Ever wonder about how much of your content actually reaches your fans? Is your ideal target market hearing your message? Who exactly are your fans and do they refer your page or share your images with others? You can answer those questions through analytics.
Using analytics you’ll be able to determine what type of content resonates the most with your audience. Through effective analysis, you’ll not only find out the best day of the week to post, but the best time of day as well.
By digging deeper you can find out the true nature of your fan base. You’ll want this beneficial information when tailoring landing pages, website content, and overall marketing messages to your potential clients. Having demographic data about your followers allows you to connect with your target audience a whole lot more deeply and you will begin to understand them on a whole new level.
By gaining even a passing familiarity with metrics, you will begin to make much wiser decisions regarding your social media strategy and make far more effective and engaging interactions with your fan base.
Facebook provides a decent application named “Insights” for those wanting to track user interaction on their fan page. Insights seeks to help you identify the most meaningful information so you can make the best decisions about your engagement and content strategy.
The Insights dashboard helps you determine the effectiveness of your page at attracting followers, encouraging engagement, and gaining effective reach. Any admin of your Facebook page can access Insights but for user privacy reasons data only reflects for pages with greater than 30 “Likes.” Don’t worry if you just started out, Insights will begin appearing once your page has 30 users who like it, so even more reason to start engaging!
Facebook currently offers two variations of Insights: User Insights and Interactions Insights.
User Insights reflects your:
- Total number of fans
- Total active users
- New Likes and Unlikes
- The sources of your Likes
- The demographics of your fan base
- Total page views, tab views, and incoming links
- General media consumption and a whole lot more!
Interactions Insights reflects:
- Your daily story feedback, such as Likes on your posts
- Comments on your post
- Number of impressions
- Frequency of mentions
- Engagement in discussions, reviews, wall posts, and video attachments
When sorting by these specific categories, you’ll see specific information regarding each post such as its title, its original date, how many users engaged with that particular post, and how many spread the word about it – otherwise known as “reach.”
Through graphs and other statistical data, Insights will measure your reach and virality.
Virality indicates which posts had the greatest spread and dissemination. By knowing the virality of your posts, you can create more content that your fans like, which will then increase your branding, reach, and overall volume of traffic.
Insights also allows you to drill down into demographic information as well so you can see the geographical locations of your fans as determined by their browser IP address. You can also find out the age group distribution of your fan base and whether it consists of more males or females.
Convinced? Ok, here’s how to get started:
To access Facebook Insights click on the gear wheel on your Facebook fan page just below the right hand corner of your timeline banner picture. Select ‘View Insights’ from the dropdown menu. This will take you to the main Insights dashboard.
On this page, you’ll see the total number of likes on your page and whether they trend up or down in volume. You can also find out how many friends of fans you have exposure to so you can determine your potential reach and how many people actively talk about your page.
Like to get hands-on and dig more into the numbers?
Need to print your results and take them on the go?
Insights provides the ability to export your data.
Click the button that sits near the top right hand corner of your Insights dashboard. Select a date range for the data and choose “Page Level Data” or “Post Level Data” depending on the category of information you seek. You have the option between two output formats: MS Excel or Comma-Separated Values (CSV). People tend to use CSV when uploading to a database or other program. If you just need to print or want to crunch some numbers, go with Excel.
Upon opening the downloaded file, you may initially feel overwhelmed by the amount of data provided. Don’t worry, once you dig in you will find that everything has been sorted out for you. The output file breaks down key metrics, such as daily like sources and daily viral reach, into labeled tabs towards the bottom of the worksheet.
Each tab will provide you with different statistical information regarding your page.
Lifetime Total Likes displays how many likes your page received over the dates you specified. Total Daily Reach reflects the number of people who saw your post on any given day. Don’t get too lost in the data, though. Take what you learned and create something meaningful out of it. Look for trends and patterns and see how you can really optimize your social media to get your message out to your ideal client base.
It takes Facebook typically 48 hours to process and display Insights data and in the event of a delay they will announce it. For those not living on the North American west coast, Insights aggregates its data according to the Pacific Time Zone (GMT – 8:00), so you’ll want to keep that in mind and adjust accordingly.
Facebook isn’t the only platform that offers analytics – Check out these other applications as well: