Social Media Analytics: Facebook Insights


I posted some comments from the Facebook Marketing Conference on using Facebook Insights to manage your social media marketing campaign. Today, I want to expand on that post to discuss other issues that impact your success on Facebook.

To the right, you’ll see an example of what Facebook Insights looks like.

Metrics from Facebook Insights

Total Likes: This number really doesn’t have much meaning except that is shows your potential — the greater number of fans, the greater the potential reach for your message.

But, unless you’re able to engage your fans, this number is meaningless. That’s because you only reach the Friends of Friends (which you’ll notice is a HUGE number) if you engage your fans.

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Algorithm Behind Facebook Insights

That’s because few fans EVER go back to your page — so they don’t see anything you post there.

The only way Fans see your posts is when you show up in their newsfeed. And, to show up in their newsfeed, you have to engage your fans through sharing, liking, and commenting. These types of engagement allow your post through the Facebook algorithm that screens a user’s newsfeed to ensure only posts likely to be interesting show up. Otherwise, users would have to wade through screen after screen of spam before finding anything interesting. And, they’d likely stop using Facebook.

The more users who engage with a brand, the more likely their posts are to show up in the newsfeeds of their fans. Fans then have the opportunity to like, share or comment on the item, which, of course, now means the message might show up in all their friends’ newsfeeds.

Using Facebook Insights

So, now that you understand a little about how Facebook Insights demonstrate what’s going on with users, let’s take a look at how you use Facebook Insights.

Notice, below the graph, Facebook lists recent posts. In columns across from the posts, we see how users respond to the post in terms of engagement with users and users talking about the post (sharing). Then, Facebook calculates some estimate of the virality of the message — much like measures of eyeballs seeing a print or broadcast ad also called reach in traditional advertising.

You’ll notice, some messages do better than others in terms of engagement, talking about, and reach. Obviously, you want to understand what makes these messages more effective than other messages. Here are some metrics you might look for to figure this out:

  • Maybe it’s the time of day the post went up — because Facebook newsefeeds scroll endlessly, earlier posts are quickly replaced by later posts. The more friends you have and the more they post, the faster your newsfeed scrolls. Posting when your audience is reading their newsfeed means you’ll gain more eyeballs.
  • Maybe, it the topic. Some topics likely resonate with your audience better than others. Check to see if you posted on a trending topic in posts that received more exposure, for instance.
  • Studies show Facebook users respond better to images than text, but that’s not necessarily true for your network.

The point is: spend some time getting to know your network and monitor them in case they change.

What Else Can You Learn From Facebook Insights?

One of the things I like to track is conversion from Facebook. Facebook Insights also tells you how many people saw each post, which also helps you optimize your Facebook strategy by creating more posts that resonate with your network.

But, I like to track the percentage of the audience who saw my post to conversion — whether that’s visiting the website, buying the brand, or requesting more information. While you can’t DIRECTLY connect conversion with your Facebook posts, you can get a good idea, especially if you set up special pages for Facebook responses (on your website pages, including landing pages, you can also looks at Google Analytics to see where traffic is coming from).

Social Media and Metrics

As I’ve said many times on this blog, social media (like Marketing itself) is becoming more analytical and more metrics driving. This is just one example of how analytics helps optimize your strategy. Otherwise, you’re likely stumbling around hoping for success, rather than seeing it show up on your Income Statement.

Let Hausman and Associates help you achieve your social media marketing goals. Visit our product page to learn more about how we’ve helped other businesses, see a sample of the types of products we run, or request a proposal to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE.

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