The ABCs of Facebook Insights

POSTED BY Pranav Shrestha - 03.14.13 - Social media

Facebook’s resident analytics tool is pretty robust. It provides us with great data to understand how your online community is growing, what types of contents are popular, the best time of the day to post and many other insights that can help you craft your content better.

However, for people who aren't familiar with social media engagement metrics, looking at Facebook’s charts can be a bit overwhelming. To help out those of you who are just jumping into the world of social media engagement metrics, here’s a basic guide on Facebook insights to get you started.

Getting access to your Facebook insights:

You can access your Facebook insights in two ways. First way is to click on the little gear icon right below your cover photo and then clicking on “View Insights”.


Another method is to look into your Admin panel on the top of the page and then clicking on “See All” in the Insights panel.


Understanding the Facebook Insight Overview:

When you access the Insights page, the first thing you will see is the “Overview”. The overview consists of three parts. The first one is the basic rundown with the number of Total Likes (number of unique people who liked your page or became ‘fans’), Friends of Fans (total number of friends of people who liked your page), People Talking About This (number of stories created, a story is created when a fan interacts with your content, such as by: liking, sharing and commenting on it) and Weekly Total Reach (total number of unique individuals who have seen any content you published in a week).


The arrow keys and percentage next to the numbers represent whether these engagement metrics have increased/decreased and by how much in a given time range.


Second part of the overview is the graph that charts out these above data to show you the trend and give you an overall picture of how your content is doing. You can see the post and the level of engagement it generated over time.


The third part of “Overview” shows the Virality of each post. Simply put, virality is the percentage of people who engaged with (liked, commented, and shared) your content as compared to the number of people who saw it (reach). Higher virality percentage means your content is doing very well. Facebook’s algorithm, EdgeRank, chooses the type of content people see in their Facebook feed and favors posts that have high virality. This means that the more viral your post is, the higher the chance for a lot more people to see it. This is why engagement is so crucial.

With this chart on virality, Facebook shows you exactly which posts were your best posts, so that you can understand what your community likes and craft content that most suits your community.

Understanding your Facebook demographics:


The next section of insights gives you detail into the demographics of your Facebook fans. The data shows you the gender, age distribution and location of your fans. This can help you develop a persona for your target audience. Sometimes, your Facebook community may not exactly reflect the type of audience you are targeting in your marketing plans. This can be an interesting study on why the Facebook community is different.


The second part of your demographics study shows you where your fans are coming from. It also shows if some people unliked your page. If there were any unlikes you can see on which day people unliked your page and tally it with the content that you posted that day. With this information, you can look into things such as the correlation between the content and the unlike. You can then revise your content strategy accordingly.

Understanding your Facebook Reach


Facebook is flooded with many different brands and people voicing their opinions and promoting their contents. In the midst of all that noise, you need to ask “is your content reaching your fans? Or is your content not even being seen by your fans?” You can get answers to these questions through the Reach insights that show you how many people are seeing your content. Not just that, Facebook also shows you how they’re seeing your content. When your fans see your content is it organic (appears in their newsfeed) or viral (they saw the content because their friend interacted with your content). For example, a content is viral when people who are not fans of your page see your content because their friend (who has liked your page) shared/liked/commented on your post.

This again shows you the importance of virality and how engagement can increase the number of people your content reaches.

Talking about this


When Facebook says people are “talking” about something, it means that those people have created stories by engaging with your content somehow. For example, a person creates a story if they like your page or if they check-in at your location. This data charts the total engagement trend across all stories. You can also choose specific stories such as: Page Likes, Check-Ins, etc.


If people are checking into your business location, this data shows how often they’re checking in and through which medium (either Facebook website or through mobile). Very simple!


By using the Insights tool that Facebook provides, it allows businesses to better understand what is working and what is not and to adjust their strategy to better meet the needs of their audience.

Now that you understand the basics of Facebook Insights, in my next blog post I’ll talk about very detailed data that you can export from Facebook to give you very specific and advanced information about your online community.


Pranav Shrestha

Pranav Shrestha

Pranav is the Social Media Community Manager and Website Project Manager at Fusionfarm. He is currently working on numerous social media marketing efforts for a number of Iowa-based businesses as well as national franchisees. Pranav loves IPAs, new cuisines and photography.

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