Know your numbers. If you want to have any shot at “making it” as an online professional, you need to pay close attention to your metrics. You need to log into your Google Analytics account on a regular basis to keep tabs on your page views, your bounce rate and your time on site. You want to keep track of how many followers you have on Twitter. And you want to know how your Facebook page is doing.
And as important as it might be to see how many “likes” your Facebook page has or how many comments your Facebook posts get, there is a wealth of additional information sitting there at your fingertips, waiting to be inspected and analyzed. It may be true that you should be spending more time doing and less time over-thinking the numbers, but you need to start from a position where you know where to go.
For Facebook, this comes in the form of Facebook Insights, a feature that’s available on all your Facebook pages. When you visit your own Facebook page, you’ll notice a tab near the top marked “Insights.” That’s where you’ll find all this key data.
People Reached vs. Your Fans
The first insight we’ll highlight is the comparison between the people reached by your posts and the distribution of your fans.
This graph can be accessed by clicking on the “People” navigation on the left when you’re in the Insights section. Once there, click on “People Reached” near the top.
Why is this graph important? It offers key insight into the demographics that are interested in and that are seeing the posts that you publish. Perhaps more interestingly, you can also look into not only the difference between men and women, but also the difference between people reached and your fans.
Using the Beyond the Rhetoric Facebook page as an example, we see that while more fans are men, more women were actually reached. From this, I might glean that I should be encouraging more men to interact with my content so the organic reach improves. Alternatively, I might glean that I should be promoting the page to more women, since they tend to engage with the content more.
Time of Day and Day of Week
The next tidbit we’ll look at has to do with when your fans are online and surfing their way around Facebook. You can find this under the “Posts” section of your page’s insights.
While Facebook will use its algorithm to determine what content is being displayed to what user, while Facebook might not show your post to someone until hours after you’ve published it, it’s still a very valuable piece of information to know when your fans are online. The top graph is for day of the week, while the bottom graph is for time of day.
It comes down to engagement again. If you publish your most important content just before the majority of your users happen to be online, there’s a better chance that at least some of them will see it and interact it. They might like the post or comment on it. And the more users who do that, the greater your organic reach for that post. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle.
Pages to Watch
Finally, there’s one other section that I find is woefully under-utilized by Internet marketers and professional bloggers. You may or may not view them as your competition, but it pays to monitor other Facebook pages in your niche.
Scrolling to the bottom of the “Overview” section of Insights, you’ll find the ability to watch up to five other Facebook pages. This gives you at-a-glance information about the total number of page likes, the change from the previous week, the number of posts this week, and the level of engagement this week.
Are you posting as often as the other sites in your space? Are you keeping up with the number of page likes? If you see that another page has recently experienced a spike in likes, you may want to see what content they’ve been posting in the last few days that may have resulted in that spike. This is all valuable data.
Is there a particular section or segment of Facebook Page Insights that you think is especially important to monitor?