A Guide to Facebook Analytics for Beginners
For many businesses, Facebook is one of the most important marketing channels you have. It’s one of the most used social media sites for all age groups, the most commonly used app on mobile devices, and Facebook usage accounts for about one minute out of every six spent online.
It’s not just a platform that your audience is on; it’s one where they spend a LOT of their time.
The way people use Facebook and interact with content and ads on the channel isn’t always intuitive for businesses. As with every other marketing channel, to use Facebook well you have to pay close attention to what works and refine your efforts over time.
Luckily, Facebook provides extensive analytics to help you track your progress on the platform. If you use Facebook, but aren’t making use of their analytics yet to improve your campaigns, here’s what you need to know to get started.
How to Access Your Facebook Analytics
Facebook calls their main analytics platform Facebook Insights. You don’t have to do anything special to set up a Facebook Insights account. As long as you have a page, you can easily access the analytics the platform collects.
When you’re logged into your page, simply look for the Insights tab along the top of the page. With one click, you’ll access a significant amount of information that tells you something about how well your Facebook activity is performing.
8 Facebook Analytics Metrics to Follow
Now that you’re in, here are some of the most important metrics to pay attention to.
The way Facebook’s feed works means you can’t take for granted that everyone who likes your Page will see all your posts. On the other hand, sometimes people who haven’t liked your page yet could see your posts, either because you paid Facebook to show your content to more people, or because your fans liked or shared your updates.
Reach is arguably the most important Facebook metric there is, because every interaction people have with your content depends on them first seeing it.
There are a few different metrics for reach:
- Your post reach tells you how many people viewed any of the content or updates you shared on your page for a particular time period.
- Your ad reach tells you how many people saw your ads.
You won’t get much out of Facebook if no one sees anything you share. If your analytics show a more limited reach then you were hoping for, it may be worth paying to promote your page and posts.
2. Number of Likes
Likes are the most common form of engagement you’ll see on Facebook. Page likes are especially important, since they amount to a person saying they’d actively like to see your updates in their feed. Post likes are important because they give you insight into what kind of content your followers like.
Under the same tab as your likes, you’ll also be able to see how many unlikes you have. This is an important metric for alerting you to members of your audience your content isn’t working for. People could unlike your page for a variety of reasons, the most common being:
- You post too often
- You post content they don’t find relevant
- You post content they found offensive
An unlike here and there probably isn’t something to get too concerned about, but if you see an sudden uptick in unlikes, analyze what about your recent page activity may have turned your followers off.
3. Sources of Likes
Another important metric included in the Likes section is where your likes came from. If you care about growing the audience for your Facebook page, then you’re likely putting work into promoting it. This metric helps you see which of your efforts are working.
If you’ve invested in Facebook advertising, then it’s important to see if your promoted posts and ads increase the number of people following your page to determine if your investment is paying off. People who come to your page by searching on Facebook for your brand or through a link somewhere outside of Facebook are already familiar with your brand and can be a sign that your off-Facebook marketing is working.
An analysis of where your likes are coming from can help you funnel your marketing investment to the efforts that are paying off the most in bringing your social media updates to a larger audience.
4. Page Views
While your page views matter, they’re less important on Facebook than with some other channels. The nature of Facebook’s feed means that people can see and interact with your content without visiting your page. It’s entirely possible for someone to regularly like, share, and comment on your posts without ever directly visiting your page.
Don’t let this metric hold too much weight when you’re analyzing the success of your Facebook page, but do give it a look. An uptick in page views can alert you that something you shared or a promotion you did got results.
5. Demographic Details of Your Fans
Facebook knows a lot about the people on the platform, because it’s one of the few places online where people freely provide information about things like gender, relationship status, job, and education level. All of that adds up to brands getting access to a large amount of demographic data about who’s interacting with your page and content.
This can help you figure out if you’re reaching the people you intend to reach – if your target audience is middle aged men, then getting a lot of response from teenage girls on your Facebook page could mean your efforts aren’t actually going to help you make more sales and you need to make some changes to your approach.
On the other hand, if women are your main audience and the ones who like and share your posts the most are married women, then you can assume that targeting more content that’s relevant to married women could pay off.
Analyzing the demographic trends in how people respond to your page and content can help you craft a more targeted campaign that does well with the audience that’s most important to your brand’s success.
6. When Your Fans Are Online
Social media moves fast. If your post goes up at a time of day when no one’s online to see it, it can quickly get buried in your followers’ feeds by posts from their friends, and other media outlets and brands they follow. It’s therefore important to pay attention to when the people you most want to reach are active on Facebook.
In the Posts tab in Facebook Insights, you can get a glimpse of the days and times of days your followers are usually looking at their Facebook profiles. Scheduling your posts to show up when you know people will be paying attention to their feeds increases your chances of being seen, which is the first step to engagement.
7. Top Types of Content
Also in the Posts section is a breakdown of how different types of posts perform. You can see an easy snapshot of how well your video posts do in comparison to posts that just have text, those that have photos, and those that include links. If your audience disproportionately interacts with a certain type of post, then it makes sense to focus more of your Facebook efforts on that format in the future.
8. Competitor’s Performance
Lastly, Facebook makes it easy to keep an eye on your competitors in Insights with the Top Posts From Pages You Watch section, which is located under the Posts tab. You can add the Facebook pages of a number of different brands and media outlets in your space in order to stay on top of the types of topics and posts people in your audience respond to most on all of Facebook. The metrics for your own page can tell you a lot, but this option expands your sample set to a much larger audience so you can see the larger trends behind what’s working.
Facebook Insights can show you when to post, the types of content that work best with your audience, and the types of topics that have traction with the people you most want to reach. With the help of the analytics Facebook provides to brands, you can take a more informed approach to your Facebook marketing over time and increasingly focus your efforts on the tactics that are paying off.
Read More Like This:
- How To Measure Social Media Marketing Success
- 5 Steps to Running a Successful Facebook Contest
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Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.