New Facebook Insights

Posted by: in Analytics, Social Media Insights & Trends on December 6, 2011

Facebook recently launched an enhanced version of Facebook Insights — their reporting function for brand Pages. Anyone who administers their company’s Facebook Page knows that Insights is a great resource for getting engagement and demographic information on your Page fans.

But with any off-the-shelf solution, I always had the feeling, “I wish they had this feature.” Well, the new features greatly improve the reporting function and will help you better understand what’s resonating (and what’s not) with your fan base. To help explain the new features, Facebook has created a great tutorial on how it works. If you’re in any way responsible for marketing a Facebook Page, I recommend you spend the 20-25 minutes going through the tutorial.

Some highlights of the new Insights:

  • Instead of just tracking the number of Likes, you can now see the number of “Friends of Fans,” which is the total number of unique friends of the people who like your Page. It should loosely track to the 130 friends each Facebook user has on average (although I would imagine it takes the friend overlap into account).
  • There’s another new metric called “People Talking About This.” This one is important, because it doesn’t just track the number of fans your Page has; it tracks the number of users who create “stories” from your content. Examples include commenting, sharing your Page, accepting a calendar event, etc. This will show you how many people are actually spreading your content and not just viewing it.
  • More broad is a post-specific metric called “Engaged Users.” This is the number of unique users who have engaged with your post in some way (clicking on it, watching a video, sharing it, etc.). This number will almost always be higher than the number of “People Talking About This.”
  • The “Weekly Total Reach” now replaces “Impressions” and shows you the total number of Facebook users who viewed your post, based on a combination of your direct fans plus the friends of those fans who “talked” about your post, thus having you show up in their News Feeds.

The per-post metrics let you see detailed information of the above for individual posts you create (up to the last 50 you posted), so you can get an idea of what sort of post is working better than others. This metric is called “Virality.” Virality is a percentage of the number of people who talked about your post against the total number of people who saw your post. Facebook gives some pointers on how to increase the virality of your posts:

  • Make your posts succinct. Posts between 100-200 characters (3 lines) receive 60% more likes, comments, and shares than posts greater than 250 characters.
  • Sponsored (paid) posts can increase the likelihood of your fans’ friends seeing your posts.
  • Try creating “fill in the blank” posts. Something like, “This weekend, I’ll be wearing _____.”
  • Localize your posts if they’re relevant only to a specific geographic location. You can do this by clicking the “Public” drop-down button next to the Share button when you write a new post. From there, you can geo-tag who should see your post (New York State only, English only, etc.).

There are many other tips in the tutorial, so check it out, and be sure you’re using Insights as regularly as you’re using Facebook itself. And in case you’re still confused by “Engaged Users” vs. those “Talking About This,” the below shows what Facebook user actions qualify for each.

Engaged Users

Talking About This

Checking in at your Place Checking in at your Place
Liking your Page Liking your Page
Commenting on a photo Commenting on a photo
Sharing your Page post Sharing your Page post
Mentioning your Page in their status update Mentioning your Page in their status update
RSVP’ing to one of your calendar events RSVP’ing to one of your calendar events
Clicking on a photo
Viewing a video
Clicking a link in your post



By: Matthew Snodgrass

Group Director of Digital Strategy at NextWorks, partner of The W2O Group.

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4 Responses

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  1. This is really helpful, thanks. Facebook is focusing much more on sharing and engagement and a bit less on the number of likes a page has.

  2. @Ginny. You’re right. At the end of the day, a more focused marketing approach is more cost-effective. It’s not big numbers … it’s the right numbers.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Facebook Insights – It’s all changed again. « Internet Marketing Guru linked to this post on December 6, 2011

    […] New Facebook Insights Stats – must watch Ed […]

  2. Analyzing New Facebook Insights – Display and Exported Data « socialmediasundae linked to this post on January 30, 2012

    […] Explanation includes a nice table listing qualifiers for “Engaged Users” vs. “Talking About This”: […]

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