3 most useful metrics in the new Facebook insights

One thing’s for certain: with the new insights tool, Facebook takes the lead as the social network that provides the most comprehensive analytics for brand promotions. Apart from its updated ad displays, this will be yet another feature that will attract businesses to invest in the largest social network. We’ll take you through why!

We won’t bore you with a step-by-step guide to the new insights as you can easily take a tour on your Facebook page or read countless blog articles like this one by Ben Harper.

We’ll touch upon three main points that we believe are the most useful insights for marketers and brand managers.

Facebook breaks down reach between fans and non-fans so you can know who’s sharing your posts the most. Another important metric is the track of when your fans are online. You no longer have to rely on different infographics telling you the optimal posting times for Facebook. Now, you can gauge optimal times for your page yourself. Lastly, Facebook has finally included official statistics for engagement rate with statuses, photos, videos or links.

Reaching Fans & Non-Fans:

The new Facebook insights combine viral, organic and paid reach into total reach so you can track one number constantly. You can always choose which to view with a simple drop-down menu in Posts tab. Under All Posts, go to the Reach drop down menu and choose between total or organic/paid reach.

When you select organic/paid, it will show you the reach in different colors. You can hover on the reach bar and it will display the exact number of people reached organically and through paid advertising.

Similarly, you can see statistics for whether your post reached more fans or people who have never liked your page. This is an important metric that can help you measure the value of your current fans. If your fans are legitimate, you should be making more efforts to get your message across to them because they’ve already shown you that they are interested in what you have to say. Click on any individual post and you’ll see how many times the post has been shared, liked and commented on. We’ll talk about this in more detail under “Engagement Rate.”

Optimal Posting Times:

Did you spend hours researching on optimal posting times for Facebook? Did you get confused by vague guidelines and infographics that all said different things? Say goodbye to all the confusions. Facebook has incorporated the official optimal times for your specific page in the new insights. Go to your Posts tab and then choose “When Your Fans Are Online.”

Here’s how they work:

Under the “Days” section, Facebook will show you the average amount of your fans who saw any posts on Facebook in an hour, on a given day of the week. Since it says “any posts”, we’re assuming it means not necessarily your Page posts. So this metric shows when your fans are most active on Facebook updating statuses, adding friends, liking and commenting – a handy metric for you to know when your fans are most likely to see and engage with your posts popping up in their News Feeds. You can analyze which days they are the most active and choose to increase posts for that day.

Under the “Times” section, Facebook displays the average number of people who saw any posts on Facebook in an hour. It says “people” here instead of “fans” but we think it means your Page fans only because otherwise the stats would be showing a breakdown of 699 million people! You can now find out the average time every week that your fans are most active on Facebook. But you’re posting on Facebook daily, right? You can now optimize your Facebook posts per day and post at optimal times for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and so on.

Simply hover your mouse over a specific day and you’ll see a dark blue line graph superimpose the area graph. This line graph shows you the average number of people who saw any posts on Facebook in an hour on that specific day (Monday, Tuesday etc.). The area graph in the background is faded out and still shows you the weekly averages so you can compare and see exactly how activity changes on a specific day.

Engagement Rate:

Under the “Posts” tab select “All Posts.” Next to the Reach drop-down menu, there’s another one that by default is set to “Post Clicks/Likes, Comments and Shares”. Choose “Engagement rate” from this menu. Facebook has introduced the official engagement rates for each post. It adds the number of clicks, likes, shares and comments on a post and divides by the total number of people who saw the post.

This is a crucial metric as it is important to have both reach and engagement on your posts. If you’re reaching a lot of people through one post but that post is not attracting as much engagement, you need to be careful. Why? Because if a person sees your post and doesn’t interact with it, Facebook will gradually reduce the number of times he sees your posts in his News Feed. You don’t want to lose your fans’ attention like this.

You can sort the posts by post clicks or likes/comments/shares by clicking on “engagement” and choosing an option. If your page has had a lot of posts, it may take time for the table to get sorted. Further, if you want to find metrics for each individual post, simply click on it and you will be treated to all the data about how much the post was liked, shared or commented and even if someone hid it or marked it as spam on their News Feed. The latter is under negative interactions and this is a great way to stay on the alert.

All in all, the new Facebook insights are another reason why we think it is a great social network for brand promotions. The addition of new features such as when your fans are online and engagement rates for individual posts means you can build a more effective strategy for your page. We hope this post answers your questions about the new Facebook Insights. If you liked this post, share it with your friends and let them know too! Thanks for reading.

Nabiha Zeeshan is a social media addict currently working for Cygnis Media. She is always curious to know more about human behaviors and anthropological studies of online social networks. If you have something to say, send her a tweet @NabihaZeeshan.