Facebook Page Insights: What’s New, What Can Be Improved

Posted by · November 29, 2011 4:18 pm

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Facebook quietly released a few updates to the analytics they offer for their Fan Pages (or Brand Pages or Business Pages or whatever it is they’re calling them these days).    The updates give business owners and marketers an in-depth look at how many people each business is currently reaching versus how many people a business could potentially reach on Facebook.

In an interview published on Mashable, Facebook’s Advertising Communications Manager Elisabeth Diana said these updates are just “the first step in enhancing Page Insights for small businesses and brands.”  That’s good news, because despite the fact that the new Facebook Page Insights are a vast improvement over what was previously offered, there’s still a few more analytics that Facebook could give (and you know they have access to them) to help people ensure that their Facebook marketing efforts are reaching their full potential.

Here are the best new insights that businesses can glean from Facebook’s analytics updates and a few metrics I’d like to see Facebook incorporate into their insights in the future:

Important Metrics

Businesses have always been able to see how many people like their page and how many people each post they make on Facebook reaches. (In Facebook terms, a “reach” just means that someone saw your post, perhaps in their news feed, not necessarily that they clicked on it.) Now, however, you can see the number of people your company’s content could potentially reach with the Friends of Fans metric.  This metric tells you the number of unique people who are friends with people who have liked your company’s page.  For instance, only 80 people like the Fan Page I created for my personal blog, but those 80 people have a collective network of over 35,000 unique individuals.  Knowing this gives me a clear vision of how many people I could potentially reach through my Facebook marketing efforts and helps me set goals for the future accordingly.

Overview

The Facebook analytics overview is a graph that shows the number of posts you published to your Facebook page during a specific period of time, the number of people who talked about (created a story about) your content and the total number of people who have seen any content related to your page within the last seven days (weekly total reach).

These metrics by themselves mean relatively little until you combine them with Facebook’s analysis of each post.  The individual post breakdown gives you a better understanding of which posts were a hit with your fans and which ones weren’t.  The per post details tell you how many people actually clicked on a post you made and how “viral” a specific post was.  According to Diana, Facebook calculates virality by dividing the number of “people talking about this” by the reach.

Demographics

Perhaps the most useful metrics Facebook now provides are the demographics and location metrics of people talking about your page.  Knowing your fans’ demographics will help you tailor your content to what your users want to read, and the location data will help you know the optimal time to post content.

Room for improvement

While I find metrics like Friends of Fans and users I actually engaged versus users I reached to be compelling, I’d like to take them one step further and be able to see the following:

  • Which of my fans has the largest network and if any of my fans are friends with celebrities or other “big names” in my industry.
  • Which fans saw one of my company’s posts but ignored it and which fans saw a post and actually clicked on it.

If you’re wanting a few more details about how to use Facebook Page Insights, download their Page Insights Guide.  The one thing the guide won’t tell you is how to improve your Fan Page metrics, but I think we all know the answer to that question: create compelling content that your fans will want to share with their friends and watch your “Likes,” engagement and hopefully your bottom line go up.