Facebook started rolling out new insights in mid-June. I’ve had mine for a while, but it’s only been recently that I’ve had time to play with them, and let me tell you, I’m really impressed.
Nerding out on data is the new sexy.
Here’s the thing: what we do, this social media marketing thing, is still so very new. If you’re anything like me, you exist on a daily diet of blog posts and podcasts, constantly trying to keep up, to learn what the newest, latest, greatest thing is. The newest social network. The newest app. The newest way to better reach your audience.
But all of that information is not tailored specifically to you. What is tailored specifically to you is your data, your analytics. At a bare minimum, you must have Google Analytics installed on your site, and you must have some way of tracking your tweets and seeing how they are doing (see: Twitonomy and Hootsuite). You also need to know what’s happening on your Facebook page. All this data mining is not just to make you crazy (did I get a spike? did I break my previous record for pageviews?). It’s so that you can get smarter.
What things work? What things didn’t work? And why did they or didn’t they? These are the questions that data can answer for us.
The new FB Insights are getting better at doing that. The data was always there, but in order to really see what was going on, you had to download the report, which was an excel spreadsheet 60 columns wide. I’m not even kidding. Have you seen one of those things? It’s overwhelming.
The new insights allow you to easier access the most important information, and in a way that is much more accessible.
Here are some of what I think are the important highlights:
Overview Page: gives you a really nice snapshot of the last week: total page likes, how many new page likes, total reach, and engagement broken down into likes, comments, shares and clicks. It also shows you your last 5 posts, and an overview of how they did, in terms of engagement and reach.
Page Likes: this gives you an arial view of your overall page likes, unlikes, and where they came from: mobile, web, FB page, etc… You’ll see on mine, I had a real spike on August 1. It’s worth it to go back to that date and try to determine why there was a spike in likes on that day. It could be as simple as the fact that I sent out a bunch of invitations asking people to like my page that day. Or perhaps it was something I posted. In this case, I posted this graphic that people really liked.
Posts: You can have thousands of page-level likes, but if no one is responding to your posts by liking, commenting or sharing, then you don’t have enough engagement on your page. Creating engagement is tough. Most people lurk, and read, but don’t comment, so sometimes you have to really provoke them or ask them pointed questions to get them to respond.
There’s a lot of awesome on this page. Under “all posts,” if you switch your default to “engagement rate” (the far right pull-down arrow), Facebook ranks your posts according to engagement rate. Great information. What’s engaging for your audience? And how do you replicate that?
Next, under the “when your fans are online” tab, you’ll get to see when is the best time to post to your page. Apparently my fans are online pretty much all day.
Finally, “best post types” tells you what kinds of posts do best on your page. Now, all the current literature says that images sell the best, but according to my insights, text status updates rule.
People: Facebook breaks down your demographic information. This can be especially useful for targeting your niche if you are planning on doing some post boosting or PPC ads.
Now, go forth and mine your data! All the cool kids are doing it.