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Learning from Facebook Insights

23rd June 2011
GWS Team

If you've got as far as setting up a Facebook Page for your business, but are wondering how to make the most of your presence on the site, it is worth spending some time analysing how you are using it.

Analytics provide the opportunity to quantify your actions, allowing you to understand what is successful and what is not, as well as making you think more about your Facebook strategy.

Analytics are also an important way of moving Facebook from a potentially questionable or purposeless business resource, to a more structured tool.

There are other ways of understanding your use of Facebook, but a good place to start is the analytics that are built into your Facebook Page: Facebook Insights.

The data provided within has lots of great potential, and can help you get an idea of how you are progressing in Facebook.

However, before you take stock of the data provided here, it is good to remind yourself of what you are trying to achieve with Facebook.

Whatever your primary goal - gaining followers increasing interaction, providing an opportunity for customer/client feedback or offering a source of industry information and comment (or a combination of some or all of these) - it is best to have a clear idea of this before you start investigating what is successful, as different strategies will benefit from different data, and will mean you will be looking at the insights in different ways.


On-Page Insights

Before you go into the separate Insights section for your Page, it is worth considering the on-page insights that Facebook makes available.

In some ways this can be the most important piece of information, relevant to increasing followers and interactions.

Under each post on your wall, there will be a record of how many impressions a post achieved, along with the amount of feedback (likes or comments) received.

Impressions simply refer to the number of times the post appeared to users.

If you look back at a number of your recent posts, you might start to get a sense of the time when your posts get most impressions - information which might help you think more strategically about when you post items.

In relation the feedback, you might want to use this to see if there is a relationship between feedback and subject matter or phrasing - if particular topics or ways of expressing information (perhaps with a photo a video as well) receive more feedback, with this in mind you can focus your attention on the most effective ways of communicating in the future to maintain a higher rate of interaction with your Facebook fans.



Facebook Insights are accessed via the admin menu on the top right side of your Facebook Page.

There are three different sections: overview, users and interactions.

All of these can be viewed by week, month or a customised date range. At the moment there isn't a built in way to compare two different time periods.

GWS Media Facebook Page



The overview presents basic information about users (new likes, overall likes and number of monthly users; a graph detailing daily, weekly and monthly users) and interactions (number of post views and feedback; a graph indicating number of likes and comments).

This is useful as an overview of how you are doing in any particular time frame, and is probably most helpful if you are primarily concerned with taking stock of whether numbers are up or down, rather than potential reasons for this or other thoughts on strategy.



The users section breaks down information into more detailed data, such as demographic information about people who like your Page (gender, country, age) and what kind of activity is taking place on your page (which areas are looked at most often, where users are coming from other than Facebook and the proportion of activity involving new or returning users).

From this you can gain lots of information, including: 

  • Whether your actual audience matches your target audience
  • How loyal users are (by subtracting the number of unique views from total Page views you can discover how many Page views are from returning users)
  • The degree of interest in your content (which tabs are being view most)
  • How people are coming to you from outside Facebook (and so how outside promotional strategies are working)

This information is useful for thinking about how to increase your followers, as well as how to target your content to existing visitors.



The interactions section provides information on daily feedback (number of likes, comments and unsubscribes), Page posts (repeating the data your receive on-page, but with the advantage of listing it by impressions or feedback - allowing you to see your most viewed/engaging posts) and Page activity (engagement with your Page by users, including: mentions, discussion posts, reviews, wall posts and videos).

This detailed breakdown offers a more nuanced view of how your Facebook Page is working, particularly with the option to examine specific time frames.

The interaction section can help you with various aspects of performance feedback, including:

  • Which have been the most viewed posts, and which have resulted in the most engagement - is there a pattern to this which you can use in future?
  • What kind of content have people shared most frequently on your Page - is there a pattern which indicates this is the best format to share?
  • When have people unsubscribed - is there a discernible reason for this? (i.e. too many posts in one day?)
  • Does the users' sense of what your Page is for match with your own?

In this way, the interactions section offers information that can help your content be more directed towards increasing interaction with users and building on how people are already interacting with your page.

Whatever your wider social media strategy, Facebook insights are well worth investigating for the impact they can have on guiding your use of a Facebook Page to make it more effective, and will help you see whether your strategy is working, based on what is actually happening on the Page.

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