A good 10% of my website visitors every month come through this tutorial: How to download data from Facebook Insights.
The tutorial is so popular that it even ranks above Facebook’s and you might have been one of those who discovered my page this way.
But how many of you are making the most use of what you have in your hands after you have downloaded the data?
In this post, I will talk about 7 metrics that are important in the page data.
You might find the same metric in a different column because Facebook seems to offer different versions to different people. But you shouldn’t worry because you should be able to find it in another column. In any case, if you ever need help find a metric, leave a comment below.
1. Daily count of fans online
Facebook added this metric to Insights earlier this year and it soon became one of my favourites because it is more meaningful than most of the metrics Facebook provide you with.
It also tells you when you have a large proportion of fake and irrelevant fans.
To make this metric more meaningful, first divide it by “lifetime total likes” in column B to obtain the percentage of fans online daily. Then, plot the daily figure in a graph and you will be able to make a few key interpretations:
- If you see that the graph experiences a sharp dip and remains low, it is a telltale sign that your page has attracted a large group of fake fans
- If you see distinct peaks and troughs in the graph, then you should look out for days where you should post more and less often
- [Warning: You might have to read a few times to understand what I’m trying to say.] In general, the percentage of fans online daily should increase more than proportional to the percentage increase in the size of your fan base because an increase in the numerator, daily count of fans online, should have a greater impact on the final result than an increase in the denominator, lifetime total likes
Where you can find this metric: Column BT, the last column.
2. Net fan page growth
Net fan page growth indicates the potential size of your community. It is not that important, but not unimportant either. Perhaps the most important advice I have for you is not to obsess over it.
To look at this metric meaningfully, you could report it in both absolute figures and in percentage. Here are some possible interpretations:
(1) A small increase in new likes and a slow growth rate
If this is the case, you should decide if you are committed to growing your community on Facebook.
If you are, then more campaign-level work should be developed to ramp up the activity and connect with more target audiences, such as running a highly targeted campaign to grow your community using a Facebook app.
(2) A small increase in new likes but a high growth rate
This should tell you that the community is relatively small but growing at a quick pace. It indicates that the fan growth strategy is working, but whether the page is attracting highly relevant fans relies on other key metrics, such as the daily count of fans online which we discussed earlier.
(3) A large increase in new likes but a slow growth rate
This should be obvious to you that the community is large and is growing at a small rate. This is a normal trend and you should look beyond Facebook Insights to see if you’re driving conversions and ROI from Facebook.
(4) A large increase in new likes and a high growth rate
This is a positive trend whether you have a large or small Facebook page. But to find out if your community is indeed growing quickly, you can compare it to that of your competitors. Again, quantity is no indication of quality.
Where you can find this metric: By deducting ‘Daily new likes’ (Column C) by ‘Daily unlikes’ (Column D)
3. Daily unlikes
As you might have noticed, the previous metric – net fan page growth – has taken unlikes into account.
However, it does not show exactly how many unlikes your page may experience on a regular basis. Relying on just the net fan page growth metric can be dangerous because you might be getting a large number of unlikes yet you do not know of it because a healthy number of new likes covers it up.
With daily unlikes, you will know that if a problem lies somewhere, even if you might not know for sure what the problem is. I like to keep this metric on my radar for that reason. Some possible explanations for a high number of daily unlikes I can think of are:
- Misleading ad copy or image
- Misleading brand collaterals both online and offline, where your fans came in touch with your brand
- Unworthy content: Fans un-liking your page as they do not find value in what they see in their newsfeed
Are you able to come up with more?
Where you can find this metric: Column D
4. Weekly page engaged users
I don’t look at daily page engaged users or engagement rates because i think it is ridiculous to expect all, if not most, of your fans to engage with your brand everyday.
I mean, what do you take your fans for? For the lack of a better way to put it, they have a life!
On the other hand, I think that weekly engagement is a good indication of top-of-mind brand awareness.
In other words, if someone is engaging with your page at least once a week, it tells you that he is likely to remember you when he has a need for your product.
Did I also say that engagement is like the new reach?
Where you can find this metric: Column F
5. How often in a month does someone see your post on average?
This one is straightforward, but gives you another perspective about your page post reach in a longer time period.
After all, reach alone is rather meaningless.
For example, what does a weekly reach of 1000 or 10000 mean to you?
Answering the opposite question is probably easier – why is a weekly reach of 1000 or 10000 meaningless?
For one, if you post a variety of things each week, reaching 1000 or 10000 people will not tell you exactly how many people saw and click on the important posts.
Second, these figures can be skewed when a less important but more interesting post receives more engagement, and hence more reach than the most important posts. This is especially true if you’re posting random quotes and memes unrelated to your business to drive engagement on your page.
Third, reaching 1000 or 10000 people isn’t even a guarantee that they actually saw it. A reach of 1000 people just means that your post was displayed in front of 1000 people while they’re using Facebook.
If you want get into the hardcore technical aspect of reach, make sure to read this guide.
So instead of looking at reach alone, you could look at how often your posts are reaching the same person. This adds another dimension to the way you look at reach.
For example, if you see lower reach last month, you may want to see if that is because you’re reaching the same person over and over again. If that is so, you may want to consider running Facebook ads to reach more people, if that is your goal.
Where you can find this metric: Divide total number of impressions (Column AN) by total reach (Column AF).
6. Weekly logged-in page views
I like to look at this metric every month because it reminds me that only a few people still visit your page timeline.
Facebook users consume content mainly on their newsfeed. This is why I wouldn’t recommend anyone to spend time designing the layout of their page or spend money to design a cover photo unless they have a specific purpose for it, such as announcing a new product or event.
If you are just starting out on Facebook, here are some ideas on how to spend your first few dollars on Facebook marketing to get the most out of your budget.
Where you can find this metric: Column AC
7. Weekly negative feedback from users
Like the previous metric, I look at this on a regular basis because it tells me whether my posts have gotten on my fans’ nerves. It forces me to think whether I have been sharing and writing the right kind of content for Facebook, and whether I have been posting far too often.
In general, negative feedback is a good indication of my community health but I wouldn’t obsess over it because there will be times when someone just feels displeased to see your post and choose to hide or report it. I have also heard of cases where there are plain troublemakers as well as people hired by competitive companies to “attack” their Facebook pages. Facebook suggests that you ban these users.
Where you can find this metric: Column BC
It’s your turn
In each of the 7 metrics that I use, I shared with you how I use and interpret them.
You might select a different group of metrics from me for your business and that’s okay. However, just to be sure, you should go through all the metrics you’re using to make decisions right now and ask yourself, “what does this metric tell me?” and share your responses with me in the comments below.