How Pro Marketers Use Facebook Insights

Facebook introduced five levels of administration to its brand pages Thursday. The added protection means more people are going to have access to (and have to learn how to use) Facebook Insights.

While there are plenty of how-to guides for beginners out there, we wanted to touch on the more advanced side of Insights. We asked three leading social media managers for their top tips on getting the most out of Insights.

More Than Just Likes and Unlikes

Catherine Merritt, an account supervisor in Olson PR’s social and emerging media department, uses Facebook Insights to figure out what is and is not working on the brand pages of her clients. She uses an Insights grid to track what types of posts work and do not work, and doesn’t get hung up on the number of people liking or unliking a page.

“Facebook insights and analytics are part of the puzzle, but in looking at them, it’s important to step back and see what they’re really showing. One of the most important takeaways I leverage from them is what they tell me about the content we’re putting out,” Merritt said. “What are the top five learnings I can gather and what does that mean to the page’s future? It’s not just about the number of Likes [and] Unlikes. It’s about what’s sticking to the wall and making sure you have a malleable page management and content process in place to quickly apply what each nugget is telling.”

Watch for Universal Trends

Tony Wright, the social media manager for Outside Line, manages brand pages for several clients and has used Insights to keep a running list of trends that seem to apply to most brand pages. Among Wright’s findings:

  • Serious users should consider using a third-party service to store Insights data to avoid glitches that occasionally show up in Facebook’s system.
  • Shorter, snappier posts are more likely to attract user interaction than longer posts.
  • Niche brands often need extra attention to build and sustain user engagement.
  • Wright is also starting to notice some drop-off in the effectiveness of posts ending with a question or with “a dozen exclamation marks.”

“As more brands join Facebook and start competing for exposure among users’ busy news feeds, we’re seeing lots of brands starting to talk in very similar ways, using quick win tactics to guarantee a good level of response,” Wright said. “While this often works in the short term, users could very well become fatigued.”

Use Insights on Your Domain

Alison Kimszal, a new media business analyst for DefinedLogic, said many users don’t realize they can use Facebook Insights on their domain as well as their Facebook brand page.

“While the Facebook Page Insights are great for gathering how much interaction your posts are getting, the Domain Insights provide you with valuable information on how many people are coming to your domain from Facebook and organically sharing links to your site,” Kimszal said. “Metrics on shares, likes, comments and demographic information for each domain and URL on your site can be measured via the Domain Insights. Domain Insights also collects data on Facebook Social Plugins such as the like button, the send button and the comments box.”

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