In case you missed it, earlier this week Facebook rolled out its new update to Insights. It’s been a long time coming, too, as Facebook has been slow to update Insights–at least in meaningful ways.
But this update comes a lot closer to being useful than many of the previous updates. And it’s about time for community managers, right?
Let’s take a quick look at five updates/upgrades Facebook has instituted with Insights that are worth a closer look:
Much cleaner and easy-to-scan dashboard
Much easier to consume, visually. But the big win here is the way the numbers are presented. At a quick glance you can evaluate the big three areas that most clients/organizations care about when it comes to Facebook: Page likes, reach and engagement. And, take a closer look and you’ll find you can compare page likes and reach from week to week (great for showing progress to clients and bosses). And, I love the engagement summary–easy way to view total numbers for likes, comments, shares and clicks on a weekly basis (imagine how easy weekly summaries will be for clients now!)
Finally, data to help you figure out the best time to post
Remember all those posts telling you the best time to post on Facebook? We know they’re crap. But, Facebook hasn’t really given us great data around the best times to post for OUR pages. Now, they’ve corrected that. This view gives you specific data on the best times to post to reach YOUR fans–not the general Facebook population. What’s more, click on any of the days at the top and you’ll see a dotted line that shows what the time breakout looks like for that specific day! Finally, brand-specific useful data on time of day.
Are those photo posts really working?
Now you can find out for yourself. Now, the reality is the photo-based posts will probably be #1 for many brands. But, now you have actual data to back up that assumption. Plus, you can see how link, straight status and video posts stack up. Again, brand-specific information for you to base future decisions. What’s also nice about this view is Facebook shows you the engagement data on the right-hand side, too. So, maybe your photo posts are working in terms of reach, but status updates (which you’re primarily using as questions) are generating more “engagement.” This way, you can actually see that data. Again, very useful. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg.
Overall fans vs. Engaged fans
OK, so we knew this information already, right? Basic demographic stats. Women vs. men. Age groups. But, what Facebook improved upon with this update is that now you can easily see your fans vs. your fans you’ve reached vs. your fans you’ve engaged. Big difference. For example, if you look at this view you can see this page’s audience leans toward women who are 18-44 (big age group). But, if you look at the fans reached…
…you can see it’s still leaning toward women. But, the age range starts to skew younger–18-34 now. And, if we look at engage fans…
…we see it’s much more heavily skewed toward women (78% now vs. 62% of all fans). And, it’s skewing much younger (54% are ages 18-34 vs. just 30% of all fans). So, what does all of this mean? It means, women, ages 18-34 are our “super fans”–those who engage with posts most frequently. Those who like, comment and share our stuff. That’s who we want to talk to. That’s our persona. Hugely helpful info for all community managers.
Much easier to monitor post performance
The view for post performance is much more user-friendly than it was in the previous view. At a glance, I can see the post, the type of post, and engagement numbers. And, what’s really cool, is with a simple click on the right-hand-side, I can see likes, comments and shares for each post. AND, for each post, you can see a little thumbnail of the visual you used with your post. Not a huge deal, but for those of us managing multiple pages, this is pretty significant as you frequently forget about what image you used with a post two weeks ago.
Those are my initial thoughts. If you’ve played around with the new Insights, what do you think so far? What are the more significant upgrades in your opinion?
By now, if you work in the digital arena, you’ve most likely taken a glimpse at Facebook Insights. After all, many people have responsibility for managing online communities, like Facebook, and need to track metrics and report back to management on a semi-regular basis.
Admittedly, Facebook doesn’t offer the most comprehensive suite of data out there. In fact, some folks have figured out work-arounds to install Google Analytics on their Facebook page for more in-depth information.
But, Insights actually probably serves most brands just fine. It provides basic data that can tell you a lot about if and how you’re fairing on the platform.
My question is this: Are people just reporting likes and basic interactions? Or, are they really diving into the data, grabbing the right data and translating that into actionable intelligence for the brand?
Some are. Some aren’t.
Today, I thought we’d take a look at five key metrics I’ve found to be useful for most brands and how you can take that basic data and make it work for your organization’s marketing efforts online.
* Tab Views. Just like reviewing Google Analytics on your blog, one of the first things I always want to know is where people are going on my site. On Facebook it’s no different. Which tabs are fans viewing? Here’s where to find out.
What to do with the data: I had a client where after reviewing Insights recently, we discovered a decent amount of folks were visiting their Discussions tab. Only one problem: We didn’t have any content on that tab. This data forced us to rethink that a bit. People were expecting content in that tab–why? After some discussion around that question, we came up with a strategy I believe will help us improve engagement with “fans” and ultimately, help this client achieve its goals online.
* External referrers. What are your biggest referral sources online? For most, this will probably be either your Web site or Twitter. But, invariably, other sites will work there way in the mix, too. Why are those sites popping up? It’s your job to figure that out.
What to do with the data: This one depends on your goals. If you’re trying to drive people to your Facebook page from other channels, this is a great metric to check what’s working and what’s not. If Facebook traffic isn’t necessarily one of your top goals, it’s still worth running down those obscure Web sites that drive people to your page. Maybe it’s a site that picked up a blog post our CEO wrote a while back (maybe there’s a strategy there). Maybe it’s a single tweet a huge influencer in your industry made a week ago. Whatever the case, it pays to investigate–remember, the more informed you are with rich data points, the more effective your decision-making will become.
* Post Feedback. You’ll find this data under “Interactions” in your Page Overview section. It measures the number of “Likes” and comments made on the posts in your News Feed.
What to do with this data: Really, you’re looking for the percent increase month-over-month here. If engagement and two-way feedback are among your goals, this is a key stat to track. What’s more, don’t forget to check out the number of “Likes” and “Comments” throughout the month. Where were your spikes? Did they occur where you wanted them to occur? Did the number of “Likes” and comments on a certain post surprise you? Grab all this information here.
* Monthly Active Users. This metric represents the number of folks who have interacted with (Liked or commented) or viewed (don’t have to be fans) your page or its posts.
What to do with this data: First, look at the percentage growth or decline month-over-month–that should give you a good indication of how many people are visiting and interacting with your page compared to the last couple months. Then, look at the number against the “Lifetime Likes” number directly to the left–how does it stack up? Remember, the Monthly Active Users number doesn’t just reflect fans–it also picks up non-fans. So, again, if one of your goals is engagement, this comparison is a good one to grab–and it should be a pretty high ratio.
* Page Views. This number represents the total hits to your Facebook page–and it includes fans and non-fans (including those who aren’t logged it to Facebook). You can find it in the Users tab under “Activity.”
What to do with this data: Here’s where you can really see what days of the week people are hitting you page–and how the spikes correspond with your content. It might make sense to overlay this chart with the days you post–great way to determine which posts might be encouraging fans to click on your actual page (remember, this isn’t about News Feed views–it’s about actual Facebook page views).
What about you? What Facebook Insights metrics do you look at from month-to-month? And, more importantly, what do you do with that data?