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Monday, 3 September 2012

Beginners Guide to Facebook Insights

If you have been following this blog recently you will know that i have been using facebook insights to monitor and improve the level and type of activity on my business page.  

As a result i have managed to change my stats from this one which was taken a week ago today:

To this for today: 

To find out how i have improved my page stats you will need to read over the past few posts, todays blog is about learning how to read these stats and understanding what they mean for your page. 

Firstly to access these details simply go to the top of your page where you see the small graph and click on the 'see all' link.  You will then be taken to the overview page and these numbers will be at the top.

I would just like to point out there are many more figures and details that you can access here to provide a fuller picture of what is happening - for today though i am only looking at these basic figures and a few additional ones.  I will be going into these in more depth in a later post.

First there is the Total Likes figure - most of us are very familiar with this figure (many to the point of obsession i have to say).  It is the most basic of all the figures and is simply the number of people who are currently following your page.  It is important to know that this figure can go down as well as up, and this is NOT because of a facebook glitch.  It is actually because of people removing their like from your page.  

Obviously if people are removing their like from your page this is an indication there is something going on they don't like - this is not necessarily a bad thing.  This just means your audience (people following your page) is becoming more targeted.  If there are a large number of 'unlikes' however, or a consistent pattern of this you may wish to look at your posting and promoting strategies.  

To help you monitor this you can click on the like tab at the top of your insights page:

On this page you will get more information about the people who have liked your page first - where they are from, male or female etc.  If you scroll down this page you will see another graph which provides details of 'unlikes' as well as where the likes came from: 

Fortunately the level of unlikes on my page is very low (as shown by the green line above), with the highest being just 4 on 31st August (if you move your mouse over the dots on the graph it will give you these details).  If i wanted to look into what might have caused these dislikes i can then go back to the overview page (use the tabs at the top of the page again), scroll down to look at the posts i made on that day and the few days before (remember your followers will only get the notifications from your page when they log in and this might not be everyday).  You will also have to do a bit of guessing about what the problem might have been - did you post a lot of times around that time? did you not post at all? did you 'like' a lot of pages which all showed in your newsfeed? did you post something that might have offended people? A regular pattern of unlikes after you post a certain type of post or after you have done a lot of 'liking' of other pages is probably an indicator this is where the problem lies - remember this is all guess work here, however it does give you something to experiment with - you can try posting a different way etc and monitor what happens to get a clearer picture of what is going on.

The next figure on the stats is friends of fans.  This figure provides you with a potential number of people who could be seeing your page updates via the newsfeed of those having liked your page.  These friends of fans will only see updates however if their friend is talking about your business page or interacting on it.  This is a very important factor to consider when looking at your own page strategy - if you have a lot of 'likes' but a low level of interaction you are missing out on this potential audience AND missing out on the whole marketing potential that facebook provides.  (I will be talking about this again in another blog post as it is a MAJOR part of what people seeking only 'likes' are missing out on).

To understand this potential and make the best use of it you need to understand the next 2 figures - The people talking about this and the weekly total reach.  BOTH of these figures are telling you if you are getting your message out to only the people who have liked your page, or if you are thinking about and achieving really getting your message out there.

The people talking about this figure tells you how many of your direct likers or followers are doing something which helps your message to get to their friends.  This includes: 
  • Liking your Page
  • Liking or commenting on a post of yours or sharing your Page post
  • Answering a question you’ve asked
  • Responding to your event
  • Mentioning your Page
  • Tagging your Page in a photo
  • Checking in or recommending your Place
Whenever someone does any of these things you should see it as them opening a door to their contacts.  This is because each time a follower of your page does one of the above this creates a story that will appear in their newsfeed and can be seen by their friends.  (As long as they haven't opted to hide these messages).

By taking any of the actions details in the list above the people who have liked your page are increasing the last figure - the weekly reach.  It is this last figure which tells you if you are making the best and most efficient use of facebook to market your business.  Basically if you are not paying attention to this figure you may be doing a lot of marketing and sharing etc, BUT you are wasting time and energy because your messages are often basically hitting a brick wall.  They are being halted by the people who have 'liked' your page in one way or another.

So let me go back to my page stats to help see what was going on: 

Last week: 

My page 'likes' went up by 3.31%

The Friends of Fans only went up by 2.95% meaning the people who were liking my page had less than the average number of friends.  If they had equal to average numbers the percentage increase of total likes and friends of fans would very similar.

The number of people talking about my page was up by 52.94% which in itself is actually a decent figure.  When i combine this with the reach figure however of -69.05% this tells me things like the people who have liked my page and talking about it are taking action to prevent my messages getting any access to their friends. 

Lets compare that with this weeks figures:

My total likes have increased by 4.6% - this is with LESS work from me i should say.  In general this is a little bit higher than last weeks number but not hugely so.  If i had the figures from the previous week i would know the exact number of page likes for each week - unfortunately i don't have that figure. 

The friends of Fans is up by 4.96% - this means the people liking my page have a higher than average number of friends (because the % is higher than the likes %)  Compare this with last week when they had less than average.

The number of people talking about my page is up by a huge 120.78% - this shows me the strategy i am using is engaging people AND when i read this along with the weekly reach total this shows my message is passing through the doors to get to a wider audience.  

In summary i may have increased the number of 'likes' on my page by roughly the same amount however there are very very different results.  Anyone who does not understand and make use of this information may be working hard on getting more page 'likes' which opens the door to 1 person seeing your message (and maybe more if you are lucky).  By looking at these figures however you KNOW what is happening and you can learn to work smart by making the most of the facebook platform.

I hope this post has made sense to you and has given you some food for thought.  It explains why i said i thought there was a problem with the action of hiking likes strategies (or more specifically there was a problem with the ones I was using).  You will only know if what you are doing is worthwhile or not by examining your own figures.  

As always i love to hear your comments - please do write them in the box below on this blog post so they can be read at a later date :) Do feel free to write questions as well if you need anything clarified and i will do my best to answer them.

If you have found this helpful you might also like to follow this blog by adding your email address in the box (top right side of this page) or by clicking on the follow tab. 

Happy Crafting......and Happy and effective Facebooking too ;) 


  1. Very interesting indeed :) As I said to you before I stopped all the hiking and liking but Im afraid to say my page has suffered in terms of its 'total reach'....however am I reaching who I want to reach .... this is the question....when the reach was greater half of it was not of any relevance or interest to my page/business. I am still getting likes at a very steady pace and sales have not suffered, which really says it all. I only published my page 8 weeks ago so I think the majority of my likes (via hiking sites) were irrelevant to my business. I am now concentrating on people liking my page because they want to. And I only like other pages because I want to also. The negative feedback worries me ever so slightly....I would have on average i negative feedback on every second post.....never more....but always one ! .... so thanks to this article it has given me food for thought. Or maybe there will always be a little bit of negative feedback. As for people talking about my page this has definitely gone down...but of course this figure will go down if I am not amassing lots of new again thanks to this article I will have to find ways to engage better with all the present likers !! Im inclined to be a bit shy with my I will have to think up lots of interesting snippets to attach to my photos....because if there is one thing I know about FB it is that pictures speak louder than words !!!!!! people react more to pictures. Thanks again for the benefit of your research. I do really appreciate it :)

    1. Thank You for your lovely comment Mary - I am glad this post was of use to you :) I am not sure if you read the earlier post about me becoming more creative with my posts and focussing on what is happening on there rather than on various networking pages. It has taken me a little time to do this and not only am i enjoying my FB experience much more, I am also getting to use my creativity in yet another way :)

      When you say about getting negative feedback on a post - do you mean a comment or someone hiding a post? If it is hiding a post it is likely to be someone who is generally not interested in your page taking action to prevent opening the door to their contacts. As you build a more targeted audience this should reduce. Consider as well the type of post getting negative feedback - is there a common theme to the ones being hidden etc? Is there something that could be annoying followers? It is always hard to guess these things but a little experimentation is useful to try and get closer to the reasons. :) xx

  2. The negative feedback is just as you say .... thankfully I have never had blatant negative feedback actually on my page ! so its just some people hiding it I assume. Not too much to worry about really but all the same I will have to get clever in terms of managing the page! Isnt it wonderful to be able to spend more time being creative.....actually doing what your page says you should be ! I went underground last week and made lots of jewellery, only posting pics as I made it and I got some serious sales.....and I felt yes this is what I want to be doing ! i was definitely spending far too much time 'liking' .... and worrying about 'liking'....
    I do like ProfileTree tho....there is no pressure with them. I went on their Share Sunday page last night (long after the event which we are all welcome to do) and picked out a few pages I was interested in and came across some lovely in a way I would recommend them if you want to discover a few new likeminded crafters/artists.....every now and then and with no pressure.

    Love the blog ! I have started my own little blog (over due a post !!!) .... but I love doing it. I have lots of plans for the future for it :)

    Thanks again :) xx


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