Functions and Frameworks is dedicated to helping business owners innovate

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Facebook Insights Demystified (A Beginners Guide to FB's Analytics)

One day, your boss decided to penetrate the social media realm and asked you to create a company Facebook fan page. Googling "How To Create A Fan Page" without quotes would give you 995 million hits (yes I googled it just now) and I'm pretty sure one of those results will give you a step-by-step process on how to create one.  Following the instructions, you have successfully setup your company fan page. Next question would be - what now?

As a marketer, it is imperative to know how to measure success. The good news is that for digital marketers, almost all actions online are measurable and trackable (yes, you heard it first here - trackable :P). The only thing you'll need is a good Analytics program. In Social Media sites, most likely it will offer a basic analytics tool that can help any marketer analyze the basic behavior of its fans/followers/members/subscribers. 

Whenever I'm invited to discuss social media marketing, a lot of people would normally asked about Facebook. If they have no idea what a fan page is, it's usually harder for me to discuss how things are measured in that site. So here, I will assume that everyone at least know what a fan page is and what is the purpose of having one. I will then jump directly in discussing the built in analytics tool of Facebook which is called - Facebook Insights. 

As an example, I will use one of the Fan Pages I created and is now being co-moderated by 3 other people living in different regions of the planet - the Bayer Young Environmental Envoy fan page. (and yes I am a member of that organization - just to explain why i created it LOL :-)

How to Access:

If you are an administrator of your fan page, just go to your page and right below the profile photo, you'll be able to see a tab called "Insights".

Facebook Fanpage Wall

Click on it and it will give you four options:

  1. Insights - (default view) 
  2. Likes - This tab will give you an overview of your total fans as well as their demographics. 
  3. Reach - How many potential people you can reach per post. 
  4. Talking About This - How many people are engage with your fan page. 

Facebook Insights Tab Location

  1. Total Likes - This is the total number of Fans
  2. Friends of Fans - This is the potential reach of your message assuming All fans interacted or shared your posts. 
  3. People Talking About This - This is the total number of Unique fans that interacted to your page. Interaction can be liking, commenting , sharing, posting on the fan page's wall, or mentioning them in their own newsfeeds. 
  4. Weekly Total Reach - The total number of Unique fans who have seen your post. 
  5. A detailed summary of all your individual Posts (disclaimer: it can not display beyond a certain amount of posts. It only shows most recent posts by type on a defined date range). 

Facebook Insights Default View

Now looking at the graph above, one thing you need to do as a marketer is find ways to close the gap between "People Talking About This" and "Weekly Total Reach". Because the closer they are, it means that you are increasing your engagement with your potential reach on a weekly basis. Although I haven't experienced it yet, it is a good goal to optimize your fan pages for this purpose. 

And if you're into Viral marketing, there's a good add-on tool under Page Posts that will show you the virality of your post. 


Under the Likes tab, you'll immediately see the date range on the upper left corner which can be tweaked to show the specific range you wish to see. 

NOTE: The date range can only show you up to 89 days of data. Weird right? One reason I can think of why Facebook did this is because they don't want to host all the data on their servers. So they are kind enough to show at least 3 months worth of data. So all you need to do now is manually export them and save it in your computer for future analysis.

One thing about this page is you'll be able to see the Age, Gender Geographic Locations and Languages of all your fans. 

At the bottom of the page you'd see where your Likes are coming from. This is very useful if you want to optimize your newsfeed. Facebook marketers call it NFO (News Feed Optimization). 

(one of my wish for this page is for Facebook to determine their individual purchasing power haha =) if that was to happen, I'm sure life would be easier for Facebook marketers =P).

Facebook Insights - Likes

This tab explores the total reach of your posts. It aggregates the information coming from all your fans. So if a Fan interacts with your page (for example: share your link or like one of your posts), his/her interaction will be shown in his/her feed therefore exposing your content to his/her own network. This tab shows you that information. 

This tab is helpful when building your Acquisition Strategies

Facebook Insights - Reach (Demographics and Geographics)
Facebooks Insights - Reach 


This tab is about your posts. It will give you a general insight on what type of posts are most likely would be highly talked about or has a high chance of going viral. I am sorry though that my screenshot below does not show any information because the data needs at least 30 people engaging at the page before showing any information. And yes I have to admit that me and my co-moderators are not really focusing on engagement right now but simply using the fan page as a mass media tool to disseminate information.

Facebook Insights - Talking About This

So now you know the basic tabs and their purpose. Base on experience, you won't be using all the data you'll see there because it will give you a hard time developing a marketing plan. I can still remember my strategic planning class at graduate school - the professor was telling us about focusing our resources in a channel where the business has a potential to grow and become profitable. This is the same thing, you won't need all the data above because if you do, you might end up having different clashing objectives which may help your company in some way but is not cost-effective. 

So for beginners, I would suggest you focus on the following:

  1. LIKES: You don't really need age and gender when starting your fan page analysis because in the first place, you already know who to target and who would most likely buy your products. 
    • Cities - localize your posts so that the people from the city can help you share it among their network who also lives in the same city. 
  2. REACH: You use reach two ways...
    • Verify if your targeted Cities mentioned above are the same cities you see showing up in People You Reach.
    • Find out which areas you have the potential to grow your market. 
  3. INSIGHT OVERVIEW: You definitely need to monitor the following because you have to know if your posts are appealing enough for your target audience
    • People talking about this
    • Engage users

I know that the data you'll get are very basic and not really in detail. For beginners, this would have to do. If you're page is growing on a rapid rate, I suggest you upgrade your analytics by integrating it with a third party tool. 

I would suggest Omniture - to track site traffic, referrals and revenue and Pagelever for consumer insights. 

Alright, so that's about it, I hope you learn something from this post. It's a bit lengthy but at least you know what you're getting into if you want to start analyzing your Facebook page. =)

Engr. Nicco Joselito Lopez Tan


  1. Anonymous21.12.11

    Thanks... This is very usefull info. Couldnt wait for next article... Gigling mode ^^

  2. Thank you for the compliment! =) And I find your gigling very cute! haha whoever you are =)