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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  • http://stephanhov.com/ Stephan Hovnanian

    WOW. Thank you so much for this detailed explanation of the Insights section! If only Facebook would get faster at publishing the insights for our posts; it seems like there’s at least a 48-hour lag. Now that I understand how this works, I’ll have more confidence in posting to Facebook because I know what to look for.

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  • Ryan Doherty

    NIce article! Having the “talking about this” public on Facebook pages is both good and bad.  I love it when the number is nice and high but get such a sinking feeling on a Monday morning when it drops very low.  It really shows that Facebook pages are not as simple as how many likes you can gain but who actually interacts.

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  • http://freshfullyrad.com/ Jesse R.

    There’s also a wealth of information in the document that you can export to Excel, but it can be tricky since the document only runs in 28 day cycles. If you’re doing monthly reports, you can find things in the document such as the following:

    Monthly Total
    Impressions – Add up each day of the Daily Total Impressions from your posts. Since they aren’t based on unique users, you can do this without adding up the same user more than once.

    Average Monthly
    People Talking About – Add up all the Daily People Talking About numbers and then divide them by the amount of days in the month.

    Data in Excel is boring to sift through to some people, but there’s some great gems hidden in there for reporting.

  • http://www.DevaniAnjali.com/ Devani Anjali

    Thanks for this! Facebook has had sooo many changes within just the past 6-months and it gets confusing, so things like this REALLY help!  

  • http://www.DevaniAnjali.com/ Devani Anjali

    What does the “People Talking about” mean..? Is this the number of people who share or like your page? 

  • http://andreabolder.com Andrea Bolder

    This was very helpful. I’m trying to get more informed on metrics and this was a great start.

  • http://twitter.com/IXACTContact IXACT Contact

    Thanks for this great information!

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Great post, Andrea! :)

  • Fawn

    Awesome!  Thanks for the breakdown.  It really makes the information easier to understand.

  • http://twitter.com/jonathan92591 Jonathan Thompson

    Wow. Cannot thank you enough for this information. After reading this article, it took me 2 minutes to figure out that Dec. 16 we did something right. Now we’re reviewing our strategy/activity for that day. Thank you!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thanks Stephan!  Yes, it would be nice to see some quicker stats on individual posts.

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Most definitely Jesse!  Thanks for giving people some good tips on what they can find in there!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thanks!  If you look at #4 on this list you will see all the activities that the People Talking about This number includes.  

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thanks Mari!

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  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thanks Mari!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Awesome!  Glad to help!

  • Virtually Savvy

    Great post Andrea! Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/TheCaroleShow Carole Billingsley

    Great info! Want to hear something funny? I think I’ve broken Insights on my page. LOL! I wrote a blog post for my site last week that has gotten over 13,000 reads, over 2,000 shares and garnered over 100 new likes on my fan page (this is HUGE for my little blog!). The “funny” thing is, since all this traffic has happened, my Insights won’t even load!! I’ve checked them every couple of hours for the last 6 days and it never loads so I am unable to see how fb is rating all this action – and it is beginning to tick me off just a bit! 

  • Cheenan

    In my Likes Report  “Where
    your Likes Come From” I have a high number under “Page Admin” .Page Admin is defined as “People who have liked your page
    from an invitation from an Admin” but none of the Admins have have invited anyone. Can anyone tell me what actions are
    included in the Page Admin metric?

  • Siita

    Andrea thanks for the great info – will dig deep and make sure I understand all this. small business owners need this sort of useful articles.
    Last night I had written on my ‘find out’ notes – How do you know if my target market are using Facebook?
    Tonight – I’ll get a chance to read this thoroughly and see if that is covered.
    I signed up for the summit series – thanks for the info on that too.
     

  • http://twitter.com/MorganBarnhart Morgan Barnhart

    I love all the changes Facebook keeps making with their insights. The newest one that I like best is the ‘talking about this’. I didn’t understand it at first, but it’s really been very useful. :) Thanks for the info!

  • Cindy Seipel

    Great, detailed post – thanks for sharing and putting it together!  I must admit I’m not much for numbers, but as a VA taking care of people’s pages, I need to start doing more analysis (ugh) and this will definitely help tune my eyes into what I’m looking for faster.

  • Ashley

    This article will serve as such a great resource. Thanks!

  • http://www.inpublic.hr/ Davor Igrić

    Loving the new FB insights, and this article was very helpful to me.

  • Tanya

    Thank you for this!  One more question: Is it possible to change the timeline now? On our GOTRIbal Fan page, we used to change the timeline to look at different trends from a longer-term view. [For seasonal or other changes in interaction] Thanks again.
    Tanya

  • http://www.localbusinessconsulting.co/ Pauline Cook

    Great post this will help me as I have seen a jump in my likes and people are talking about this sections.
    I will analyze the numbers  based on this post to see what I can do to make it more engaging
    thanks again

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Very frustrating!  I’ve had Insights go down for a day or so but never 6!  Good luck!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    The Timeline is currently only for personal profiles not Facebook Pages.  But if you want to switch to the Timeline on your personal profile and haven’t yet, you can go to facebook.com/timeline and on the lower right corner there is a green Get the Timeline button.  Hope that helps!

  • Clearthecrap

    I do not have “view insights” on my page.When I go to the Facebook Insights Guide that you recommended, it does not say anything about what to do if  the insights tab does not appear on the left hand panel of my page.All I have is “view old insights” on the right panel.When I go to http://www.facebook.com/insights as suggested, and click on my http://www.fb.com/clearthecrap page, all it does is take me back to the page.Very frustrating, as I have seen the value of the new insights for my other pages, but it’s just not there for this page.

    Any suggestions?

  • Mon Sun Chan

    Thanks for this article. I have been looking at it whenever I can to see where I a standing on my FB fan page. It tells me how I am doing and where I need to focus. Thanks for the breakdown and understanding.

  • http://www.i95dev.com/ecommerce-magento Henry Louis

    Wow! It is really awesome. It gives better idea to increase the fans to our Facebook account. I like this post very much. Keep updating.

  • http://www.ecothinking.org Jonathan Sundqvist

    Some of the pictures seems to be missing from this post… 

  • Laura Vincent

    Thanks – this is really interesting. I find Facebook insights a little confusing but will start paying much more attention to them from now on!

  • http://www.facebook.com/HillyardDM Nwuertz

    Thanks for you article Andrea.  Do you know if there is a certain number of likes a page must have before insights are generated?  We’re just getting started and have only 22 likes, but insights is blank, even though we have had new likes and interaction on the page during the time frame.  Any ideas?

  • http://twitter.com/Initi8Marketing Tom Crawshaw

    Some great content here Andrea :)  Your right that the next development in analytics should be around page posts, could do with some real-time tracking.

    Keep up the great work!
    Tom

  • BrenPhotography

    Andrea- this was excellent. Thank you.

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  • Andrew Chapman

    I didn’t see mentioned (sorry if I overlooked it) that “Insights” will not show until your FB page has 30+ “likes.”

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  • http://profiles.google.com/thesavvysolopreneur Susan Hand

    I’ve been playing around with the new Insights for several weeks ago and have found them to be quite “insightful” for what I’m trying to do on my fan page. Your explanations here gave me a couple more ah-ha ideas that I’m going to follow up on now.

    Thanks.

  • Pete Ambriz

    Great info in very easy to read. Thank Yoiu Andrea!!

  • http://www.mycustardpie.com/ MyCustardPie

    What an excellent article – and it works! I read this afternoon and realise that I got the most engagement from a very simple image I posted.  I quickly uploaded another.  I just checked…masses of likes and many comments…far more than other types of activity.  Facebook changes so rapidly so this indepth understanding of these useful analytics is brilliant.  Many thanks

  • bethkanter

    Great post!  I wrote about this last month but have different method for sense-making from Insights Data 
    http://www.bethkanter.org/sense-making/

  • http://www.smallbiz-depot.com/ Webapps4

    I always enjoy the articles on SE

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  • Darrin Caldwell

    This was super helpful! Thank you for the awesome tips. :)   I’m going to try to implement every single tip in to my Zeebz Link page: http://www.facebook.com/zeebzlink

    SM Examiner you ROCK!

    Darrin C
    @DJ_Caldwell:disqus
    http://zeebzlink.com/

  • http://www.papercottage.net/ Papercottage

    On my Page I used to be able to see profiles of who my fans were. Now with the new insights I can’t see them it seems…do you know if there is a way to? Would love to be able to see who my fans are besides my friends :) !

  • Cindy

    i redid my fan page..but not gettin traffic..what shud b done?? heres the page..
    http://www.facebook.com/DharneandCompany 

  • http://twitter.com/rossnichols Ross Nichols

    Nice post. I’m unsure as to whether your metric of page health is correct though… If I had 90 people talking about my page and 100 likes (which would be amazing for any page), that would be a 0.9 result based on your equation of talking about / likes, which would be unhealthy as per your scale. Did you mean to add in a ‘multiply by 100′ at the end? This would make more sense! Thanks

  • Nwuertz

    Thanks Andrew, that answers my question!

  • http://www.neteffects.com.au/ Network Management

    Thanks Andrea for sharing detailed explanation, very easy to understand and comprehend. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/katrinakavvalospage Katrina Kavvalos

    Loved this report- so easy to understand and follow – thanks Andrea :-) )

  • Sroth

    Great Read Andrea! Thanks so much

  • Dorothy

    Overall great article. I do have a question regarding the last bit on the People Talking About this graph. You related a specific post a spike in the graph on People Talking for Dec. 7. However, it seems that the line in that graph is an aggregate of the week. I checked for a spike in my graph, which I had, but it definitely wasn’t from the post I did on that particular day as the individual’s post “Talking About This” was much lower than other posts in the same month. So is it correct in saying that you should look at the individual post for high numbers of “Talking About This” to help increase the overall page “People Talking About?”

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  • http://twitter.com/RaginaSmith Ragina Smith

    This was great article!! Thank you so much for explaining.

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  • http://twitter.com/buzzquotient buzzquotient

    Thanks for the tips SME! I find your articles very useful for my social media growth!

  • Jen Ruhman

    Thanks! Great break down and good key points. I’m sharing this article with everyone.

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  • Raquel

    Hi, Andre, moreover people talking about this, What about the third number related to people who where here taht some pages as Carrefour España includes? Not many corporate fan pages keep this number. Thanks in advacne for your help and congfrats for this post. Raquel

  • soumitra

    It is really meaningful ryan

  • soumitra

    Is there any way Jesse to get a list of people in excel about people & their personal profiles , who LIKED your page ?

  • soumitra

    just check in as you require minimum 30 likes for the insights to be active

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  • http://freshfullyrad.com/ Jesse R.

    Not that I know of, but I doubt it. Mostly it’s because people have so many different options for privacy on Facebook compared to Twitter. I think the most you can really get is basic demographic data.

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  • http://www.christianfunnypictures.com/ Christian Funny Pictures

    Thanks. That is very useful, especially about monitoring the core viewers. One problem i have with the insights is there is often a long delay with the new insights. I am not sure whether anyone else has this problem but it is a bit frustrating at times.

  • Dj Attinger

    A really informative and useful page! My company is currently working hard to build our Facebook likes and engagement, we have not really reviewed the Insight section much before, however this is something that I feel we need to.

    We currently grow our Liker with competitions, however I have read quite a few articles around using Facebook ads – do you think this is worthwhile?
    Kind regards

  • http://www.promocodes.co.uk/ Dj Attinger

    A really informative and useful page! My company is currently working hard to build our Facebook likes and engagement, we have not really reviewed the Insight section much before, however this is something that I feel we need to.

    We currently grow our Liker with competitions, however I have read quite a few articles around using Facebook ads – do you think this is worthwhile?

    Kind regards

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  • LMCurns

    Thanks so much – this was really concise and helpful!

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  • mini mini

    I still think that a Facebook page can not replace a real website for a business. People that understand that are invited to read this article I found recently about a new free app that turns Facebook pages into proper websites - http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/18/exa/

    M.

  • mini mini

    I still think that a Facebook page can not replace a real website for a business. People that understand that are invited to read this article I found recently about a new free app that turns Facebook pages into proper websites - http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/18/exa/

    M.

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  • Peter

    Does people talking about this include negative feedback? And how is negative feedback calculated?

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  • peggyclements

    Hi Andrea, do you think this all still valid in June 2013? Or is there an update to this info?

  • Ranjanraji

    Thanks Andrea for this detailed explanation. It literally helped me to start looking fresh on my facebook page insights. All this days, I used to glance a moment and move on, but today while I was reading your article and referring my facebook pages insights, it gave me a good understanding to analyze the data correctly. Thanks







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