Facebook Insights, Explained

Imagine: You’ve been managing your company’s Facebook page. You’ve drafted content and posted, garnering a few likes or shares here and there. You've shared it with your friends and family, and they're super pumped about it.

You’re probably feeling pretty pleased (who doesn’t love the instant affirmation of a like?), but how do you really know if your content is working? Let's dive into your Facebook page’s Insights (located at the top of your Facebook page) and…

ACK! Information overload!


It's just data, and yes, it's a lot of it. Between promotions, followers, page views, events, and messages (literally just to name a few of the options), where do you even start? What actually matters to decoding how your content is resonating with your audience?

First, start by looking at your Insights Overview, the default page you see when you click on Insights and the first option on your left menu. Are you seeing something like this?

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Okay, good. This is the bread and butter of your Facebook data. Before you navigate to the million other options Facebook gives you, take some time to get to know what the basics mean for you and your page. Learning this will give you valuable insights into Insights (hah!) and which data points you should pay attention to (and which you can ignore): 

Actions on Page: Actions on Page means, well, actions taken on your page. When people are on your Facebook page, are they doing anything? Do they click the button to contact you? Get directions to your office? Visit your website? This measures the engagement beyond your posts and tells you what people want to know once they see that content you're posting. Ideally, they want to contact you!

  • Is this important? Yes... and no. Don’t get us wrong; you want people to be clicking on your website and contacting you. But if the content you’re posting contains links to your own website, well, Actions on Page won't catch that traffic. People might be learning about you through link clicks and then contacting you after they’re been on your website. So keep an eye on this number, but don’t stress about it too much.

Page Views: How many times has a person viewed your actual Facebook page, versus your post on their Newsfeed? This measures how many times people are stopping at your page and taking it all in. If this isn’t motivation to complete your “About” section on your Facebook page, we don’t know what is.

  • Is this important? You bet. A lot of people who like your page now might already know who you are and what you do. But new folks, who might find you through search or by seeing great content their friends have shared, are more likely to click to your page and get an overview before they commit to liking you. Page Views are a good measure of whether people are connecting the content you’re putting out there with you, the company, and if they're intrigued to learn more. If this number isn't that high, maybe it's worth trying different content that's more appropriate for your brand.

Page Previews: A page preview is when someone sees your content in their Newsfeed or on a friend’s profile and briefly hovers over your name with their mouse, to see a preview of your page content.

  • Is this important? Meh. Think about the amount of times you’ve accidentally seen a page preview while scrolling through your Newsfeed. This is cool, but not a priority.

Page Likes: How many times have people clicked that mighty button and liked your page? Once they do, hopefully they'll start seeing your content in their Newsfeed and you will have won yourself another loyal fan.

  • Is this important? Of course! Whether your growth is completely organic or powered by ads (more on that in a future Slice!), this measures how many new people your page is attracting. You want this number to be steadily increasing (although don’t be afraid if it fluctuates slightly) to indicate sustained interest in who you are and what you’re saying. If this number suddenly dips or is just staying the same, it's time to review your content and rethink your strategy.

Reach: How many eyeballs are seeing your content? Remember that despite having a certain number of fans, not all of them are going to see every post you create. In fact, not many of them will; only about 5% of your fans will see your stuff organically. This Reach number is broken down by organic (those who already like your page or saw content others shared) and promoted (when you throw some $$ behind a post).

  • Is this important? Yes, but don’t worry too much about it. You obviously want your content to be seen by as many people as possible, but a low number in relation to the amount of followers you have may be as easy to fix as posting at a different time. More of this on next week’s data breakdown.

Post Engagements: Have people liked your post? Clicked on it? Shared it? Commented on it? Looked at the image? Decided to never see your content again? Post engagements measure the total number of any interactions with your posts.

  • Is this important? Yes! You want people to take a step past just seeing your content and actually engage with it by clicking on the link you provide or the image you post. The more they do that, the more of your posts they'll actually see over time, and that's all the incentive you should need to keep doing what's working.

Videos: Lights, camera, action! If you have videos on your page, this measures how often the videos are viewed for more than three seconds.

  • Is this important? This depends on how important videos are for your goals. If you’re sharing videos from other places, you can note this number to see if people actually watch the content you’re selecting. If your company is more focused on its own video content, this number becomes even more important. (And note that Facebook is assuming here that if someone is watching the video for more than three seconds, they're not just scrolling past it while it auto-plays.)

Page Followers: A user can choose to like your page and they'll automatically be opted in to follow your posts. But they could choose to unfollow them, maybe because they don't like what you're seeing or your content isn't relevant to them anymore. And, a user could follow your posts without liking your page, too! Page Followers tells us how many users are following our posts and could see our content, and this number might be different from your Page Likes. 

  • Is this important? Kinda. If the difference between your followers and likes is large, you want to know why as it could explain why your content isn't reaching as many people as you'd like.

Now, note that at the top of your Overview page you can change the date range for which you're viewing data, which will give you a better sense of how things have changed over time. Notice any wild dips or anomalies? Next week, we’ll start breaking down some of the more specific data that you'll want to keep an eye on, and we'll also let you know what you probably don't need so that you don't get overwhelmed.

Start clicking around and, if you see something that's really confusing, let us know!

PS: If you scroll all the way down, you'll see Pages to Watch; you can add competitors' pages here and track how they're doing against how you're doing. Pretty self-explanatory, but give it a try!