How to use Facebook Insights to your advantage

  • 1
  • August 2, 2013
Laura Crimmons

Laura Crimmons

Communications Director

In the old days (well, last month…) to get all the information you needed from Facebook insights you had to trawl through endless spreadsheets of information and spend hours putting the data into graphs for social media reports.

In fact, just to reminisce and also to prove my point, I plucked an example of one of the more obscure metrics from the depths of the interminable data we used to be presented with:

Weekly The number of people your Page reached broken down by how many times people saw any content about your Page. (Unique Users)’.

Now, I love big data and I can spend hours looking at graphs but with metrics like this, it’s no wonder people were being put off attempting to fathom Facebook insights.

Luckily, Facebook has seen the error of its ways and have presented Page users with some shiny new insights!

The new data is far more user friendly, a Page manager is presented with this the first time:

Facebook Insights

But things can still seem a little daunting.

When considering what metrics are relevant to your business or your client, think about what you’re using Facebook for and what goals you have in mind for the page.

If you stick to your goals and only report on them, you can ignore the other Facebook metrics and avoid the dreaded ‘analysis paralysis’!

Most brands set up Facebook Pages as a marketing method to bring traffic to a site (or foot traffic through a door) in order to convert.

Only an engaged, genuine audience will be valuable to you. Building an engaged audience can be done by connecting with Facebook users via content that is shared on the Page. By revising your content on a regular basis you can ascertain what messages resonate with Facebook users and constantly refine your strategy based on past results.

With this in mind, there are only a few metrics you want to be looking at:

Likes – You need to be building an audience to see growth in brand awareness and increase the number of users who will be exposed to marketing messages. To find information on Page Likes, click on the Page option in the top banner:

Page option


You are then presented with data on Page Likes. The most important data on this page is the Net Likes chart:

Net Likes Chart


You want to know how many users have Liked and Unliked your page and when. From this data you can infer what kind of content and what kind of outreach strategy (if you are using one) works best for bringing new users to your Page and what content is losing you fans.

From this you can refine your content strategy and improve its effectiveness.

The slider at the top of the page allows you to select your date range and the helpful 1W (one week), 1M (one month) and 1Q (one quarter) buttons give you a quick view of periods of time. If you want to be more specific you can also use the calendar date selector:

date selector 2



Although, for some reason there is no data pre-May which is not very helpful.

As well as an engaged audience, you have to ensure they are a relevant one for example, a lot of brands have a certain (or a general idea) of target audience and it is important to make sure your fans are falling in that demographic. To keep an eye on this aspect, visit the People menu:

People menu


Here, you will get some basic demographic information about your fans:

Demographic info


You can also get the same information about which people were reached by your content (many of whom will fall outside of your fan base, especially if a lot of your posts are shared) and information on the people who are engaging with your posts which gives you further information about your Facebook content strategy and the type of person it speaks to.


Analysing engagement is the next step when it comes to your Facebook strategy. Likes are important but it can very easily become a hollow vanity number if your audience is either irrelevant to your brand or are not engaged.

You can get a basic overview of information on engagement by selecting the Posts menu:

Posts menu


The All Posts tab gives you a very easily digestible table of all of your most recent posts. From this you can tell what posts are doing better than others in terms of reach and engagement:

All posts published


To set an order for your posts you can select either the arrow on the Reach or Engagement button which will put your posts in order from most to least:

Reach button


For extra information on the metrics that are shown you can use the drop down menus at the top of the page. The Reach menu gives you information on paid versus organic impressions, this is only relevant if you use Facebook advertising, and reach of fans vs. non-fans:



The next important metric on the Posts section is the Engagement:



The blue colour indicates post clicks, which counts any click within the post and then the pink indicates the Likes, Comments and Shares.

There are even more options in the Engagement drop down menu:

Engagement drop down


By clicking on the Likes/Comments/Shares option, you can see the total number of each:

Total number


(Purple is Likes, pink is Comments and red is Shares)

The Post Hides, Hides of All Posts, Reports of Spam and Unlikes of Page metric is also really useful to tell what content annoying to your fans. Unfortunately, Facebook insights does not currently tell you which one of those actions have been carried out but you can at least tell there has been a negative effect from certain content. Your content may have been a little risqué or you may have posted too many times in one day, either way, make sure to analyse the post and cultivate your content strategy accordingly.

For information on a particular post you can click on the specific post to get a full run down:

Full run down


The two other tabs in the Posts menu are When Your Fans Are Online and Best Post Types. The When Your Fans Are Online is a brand new source of information brought to you for free from Facebook and it is extremely useful. Not only do you get information on what days are best to post, you get information on the times of day:

Information on times of day


The Best Post Types menu is a little less helpful, you get Reach and Engagement information on the ‘types’(photo, video and link posts) but for your Page to be an eclectic interesting experience for new visitors you need to have a mix of all types of post.

Best post types


For example, your status posts may perform better but you can’t have a page full of statuses so this information is of no real value in terms of refining your Facebook strategy. The best way to measure the success of post types on a semantic level would still be to do it manually in a spreadsheet and carry out on-going testing.


If you want to know more about how many people are visiting your Page and what content is bringing them there you can also check out the Page visits metric in the Page menu.

Page metrics

This information indicates more about how your content brings visitors to your page. This evidence should be used as well as engagement numbers when refining content strategies since a lot of people are not too active on Facebook and do not indicate their advocacy but are interested in your content all the same.

page and tab visits

If you have used other metrics to report in the past, perhaps your brand or client has a really specific goal or niche business targets (or you’re just a sucker for nostalgia!) The old spreadsheets are still available to export via the button at the top of the page:

Export data

If you are having any problems with your new Facebook insights or you are looking for advice on refining your Facebook (or any other social media channel) strategy, or social media reporting in general, please get in touch.