While Facebook marketing is important, it doesn’t make sense to blindly plug away at it. You need to be able to monitor the results of your actions and make course corrections when needed. This is why Facebook offers businesses its Facebook Page Insights analytics tool. The Page Insights Dashboard lets you see detailed information about the number of the Likes, Comments and Unsubscribes that your business is able to generate. An External Referrers section shows how effective your Facebook campaign is at drawing people in from outside of Facebook.facebook-front_1796837b

Facebook recently announced the first major update to Page Insights in two years. The new Page Insights is far more useful and far less buggy than the original. Here’s a short introduction to how you can take advantage of the new features available.

How to access the new version of Page Insights

To access Page Insights, you need to expand the Admin panel. Page Insights is right next to Get More Likes. You need to click on See All to launch it.

When Page Insights opens, you see a window with four tabs – Overview, Page, Posts and People. The major changes are in the Page and Posts tabs.

The new Overview screen displays a number of informative graphs that show you how well you’ve been doing collecting Page Likes, gaining follower engagement and furthering the reach of your posts. If you don’t understand what exactly a graph describes, you just need to hover your mouse over it for a quick tooltip with an explanation. The tooltip is useful. For instance, many people misunderstand what an engaged follower in Facebook really is. You might think that it implies a follower who frequently comments on your posts or Likes them. Your tooltip will tell you, though, that as far as Facebook is concerned, an engaged user is simply someone who often clicks on things on your Facebook page.

Moving over to the Page tab

The Page tab has three sections – Page Likes, Page Visits and Post Reach.

The Page Likes section: You get three graphs on this section, each with detailed information. The graphs don’t just show you the total number of Likes that your page has received over the years. You also get deep information about what kind of Likes you have – how many came organically to you, how many were paid Likes, how many people decided to Unlike you and so on. One graph even shows where exactly your Page Likes come from – from page suggestions or from mobile users, for instance.

With these detailed graphs, you are able to pinpoint what part of your Facebook activity pays off the most and decide to concentrate on that type of activity.

The Post Reach section: On this section, you get four performance graphs:

  • Post Reach
  • Hide, Report As Spam and Unlikes
  • Likes, Comments and Shares
  • Total Reach

Having access to such detailed information can be useful in many ways. For instance, if your Hide, Report as Spam and Unlikes graph shows a spike, you may worry that you’ve done something to upset your followers. A quick look at the Likes, Comments and Shares graph could show you that you are doing very well, though. You can then conclude that the spike in your Hide graph only comes from the fact that you are more popular overall.

The Posts tab

The Posts tab has the following three sections – All Posts, When Your Fans Are Online and Best Post Types.

The All Posts section uses the same basic format as before. It comes with a couple of powerful enhancements, though. It allows you to see different kinds of engagement and reach metrics. For instance, you can see your organic reach compared with your paid reach and how much of your reach you owe to your fans as compared to non-fans. Some of these reports were available on the old Page Insights, too. They weren’t easily accessible, though, and didn’t make the terms they used very clear.

The When Your Fans Are Online graph is new and shows very usable information. If you get to see when your customer base is on Facebook, you can time your Facebook activity accordingly. Without this graph, you’ll never know when to get online.

The Best Post Types graph is another new feature. It has the potential to help you achieve better engagement and reach. Social marketing firms like Yodle.com, though, warn that you need to be careful about how you use the information you get here. For instance, if you get a big reaction each time you post photos, you might be tempted to conclude that photo sharing is what you need to concentrate on. You need to think of the exact reason you are on Facebook for, though. If you are on Facebook to get traffic to your website, being very popular for your photos won’t help you.

In conclusion

Some of the new features on Page Insights can directly improve your marketing effort. It is directly actionable information if you know the exact hours your fans are online, for instance. Some of the other data you get require interpretation, though. As with any tool, the results you get depend on how well you master it.

Eric Bryant is a small business owner and Facebook user with several years under his belt. He likes to share what he finds by posting on various blog sites.

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