“600 people like this page.” As the old saying goes, that and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee.
If your fitness or wellness business maintains a business Facebook page, you may be only vaguely aware of a tool called Facebook Insights. But you should know more about it, because without understanding your business’s social reach, you may be wasting time posting updates that nobody reads.
What Is Facebook Insights?
Facebook Insights is an online tool for Facebook that provides page administrators valuable insight (thus the name) into how their posts are performing. That includes demographic information on who is reading and sharing them (and with whom), who’s posting comments, which posts are most popular, what time of day your page’s fans are typically online, when they visit your page, who thinks they’re spam, who’s clicking on links in your post, and it even separates out who visited your page “organically” (i.e., on their own) vs following a paid ad to get there. It also separates out whether it’s fans or just passers-by who are clicking on your posts.
And of course, who “likes” them.
Facebook Insights also tells you what posts are performing best, so you know when something you’ve said resonates with its intended audience. And it tells you quite a bit about that audience. More on that later.
Where Do I Find It? Is It Free?
If you have a business Facebook page, you’ll see an item called Insights at the top of your page.
You won’t see that if you’re using a personal page or a Facebook group. And yes, if you have a business Facebook page, it already comes with Insights enabled.
Where’s All That Info?
Go ahead and click on “Insights” to pull up the “Overview” page for the week.
This tells you some basic information:
- How many likes the page has gotten compared to the previous week — this can tell you if your campaign to “catch eyeballs” is trending up or down.
- The total number of people your posts have reached, both this week and overall.
- The number of people “engaged” with the post (liking it, making comments, or sharing the post), and the total number of comments.
You’ll also see a section below that where you can review your recent posts.
How Are My Posts Doing?
On social media, it’s important to look not just at who likes and responds to your posts, but at the traffic your posts generate. It’s entirely possible for a relatively ordinary and unremarkable post by you to “click” with an active participant on your page who’s capable of uplifting it to something amazing. So it’s important to look at how posts by anyone are doing over time, examine what set those posts “on fire”, and to try to duplicate that in the future.
At this point, as one of my colleagues says, there’s a temptation to “get all mathy.” No need to do that… just follow your nose!
One thing that’s obvious from the graphs is that somewhere between January 24th and 26th, there was a spike in post reach (of 145%) followed by a spike in page likes (650%) two days later. Clearly one or more posts on the page that day got shared almost twice as much as normal, and six times as many people as normal liked the post and the page it came from.
Click on the Post Reach section to get the details.
You’ll see a graph like this:
And indeed, on January 24th, there was a jump in organic visits (ones not connected to an advertisement) from the previous day’s total of 367 visits (not shown). So chances are pretty good that it was a popular post to that page that generated the traffic.
If you hover over the peak in the graph it will show you how many people saw the past that day. Clicking on the vertical blue bar will take folks to the post details for that day.
You can tell almost instantly that of two posts on 1/24, the one about “hero Marge” generated substantially more traffic. It turns out that Marge is a very popular volunteer fitness advocate, challenge leader, and training ride organizer associated with this health-minded organization. The post about Marge reached almost seven times more people, partly because Marge is an infectiously cheerful person “everyone knows” (verifiable by the size of her friends network!) and likes (again, something verifiable on Facebook since Marge posted on this thread).
One thing that tells this business is that they’d be well served to focus more on people and less on products and services if they really want folks to engage with them on social media.
What about Likes?
More and more these days, Facebook analytics are discounting likes. Largely, this is because it’s much too easy to pay for an ad that does the online equivalent of handing out free candy. Or posting something virtually non-Unlikeable that says the equivalent of “I like puppies.” Who doesn’t like puppies?
That’s why Facebook tracks Organic Likes and Paid Likes separately and sifts out the difference. And it’s mighty hard to dismiss a strong trend in Likes over time. That’s the kind of fandom you really can’t pay for.
So let’s go back and take a look at the Likes to see what we can find out. Click on the Likes tab, or you can get to Likes from the Overview tab also.
We can see a number of things in this graph. The first is that this company’s page has gradually been gathering likes — all of them organic. That’s good for a couple of reasons: steady growth in likes indicates that the page is performing well over time, not just during sporadic social media campaigns. It’s also good because you can see that this was done without having to pay for ads. Now… could this company grow likes with targeted Facebook ads? Yes, probably. But so far, there’s no evidence they need to, since Marge’s been quite the publicity generator on her own!
The second thing is that between the spikes in Likes, there are quiet periods. As another colleague of mine says, you’re not a $50 bill, so no one’s going to like you all the time. That’s natural.
The third thing you’ll notice on the page is that on January 18th, there were Unlikes. It’s possible that something posted that day was seen either as unpopular or spammy. You can click on that specific day (or click and drag to select a range of dates) to view the Unlikes.
You can see from the results that there actually aren’t currently any unlikes. So what Facebook Insight is telling you here is that most likely someone accidentally hit the Like link on a post more than once and Unliked the post by mistake, then removed the Unlike. You can rest assured that you aren’t spamming people!
By clicking on the Visits tab, you can get an idea of how many people visited your page on a particular day.
In looking at site visits over the last month, we can see that we got more visits around the time Marge led the Ft. Worth training ride than just about any other day that month. Clearly that was a popular event, and Marge’s story was one that people talked about and shared. If you click on the vertical bar marked “Timeline 24 Jan 23, 2015″…
… you’ll see that 92% of the visits to the page were to post something (likely a reply to a post about Marge’s training ride), and a relatively low percentage were strictly Likes. That’s good, because that means that nearly everyone who visited the page engaged with it in a non-simplistic way, by being an active participant in the conversation.
When Are People Posting?
Click on the Posts tab to see what days and times of day people are posting the most.
From the graph, it looks like roughly an equal number of people post on any given day (around 800), and most folks post between 6 AM and 9 PM, with the number peaking slightly around 9 PM. This wellness organization’s customers are a mix of work-at-home types and traditional office workers, so a fairly steady number of posts accumulate through the day, peaking a little after supper, when folks sit down and check their email and Facebook. People are fairly active on the organization’s Facebook page throughout the day, which is good; it indicates steady engagement over extended stretches of time and not just “drive-by” page visits clustering around a single hour.
Here’s where it gets fun. Click on the People tab.
We can see that this organization’s followers are primarily 35-54 years old, with a second group of followers 10 years younger or older than that. So we know that for the most part, teenagers and retirees aren’t the folks they’re reaching. Also, almost all of this organization’s followers are in the US, primarily in Dallas / Ft. Worth metropolitan area. But they do have people following them from Canada, Australia, and the Philippines, and a small Spanish-speaking contingent. This suggests that their strongest draw is the English-speaking local population, but that they should keep an eye on how far their message is going, in case other opportunities arise.
Just from looking at Facebook Insights, we can tell a lot more than we think about this wellness business’s social media reach and its followers:
- They are local to the DFW area and mostly speak English.
- They’re mostly working adults, slightly skewing toward the older end of the spectrum.
- They visit the company’s Facebook page throughout the day.
- They don’t see the company’s content as spam.
- They post fairly actively and stay engaged over the long haul.
- They visit and post in “waves” corresponding to in-person activities promoted on the Facebook page.
- They LOVE Marge the trainer.
This tells us quite a bit about how the company should promote itself both on and off social media in the future. More local “get out and ride” activities centered in the actual cities of Dallas or Ft. Worth (less so the suburbs), more one-on-one with Marge, and actual conversations on topics customers care about, not self-serving promotions, will carry the day.
Using this valuable tool that you already have can shed light on what your wellness business should start — and stop — doing on social media to improve its content, extend its reach, and build its customer base.