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Is Facebook Insights a powerful tool for tracking engagement?

3 min read


This post is written by Mirna Bard, a blogger, speaker and consultant. She serves as the social-media chairwoman of the Orange County (Calif.) chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and she teaches social media at the University of California at Irvine.

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social-media practices and issues.

Last week’s poll question: What do you think of Facebook Insights for measuring engagement?

  • It has helped us understand and analyze trends and improve engagement — 36.67%
  • We don’t know what the Insights data means or what to do with it — 23.33%
  • We did not know Facebook pages had Insights — 22.22%
  • We have not bothered to look at Insights yet — 17.78%

Having the right metrics in place to measure online engagement is the key to successfully growing a business on social sites such as Facebook. However, since there aren’t clear-cut metrics, analyzing trends and measuring engagement is one of the biggest pitfalls of social networking for business. Our measuring and understanding of content consumption and content-creation trends are nowhere close to perfect. The metrics that are available leave room for improvement.

Although not flawless, Facebook Insights shows the most sophisticated data I have seen on a social network. The Insights dashboard provides metrics such as monthly active users, daily new likes, daily post views, daily post feedback, number of impressions of each post, the number of likes and comments per impression, demographics, geographic data, and daily page views of each tab on your page — as well as the top referring external domain to your page.

Just more than one-third of the respondents to this week’s poll say they have been able to analyze trends and improve engagement using Facebook Insights. The platform has made a significant difference on how I create content and engage with my community. And, I have to say, I am eager to see what’s to come.

Facebook is continuously making changes to its Insights dashboard to improve analytics for websites, applications, and business pages. Of course, there are downsides, such as the constant need for manual tracking and the mediocre job that Facebook does at educating its users on finding the powerful tools that can help users get better equipped to improve their business with the social network. Thus, it’s not a revelation that close to 22% of poll respondents didn’t know Insights existed and almost one-quarter of respondents are not clear on what the Insights data means or how they should use it.

The users who know about Insights, but are not taking the time to check their page stats, are missing on useful information that can potentially make a difference with how they engage with their audience. Checking the data will help you see what your audience finds most interesting, decide which content works best and figure out where you can improve and capitalize on that content.

Are you taking advantage of Facebook Insights? How has it helped you optimize your content and engagement strategy?