Facebook Insights is one of the most important features of the whole Facebook experience for Brands. Facebook Insights have undergone a lot of changes since being introduced from 2011 and have introduced new features every-time to make it easier for Marketing Teams to understand their audience. The Facebook insights Dashboard is a good indication for your overall progress of your Facebook performance; however the real help is the Facebook Insights export which gives you tons of historical data to play with. Here is a guide of how you can get started on exploring Facebook Analytics with your own Page Insights.

Making sense of Facebook Insights

Getting Started:

You can locate the new Insights Dashboard under the Admin Dashboard or you can navigate to https://www.facebook.com/[Your Facebook Page Name]?sk=insights manually. The recent changes to the dashboard allow Real time data to be incorporated to these dashboards along with the data being quantifiable up to July 2011 (previously it was only available for 89 Days of comparison) as reported by AllFacebook

How to download Facebook Insights in Excel

Types of Export:

  • Page Level Data:

The Page Level Data Export gives you an overview of the overall Page performance and statistics related to the growth of the Facebook Fan Page. This may include New Likes, PTAT for the Page, Page Visits etc.

  • Post Level Data:

The Post Level Data digs one layer deeper and can give you a post level breakdown for performance only. These exports will give you a one-by-one post performance which you can then compare for content level and category level analysis.

Metrics to Look After:

The Page Level Exports give you option to look at more than 70 metrics to look at in the ‘Key Metrics’ sheet and provides 62 Worksheets of Drilldown based on Geographic, Engagement and Reach Data. Do you need so many metrics to look at your Page performance? Certainly Not!

However, every metrics and it’s drilldown has a purpose catering to different Brand and it’s audiences. For example, looking at the Geo location data and matching it with demographics can give you a sense of where your fans are coming from and hence can be a critical point for you to decide your next offline campaign in the area. The metrics are broken down in to three frequencies which confuse many users:

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • 28 Days

So when you take an example for the Reach metric, A ‘Daily Reach’ signifies the amount of Unique people reached on the particular day while a ‘Weekly Reach’ is the amount of unique people reached throughout the week. Similarly 28 Days refers to the number of Unique people reached in the 28 Days prior to (& including) the selected date you are looking at. Here I am stressing on the word ‘Unique’ as many people seem to get that wrong. Let’s look at the below example of a page I am an admin of:

Facebook Insights Explained

Looking at the ‘Daily Total Reach’ for 29th Dec 2013 is 65, When you want to look at the weekly reach till 29th Dec, it would be read as Weekly Unique Reach from 23rd -29th Dec. On a Similar basis, the 28 Days Total Reach would be from 2nd to 29th December people who have viewed the Page/Page Posts or any other Page content (disregarding duplicate visits during that tenure and only counting individual counts).

So looking forward, Here are some of the Metrics you can keep a look at to track on Page/Post Level Exports:

  • Engaged Users [Page Level, Columns E to G]

Bye Bye PTAT! Facebook now has de-activated PTAT numbers in the new exports on Facebook Insights. Engaged Users on the other hand includes any click within your page or post story and does include ‘Page Likes’ as well. The metric gives you a fair indication of Page Level Engagement for your Brand.

  • Organic Reach [Page Level, Columns K to M]

Facebook has also discontinued ‘Viral reach’ which was indeed a mysterious to many. Organic Reach however is still an important metric for many brands to look at and with the recent announcement of Facebook on the decline of Facebook Organic Reach, this surely is an important trend to keep a tab on.

  • Daily Count of Fans Online [Page Level, Column BT]

This is a new metric to look at in Facebook Insights. Facebook now has started giving you the number of your Fans online on a given particular day. This can give you a fair perception of the % of your Fans online on Facebook and how many actually see your content (Reach Penetration). This can later be used to plan content accordingly (if your fans are more active on weekends against weekdays) and then you can always circle the most active hours via the Facebook Insights Dashboard (Look under ‘Posts’ à ‘When Your Fans are Online’)

Facebook Insights Dashboard When Your Fans are Online

If you are looking at the granular data in the exports too, You can look at the last worksheet (“Daily Liked and online”) in the Page Level Export which does contain the number of your Fans online broken down on a hour by hour basis.

How to download Facebook Insights

  • Weekly Reach / PTAT Demographics [Page Level]:

Facebook has not totally wiped out the PTAT metric from Insights. The Reach demographics will tell you about your content being visible to which part of your Target Audience and the % of people actually interested in your content. The PTAT/Reach metric can be utilized for each demographic category and can compare the most engaged demographic to cater to accordingly.

Bonus Tip:

Facebook has renamed the PTAT with a new kind of metric named ‘Positive Feedback’ which can be found under the last worksheets of your Page Level Exports. The metrics are the ones which created stories around your page (‘Shares’ have been renamed as ‘Links’). The metric is not much of a help on an overall basis, but proves useful when looked at from a post by post basis.

Facebook Insights Export Example

  • Total Post Reach in Fans [Post Level, Column T]

Coming to Post Level Data, this is the data you should keep a look at to know the % of your Fans seeing your content on a post by post basis. Facebook has made it easier for Brands to look at the reach of their audience and determine where they are standing as far as their message content is concerned.

  • Engaged Fans: [Post Level, Column W]

Engaged Fans are anyone clicking on your post level content which does not necessarily end up in story creation. The figure calculates the same way Engaged Users are calculated and is a subset of that number containing only the Fans of the Page (as compared to Engaged Users which contains Fans as well as Non Fans).

  • Type of Post Consumptions [Post Level, 4th Worksheet]:

Looking at the type of consumption can give you a different perspective to look at a content level. Many Brands I have seen use Photos for every bit of information. That might be successful in a lot of scenarios, but fails when you are looking for Fans to be redirected to your websites. With Facebook providing a richer image area for Link based posts as well, Brand can check how much Link based posts work again Photo based posts with the audience. Post Consumptions cover:

  • Video Plays
  • Photo Views
  • Link Clicks
  • Other Clicks (Includes Likes, Comments, Shares and clicks on the posts)

You can always check your link clicks under this tab and cross check this with your Google Analytics and bit.ly shortened links. The post level can also be divided in to different post buckets (Product/Generic/Theme) and then be cross examined with each other to see which content bucket draws the maximum response.

Some Derived KPI’s:

We also look at some derived metrics which can act as a benchmark for your progress on a month over month basis:

Derived KPI’s

Type of Export


Post Engagement RatePost Level# of Engaged Users/ Total Post ReachCan be used for detecting the % of users engaged with your contentFan Engagement RatePost Level# of Engaged Fans / Post Reach of FansCompared to overall basis, this metric will give you the % of your Fans engaged on your contentOrganic Reach PenetrationPost Level# of Fans Reached / Total Fans of the Page on that given dayGives you a perspective of the % of your Fans you are reaching out.Post Consumption RatePost Level# of post consumptions out of the total post impressions servedFan/Non Fan Reach RatioPost LevelCan be termed as a ratio of post reach divided among Fans & Non Fans

There are millions of Facebook metrics to look at, but you need to focus only on the ones that matter and not suffer from the ‘analysis paralysis’ syndrome. Which ones do you target to see your Facebook Page performance?

Do let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos