Understanding Facebook Insights

Posted on: July 26th, 2017 by Staci Langel


Does your company have a Facebook page? Who manages the page? Are they analyzing (and understanding) the metrics provided by Facebook?

If you answered no to the last question, you’re doing your Facebook page and your company a disservice. Facebook Insights is full of powerful data that can help you make strategic posts that people want to read. We’ll stick with the basics in this article to get you started.

Download Your Facebook Page Insights Files

When on your profile, click Insights on the top navigation bar. In the Overview tab, click the Export Data link.

A pop-up box will appear with three available data types: Page Data, Post Data, and Video Data. We’ll only be using the Page Data report for this conversation, but the other reports contain valuable insights as well. Select Page Data and the date range you’d like to look at (by clicking the drop-down menu). Make sure your File Format is set to Excel, and click Export Data.

Analyzing the Page Data File

When you first open the excel file, you’ll notice Facebook gives you an overwhelming amount of data – don’t panic! The file will automatically open a tab labeled Key Metrics. We’ll stay in this tab for today, but valuable information lies in the other tabs as well.

  1. Likes and Unlikes

Columns B, C, and D show you the total number of people who like your page, the number of new people to like your page each day, and the number of people to unlike your page each day, respectively.  Not only are these the basic stats for you to know if your page is growing in popularity (or decreasing if that’s the case), but also can be a check for peaks on certain days. If certain days stand out, look to see what posts were published on those days. If these posts had good responses, they may have earned you a few new fans.

  1. Reach and Impressions

These two metrics are very similar and are the most often confused. Reach is defined as the unique users who saw your post while impressions are the total views of the post. So a user can scroll through their newsfeed and see your post for the first time, they get counted once in as a reach and once as an impression. If that same user is scrolling in their newsfeed later in the day and they see the same post they saw earlier, they do not get counted again as a reach but they do get counted again as an impression. Your impressions should always be higher than your reach.

  1. Engagement – Comments, Likes, Shares

Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm prioritizes posts based on many things, including the engagement the post is getting. Meaning if your post is continuing to get clicks, likes, comments, or shares, Facebook will continue to place it on more people’s newsfeeds so users can see more of what their friends and family are engaging with. Because of this, engagement is an important metric in determining the popularity of your content.

In column E, you’ll find the number of people who engaged with your content each day. This gives you a general idea of how many people are coming to your page and interacting with your content. It does not, however, tell you what these people were doing (liking, sharing, commenting), only that they did something. To find out what they did, you’ll have to look in a different report.

Now as I’ve mentioned, these data points are only the beginning of what you can learn from your Facebook insights page. All the data that Facebook makes available can be useful in making a strategic posting strategy.

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