Facebook Post Insights Are Live But Are They Useful?

Yesterday Facebook began rolling out post insights to Facebook Page administrators but since then many are wondering what they mean. While Facebook hasn’t officially announced the upgrade we have reached out to Facebook to find out what these numbers represent and got a response. The ultimate question is: do Post Insights really provide more insight?

What Are Impressions?

The first thing many page administrators began asking me last night was: What on earth is an “impression”? As one commenter, pictured below, told us, they had over 800,000 views on a page with 350,000 fans. We also noticed that some of our posts had more impressions then we have fans. So where are these additional views coming from? Facebook has given the us the following definition of impressions:

The number of impressions displayed for a post is the raw number of impressions shown to users. These impressions may appear in users’ News Feeds, visits to Pages or through a Fan Box widget.

For example, a user may load up their homepage and somewhere in their stream will be your story. While not all users are necessarily viewing that story (as they may have to scroll down), Facebook made a request for your story so it counts as an “impression”. What we have not heard back about yet is whether or not reposts are included in that calculation. Facebook has let us know that reposts are not included in this calculation.

Is This Useful?

As many other page administrators have noticed, the average feedback level on any given story is absolutely horrendous. While we’ve seen feedback levels as high as 0.50 percent our average feedback level is somewhere around 0.10 percent. This number will vary from post to post and from Page to Page though. Before discussing the use of these numbers, it’s important to define what determines “feedback”.

Feedback is the total number of comments and likes on your story divided by the total number of impressions. Not currently presented are the number of users who viewed your story or the number of clicks on that specific story. So what can you do with this knowledge? The most obvious is to produce more content that generates a larger amount of feedback.

However there may not be a direct correlation between clicks (something many are attempting to drive) and feedback. For example, after posting our This Week In Facebook article on Sunday, an entire thread was generated around an off topic. The two comments below sparked an entire conversation (24 comments) about one of our fans’ choice of grammar:

Was this conversation thread valuable for our page? Maybe. Will similar posts result in the same feedback level? Probably not. So in this instance, the insights were not particularly useful for us. However, it can be used as a basic guide for determining what content was popular with our fans with the exception of conversation threads like the one pictured above.

What would be extremely useful is to monitor these numbers across other pages and get some sort of comparison to see if all these numbers tend to hover in a standard range. What would also be useful is to know those Pages that are performing extremely well. What sort of feedback levels are you seeing on your page stories? Is the new Post Insights feature available to you yet?

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