What Do Those Numbers Mean?! Facebook Insights

As entrepreneurs, we know the importance of promoting our businesses on social media.  We have read all the books, attended the webinars and designed our social media marketing plan.  GO US!   But… what happens when you do all of that yet you don’t understand your analytics.   How are you going to adjust your strategy?  Facebook in particular often leaves people shaking their heads.  Unlike an individual, businesses have “fan pages” which come complete with page analytics known as your “insights”.  The problem with these “insights” is that they are not very insightful in my opinion.   

Today I will provide the low down on the “insights” as I understand them and based on how Facebook tracks them as of today.  

No doubt you have received weekly emails from Facebook entitled “Your weekly page updates” which looks like the example below:

New Likes    Talking About This    Weekly Total Reach
67                  102       +59.4%                     1,315        +56.0%

Let’s break it down.  We all know what “Likes” are so let’s look at the “talking about this” and “weekly total reach”.    “Talking about this” simple means that someone took some form of action on your page. The action they took will be visible to their friends as well.   This would include:

◾clicked “Like”
◾shared a post
◾left a comment

The numbers under “weekly total reached” represents the number of people who have seen anything associated with your Page.  This includes: posts, pictures, Ads/sponsored stories.  

A few things to note:  Facebook only looks at unique visitors meaning if one person “liked” your page, posted a comment and shared a post, this only counts as one.   If one person came in and “liked”…another came in and commented….another shared a post….this would count as three.  Also, the percentages in both columns are based on comparisons from the 7 days prior.  

This weekly email gives you an at-a-glance type overview.  For a more detailed analysis, let’s look at what happens if you click the “insights” on your actual Fan Page.  You will come to a page that has lots of options on it but the first thing you will see is something like this example:

Total Likes     Friends of Fans   People Talking About This     Weekly Total Reach
702    (%)         297,576    (%)         89     (%)                                      1897     (%)    
(note: % will reflect a positive or negative number based on activity)                           

We have covered everything with the exception of “Friends of fans”.   This is exactly what you think it is.  Facebook takes all your fans…. Sees how many friends each one has….adds them all up…. BAM….your Friends of Fans number.  Everyone loves that number because who doesn’t want to see an insanely high number on their analytics.

You may notice that your insights graph is a 28 day window not a 7 day overview like the email.   At the top you will also see that you can click on “like”, “reach” and “talking about this” which will you give you a more detailed look at each area. By clicking, can see analytics such as gender and age, location and the languages they speak.  This information comes from their profile settings so if they do not update their location for example than this will not be very accurate.

One last thing I want to touch on is organic, paid, viral or total.  This is how your content reached your fans.    Organic simple means they viewed your content from their own news feed, by visiting your page or from the news ticker.  Paid will reflect any views from content you placed via an Ad or Sponsored Story. Viral indicates the number people who saw your page from something that one of your fans did such as “like” your page, like a post, posts a comment or shares a post.

I hope I was able to clear up a bit of the confusion known as Facebook “insights”.   I also want to thank Vend Raleigh for inviting me to guest blog.  It has been a pleasure!

Michele Lawson, Red Feather Networking, Small BusinessContinued success my friends~

Michele Lawson, RHIT, Co-Owner of Red Feather Networking, LLC is a trainer, motivator, writer and public speaker who is passionate about helping others unleash their networking mojo. Previously a trainer at the University of Florida, Michele taught communication skills, diversity, professionalism, and effective job searching which included resume building and interviewing skills.  Through RFN, Michele now helps others with professional development, provides one-on-one coaching, builds networking confidence and empowers others to embrace their unique networking styles.

Cary Heise
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