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  • Aleks Vanderpool-Wallace

Getting the Most out of Facebook Insights - Part 1

Given the current value of Facebook as a platform for businesses to connect with their customers, it is becoming increasingly important for those businesses to ensure that they are using it effectively as a tool.

Luckily, Facebook helps with making that possible by offering Insights which provides statistics and information that you can use to analyze your page’s performance. However, just like a carpenter’s hammer is useless if used incorrectly, it is important to use these insights to benefit your business the most.

This post will give a quick overview of the Insights page and provide some tips to get the most from it.

How to Access Facebook Insights

The Insights page can be accessed by simply clicking the Insights button at the top of your Business Page.

How to Access Facebook Insights
Access Facebook Insights

From there you will see an Overview page featuring a number of key statistics about your page, such as the number of likes, views, and reach.

Facebook Insights Overview Page
Insights Overview Page

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure about the definition of some of these statistics, as you can hover your mouse over any of the items to see what it is measuring.

These numbers alone can provide a great snapshot view of how your page is doing, but there is a lot more available for you to take a deeper look into your page’s performance.

Executing Insight Research

One mistake that we have seen a lot of people make in looking at data from their Facebook Business Page is to not have a plan for their research. This can lead to inefficiency and make it more difficult to identify the next specific action steps to take based on the research.

We recommend taking a 4 step approach to carry out your research:

1. Identify an Objective

First figure out what exactly you are trying to achieve on your page, to determine the direction of your research.

Do you want to increase interactions between customers? Do you want to increase the average time that customers watch your product videos? Or could it be that you want to direct more users to your website?

Even if your answer is “All of the above”, it is important to separate them as individual questions and proceed with the below steps for each of them.

2. Determine Which Metrics are Relevant

Depending on the objectives you have identified, the next step is to determine what you need to measure that is relevant. Although the insights overview page only contains a handful of different measurements, there are literally over 4,400 that you can choose from for Facebook to provide! (Don’t worry we will cover how to easily sort through them all in Part 2).

For example, if our objective were to increase Page Views, we would perhaps home in on Organic, Viral and Paid Page Views, and ignore for now irrelevant things like likes and follows. This may seem obvious to some, but this is a key step as your analysis gets more complicated.

It is possible that at some point or in later steps, you will realize that some additional variables need to be added, but using this simple starting point will save more headaches than it will cause.

3. Select Relevant Time Periods

Next it is essential to select the most appropriate time periods to be measured. By time periods we mean the start and end dates of the data we are viewing. All too often we see people relying on data from arbitrary or default time periods that are not the most relevant to the objectives at hand.

For example, if the objective is to evaluate the performance of a new campaign of videos, it is important to identify and isolate the time periods when those videos were available to users.

However it is also important in many cases to compare the time period with the previous corresponding time period to measure improvements, such as comparing one week with the week before it.

By default on the overview page there are only a few options for time periods: Today, Yesterday, Last 7 Days, and Last 28 Days. In Part 2 we will walk through how to select any periods needed.

4. Analyze Data & Repeat

Now that Objectives, Key Variables, and Time Periods have been identified, it is time to carry out the actual analysis. Although this step is the most important, it is essential to perform this step last.

This step in turn can be broken down into sub-tasks also.

The keys to translating Facebook Insights into real-world success are:

  • Process the Data

  • Observing the Processed Data

  • Creating Actionable Next Steps

  • Implementing those Steps

  • Repeating the Entire Process

Repeating the process as a loop is vital because if the first set of steps is not successful to achieve the objective they can be honed to do better. On the other hand, if they are successful those results will be visible, and the actions can be repeated.

Coming in Part 2

These steps are generalized and not specific because there are so many different types of analysis possible, that we want to cover them all. But to really bring this process home, we have to show you a real-world example!

In Part 2 to this post we will put the above steps into practice and show an example of some of the advanced analysis possible with Facebook Insights. This will include:

  • Exporting Data

  • Choosing arbitrary Variables & Time Periods

  • Processing and Summarizing the data

  • Creating Actionable Next Steps

If you have any questions or want more information about how Cay Marketing can assist you, please feel free to drop us a comment or contact us!

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