they are displaying the data but most of it is relevant.)

We will cover how to interpret the best metrics to help you decipher what is going right and wrong on your page.

#1: Main Insights

First click on Main Insights and you see a graph of the activity for the last month.

view individual posts

The most important part of the main section is the different ways you can view the individual posts.

When you click on the individual columns, you will sort the posts by descending value in the column.

  • Reach is the number of unique users who saw your post.
  • Engaged Users is the number of unique people who have clicked on your post.
  • Talking About This is the number of people who have Liked, commented on or shared your post, or responded to the question or event.
  • Virality is the “Talking About This” number divided by the “Reach” number.

The most important of these columns are Engaged Users and Virality.

post type

Watch what types of posts are getting the best engagement.

You will also know what type of post you’re viewing by the icon next to the post.

  • Green quotations: Status update
  • Film: Video
  • Note with a pin: A link or an application that posted on your behalf.
  • Square that looks like an outline of a person in a picture: Pictures

In the above graphic, when we sorted by Engaged Users, we can see that the top three posts are all photos. So we know that if we want to focus on getting more engaged users, we should post pictures. See what types of posts are working for you by sorting the columns.

#2: Reach

When you dive into the Reach section, you first see a chart of demographics of people who have seen any content about your page within the last week.

Below that are the How You Reach People graphs. The one on the right shows the Unique Users by Frequency in a rolling one-week time frame.

The statistic to watch here is the number of people you are reaching more frequently. This is your core audience.

core audience

Monitor how many times people are seeing your content each week.

If you are not reaching people multiple times with your posts, you may have to adjust your strategy. Experiment with posting more often, focusing on getting more engagement so that your post comes up more in your fans’ news feed. You may need to do something more involved like running a contest or Facebook ad to reconnect with your audience.

The next graph shows Page Views and Unique Visitors and below this graph is one of the most interesting areas of Insights, the External Referrers.

Watch where people are coming from. If the only external referrer is Google, you need to get the word out about your page. Guest post on websites and blogs and use your page address in the bio.

In the example below, the Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies fan page was mentioned in a review post on Social Media Examiner. Find ways to work your Facebook page address in multiple areas across the web.

external referrers

Monitor which tabs people are looking at and how people are finding your page.

#3: Likes

The next area of metrics is the Likes area. This area breaks out your fans by demographics, which can be useful for future ad campaigns. The area to watch in this section is the Where Your Likes Came From graph.

spikes

Watch the spikes of Likes and Unlikes to correlate what you are doing right and wrong on those days.

In this particular page’s graph, we can go back and track the posts on the wall to see what happened during the spikes.

On November 18, eight photos were posted within a fairly close time period, which may have caused the Unlikes. On December 2 and December 6, a highly shared recipe (on this food-based page) combined with an open-ended question that resulted in big participation on both days may have been the cause for the spikes in Likes. Pay attention to what’s working.

#4: People Talking About This

The People Talking About This number is publicly displayed on the left sidebar under the number of Likes. This figure is a great measure of actual engagement.

talking about this sidebar

The "talking about this" number is publicly displayed on every Facebook page.

It includes all the following activities that happen on your page over a one-week rolling period:

  • Liking a page
  • Posting to a page’s wall
  • Liking, commenting on or sharing a page post (or other content on a page, like photos, videos or albums)
  • Answering a question posted
  • RSVPing to an event
  • Mentioning a page in a post
  • Phototagging a page
  • Liking or sharing a check-in deal
  • Checking in at a place (if your page has a place merged with it)

The best part of this statistic is that you can see it on any page—meaning it’s public information! Now you can tell if a page is interacting with people. Big fan numbers don’t mean that the page is healthy. The People Talking About This statistic is the one to watch. Watch your competitors’ numbers to monitor what is working for them. For an accurate picture, take the People Talking About This number and divide it by the total number of fans. Healthy pages have percentages between 1% and 5% (or more for great interaction).

The graphs on the actual People Talking About This page within Insights aren’t as interesting as the overview on the main page. Watch trends in your numbers. See in this graph how the People Talking About This number was trending downward.

In the next figure, the admins of the page took some drastic measures by asking people to click Like on a post on December 7 to increase the “People Talking About This” number. You can see the jump in the numbers reflected in the graph. If people aren’t interacting with your page, you will drop out of the news feed.

drastic measures

Sometimes you need to change tactics to get interaction.

The new Facebook Insights has improved how you can track the health of your page and you can immediately see when you need to make some adjustments to your strategy. Try new things, monitor what’s working and what isn’t, and take your Facebook page to the next level!

I hope this gives you some great ideas on how to use the new Facebook Insights to monitor and grow your audience.

What do you think?  What metrics are you using to help your Facebook strategy? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Andrea Vahl

Andrea Vahl is co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and also uses her improv comedy skills to blog as Grandma Mary, Social Media Edutainer. Connect with her at www.andreavahl.com. Other posts by »




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