5 Facebook Insights upgrades worth a closer look

Ease of use, time-of-post info, and breakdowns of fan activity are all blessings for community mangers.

Facebook has rolled out its update to Insights. It’s been a long time coming, too, as Facebook has been slow to update its page-data platform—at least in meaningful ways—but this update comes a lot closer to being useful than previous updates have. Five Insights updates/upgrades warrant a closer look: A cleaner, easier-to-scan dashboard The big win here is the way the numbers are presented. At a glance you can evaluate the three aspects of Facebook that most clients/organizations most care about: page “likes,” reach, and engagement. You can also compare page “likes” and reach from week to week, which is great for showing progress to clients and bosses. I love the engagement summary—an easy way to view weekly totals for “likes,” comments, shares, and clicks. 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. Different audiences require different things. Previously, Facebook hadn’t provided great data about the best times to post for our pages. Now, it has 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 day at the top, and a dotted line will show the time breakout for that day. Are photo posts really working? You can find out for yourself. Photo-based posts will probably be No. 1 for many brands, but now you have data to back up that assumption. Plus, you can see how link, straight status, and video posts stack up. It’s brand-specific information on which to base your future decisions. Facebook shows you the engagement data on the right-hand side, as well. 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 those highly useful metrics. Total fans vs. engaged fans OK, these are basic demographics—but now you can compare fans vs. fans you’ve reached vs. fans you’ve engaged. Big difference. For example, this page’s audience leans toward women 18–44 (a big age group), but if you look at the fans reached… …you can see it still leans toward women, but it starts to skew younger now: 18–34. If we look at engaged fans… …we see it’s much more heavily skewed toward women (78 percent now vs. 62 percent of all fans), and it’s skewing much younger (54 percent are ages 18–34 vs. just 30 percent of all fans). So, what does all this mean? It means, women ages 18–34 are our “super fans,” those who engage with posts most frequently—those who “like,” comment on, and share our stuff. That’s our core target. It’s hugely helpful info for all community managers.

Much easier to monitor posts’ performance At a glance, I can see the post itself, the type of post, and its engagement numbers. With a click on the right-hand side, I can see the “likes,” comments, and shares for each post, as well as the thumbnail. This is significant for those managing multiple pages, because it’s easy to forget what image you’d used on a post two weeks earlier. 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? Arik Hanson is principal of ACH Communications. A version of this article originally ran on his blog, Communications Conversations.

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