So you’ve created a Facebook Page for your business. Now it’s time to cultivate an audience. To do so, you need to answer three simple questions:

  • Which kind of content should I post?
  • Am I reaching the right audience?
  • When is the best time to reach my audience?

How do you even begin to answer these questions? With data, of course! And here’s the good news: the native Facebook analytics dashboard, Page Insights, has the basic data you need to get started. However, it is a bit limited; if Facebook is an important channel to you, there are a number of tools available that provide more in-depth analysis. (See our list of 127 marketing tools for ideas.)

Facebook analytics help you engage the right audience, at the right times, with the right content. It’s a simple marketing concept we refer to as leveraging leading metrics; by posting more relevant content at the right times, you’ll drive greater engagement and increase audience growth. (Read more on why leading metrics are a content marketer’s secret weapon.)

Here are ways to find the Facebook metrics that will help build a more effective content strategy. Click on Insights at the top of your brand’s Facebook Page to follow along.

Which kind of content should I post?

The quickest way to answer this question is to navigate to the Posts section of your brand’s Page Insights and click the “Post Types” tab.

Here you will see your Page’s engagement broken down by post type (i.e. photo, offer, link, video, etc).

Facebook analytics
Image via Facebook for Business

Just as there are many different types of learners, different content types will drive different results for your page. Use this data to determine which content types resonate with your audience.

Am I reaching the right audience?

To understand your brand’s Facebook audience, click on the People section in the Page Insights dashboard. Here you’ll see a demographic overview of your Page’s Facebook fans, including breakdowns by gender, age bracket, country and city of origin for Facebook usage, and language.

Facebook analytics
Image via Facebook for Business

But let’s take this one step further: is your content resonating with the right subsets of your audience?

To find out, click on the People Reached and People Engaged tabs. These metrics will compare your post engagement across the above demographics. If your content isn’t resonating with your target audience segments, then that’s your cue to test different content types and topics.

When is the best time to reach my audience?

If you’re posting the right content at the wrong time, you’re wasting valuable content resources. To give your content the best shot at success, post when your Facebook audience is most active.

Facebook analytics
Image via Facebook for Business

How do you find out? Under the Posts section of your Page Insights, select the When Your Fans Are Online tab. The graphs below will show the day of the week and time of day when your Facebook audience is most active.

Take note: Facebook Page Insights data is calculated based on your computer’s local timezone. If you’re a community manager who works remotely from a different timezone than your core audience, be sure to take your local timezone into account.

Putting It All Together

Delivering the right content to the right audiences at the right times are important first steps to get your Facebook Page on the right path. So how can you use these metrics to show your Facebook success?

  • Monthly Audience Growth: How many new followers did you gain (or lose)? By tracking percentage of audience growth, you can set realistic benchmarks for follower growth over time, and better understand how your posting strategy impacts audience expansion.
  • Monthly Total Interactions: How many Likes, Shares, and Comments did your content rake in across the month?
  • And for more granularity, evaluate your total interactions by posting volume via Average Interactions per Post. Ideally, by creating better content, and posting at the opportune time, you’ll be able to drive more engagement with less lift.

Ready to take your Facebook strategy to the next level? Get your copy of The Marketing Maven’s Guide to Facebook for insights to help your content stand out in the News Feed.