Which Facebook Analytics Should You Care About?
If you manage a Facebook page, your goal is to make the page as engaging as possible for your fans. You need to develop shareable content, ignite conversations and capture the imagination of your fans.
So how do you track the performance of your page? Here we’ll understand how to use Facebook Insights effectively. We’ll look at how to interpret it, what to track and what to ignore.
Facebook Insights are great but unfortunately, there are 2 problems. Firstly, most of us don’t know what some of the metrics mean which leads to confusion around what we should measure. Secondly, some of the metrics are either misleading or useless.
We’ll start by looking at the following 2 types of metrics provided by Facebook Insights:
- Facebook Page Metrics
- Facebook Post Metrics
We’ll understand what all these metrics mean and seperate the valuable ones from the useless ones. Then finally we’ll summarize everything in one easy to understand image.
1) Facebook Page Metrics
When you open your Facebook Page Insights, you’ll see the below information that applies to your page as a whole.
Next to each metric, there is a % change, which indicates the percentage growth/reduction of that metric over the past 7 days.
Total Likes – Valuable
The number of unique people who like your page.
Facebook beginners usually only pay attention to this metric. It’s valuable, but just the tip of the iceberg. It’s great to have 3,363 fans! But we must dig deeper.
Friends of Fans – Useless
The number of unique people who are friends with the people who like your page.
It’s amazing we have 872,321 Friends of Fans! A lot more than the 3,363 people who actually like the page! But wait, what does this mean? Another way of saying Friends of Fans is how many people are there in the second degree/level network of your Facebook page?.
Why should we care about how many Friends of Fans you have? Most of them probably won’t care about our pages and will likely fall outside of our target market anyways. This metric is completely useless. An in-depth analysis of why this metric is so useless is available here.
People Talking About This (PTAT) – Valuable and Useless
The number of unique people who have created a story about your page in the last 7 days. A story is created whenever a user:
- Likes your Page
- Likes, comments on, or shares your Page post
- Answers a question you’ve asked
- Responds to your event
- Mentions your Page
- Tags your Page in a photo
- Checks into or recommends your Place
While it’s great to understand if people are interacting with the page (valuable), PTAT is a compound metric that rolls up numerous data points into a single number (useless). It’s hard to understand exactly why the PTAT is increasing, decreasing or staying put unless you break down PTAT and study the individual actions seperately.
Weekly Total Reach – Valuable
The number of unique people who have seen any content associated with your Page (including any Ads or Sponsored Stories pointing to your Page).
From a web analytics perspective, This is Facebook’s equivalent to number of unique website visitors. Keep in mind that just like on your website, you need to go deeper.
On your website, you could have tons of visitors, but if none of them are buying/subscribing/converting/etc, then you’re wasting opportunities. Similarly, even if your Weekly Total Reach on Facebook is high, if none of them are interacting with your page, you’re missing out on engagement opportunities.
To summarize, at the Facebook Page level, don’t just look at number of likes. That’s the lazy way out. Make sure you study how your content is performing by at least looking at PTAT and Weekly Total Reach.
Once you’re comfortable with these Facebook Page Metrics, you’ll be ready to go one level further and you can start digging into Facebook Post Metrics.
2) Facebook Post Metrics
If you scroll down in Facebook Insights, you’ll see information about each individual post on your Facebook page.
These are Facebook Post Metrics.
Reach – Valuable
The number of unique people who have seen the post.
It’s great to see how many eyeballs your posts are reaching on Facebook. We want to make sure our Reach increases over time and that we continue to build our audience.
Engaged Users – Valuable
The unique number of people who have clicked on the post.
While it’s great to have high Reach, but what if nobody clicks or interacts with your posts? Engaged Users tells us if people are clicking on the post when they see it in their News Feeds, Sponsored Stories, etc.
Talking About This – Valuable and Useless
The number of unique people who have created a story from the post (see the Page Metrics section above for more about what is included in this metric).
Just like at the page level, each post has it’s own Talking About This value. While this helps us see how many people interact with each post (valuable), it is hard to analyse because of the compounded nature of this metric (useless).
Virality = Valuable and Useless
The percentage of people who have created a story from your Page post out of the total people who have see. It is basically PTAT divided by Reach.
Since Virality is calculated based on PTAT, it can be valuable and useless at the same time for the same reasons as PTAT.
Facebook Insights provides a number of metrics at both the Page and Post level. It is our job to separate the valuable data from the useless data so that we can measure Facebook Page performance like a pro. This image summarizes everything we should keep track of:
Here we can see the metrics that we’ve discussed and what we should pay attention at the Page level and also at the individual Post level.