How to Use Facebook Insights to Win Business?

Wow, ten more Likes! And someone both commented and shared your post!

These are the small successes of a social media manager… Another piece of happiness.

But don’t let the shiny numbers fool you. They are only superficial and there is much more out there.

One aspect of Facebook for businesses that is particularly helpful is Insights. Insights are Facebook’s section of analytics that can be used by brand Pages to determine to at least some degree how successful a particular post or campaign was. Such determinations are incredibly important to creating a successful social media strategy over a long period of time.

Do you want to learn how to really measure your own work with the Facebook Insights? Don’t forget to show the numbers to your boss!

Where to Find Facebook Insights


The best place to go to view Facebook Insights is on your desktop. Log into Facebook and select your Page from the left sidebar. In the administrative menu bar, click on See Insights.



If you’re on your mobile, you can use Facebook’s Pages app to bring up your Insights. Open your page and tap on the menu icon in the upper left to reveal a left slide-out menu. Tap on Insights.


On mobile, all you’ll have access to is overview information for the past week, so it’s a nice snapshot but not as useful as the desktop metrics. So, for the purposes of explaining how to use Facebook Insights, we’ll concentrate on desktop usage.

How to Use Facebook Insights

#1. Overview

The initial tab is the Overview tab that shows the previous week of activity on your Page. You can quickly see how many Likes your Page has, well as how many new Likes were added during that week.

Overview also presents you with a snapshot of how your posts performed during the previous week. You can see the total number of followers your posts reached, how that compared to the previous week, as well as Likes, Comments and Shares which are all considered part of the Engagement metrics.

Below that you’ll see your most recent 5 posts and how they’ve performed.


#2. Pages to Watch

Do you regularly check out your competitors? Then the Pages to Watch is a relatively new section that is particularly interesting.

It allows you to set up 5 other Facebook Pages that Facebook will then allow you to view limited information for comparison purposes. While it won’t give you any information that isn’t visible just by looking at someone’s Page, it does make it really easy to compare your Page with your competition.

Each Page you compare will display total Likes, the growth over the previous week, how many posts were shared in that timeframe and the total amount of engagement (likes, comments, shares) those posts received.

Once you click on any of the other remaining tabs, which we’ll detail next, you can choose a wider date range.


The first section within the Likes tab is a graph and date range selector.

The graph is a display of your net Likes, which we’ll get into in more detail in a moment. You can click on 1 Week, 1 Month or 1 Quarter, select specific dates in the date selector, or drag the selector bar over the graph to choose a date range – whatever method or most convenient and exact for what you want to see.

Whatever dates you select will be reflected in the subsequent graphs within the tab.


The second section displays your Page’s Total Likes over time, so that you can see how your Total Likes have grown. Or dropped. (It can actually happen.)

The third section is the Net Likes graph, where you can see how many new likes your Page received per day, as well as any unlikes and see the resulting net Likes. The graph also helps you distinguish between Organic likes and Paid likes. To the right of the graph, you can choose to activate benchmark indicators which will show you your average for each activity so that you can gauge performance on a day-to-day basis.

The fourth and final section demonstrates where your Likes are coming from. Most will likely come from fans who came to your Facebook Page and clicked Like, but you may be getting Page Likes as a result of posts that are being shared, a website widget, and so on.

#4. Reach

Similar to the Likes tab, the Reach tab starts with a date selector that you can manipulate in a number of ways to get the exact date range you’re interested in analyzing.

The second section is Post Reach which illustrates how many of your fans and followers had an opportunity to view each of your posts in their stream. The graph differentiates between Paid and Organic reach, so if you’re running Facebook ads you’ll be able to see how much additional exposure they’re getting for you.


The third section is “Likes, Comments and Shares” which, as the name implies, shows how many likes, comments and shares your posts received each day. This is important because Facebook uses the engagement levels of your posts to help determine how each post will perform, as well as the organic reach of future posts. This is why each of your posts to Facebook should seek to encourage and increase interest from your followers.

The fourth section demonstrates just the opposite, if people have unliked your Page or hidden a post, which would result in a negative impact on Reach.

The fifth and final graph demonstrates the Total Reach of your Page from all posts for each day during the date range selected, including both Paid and Organic.

#5. Visits

Similar to the Reach tab, the Visits tab starts with a date selector that you can manipulate in a number of ways to get the exact date range you’re interested in analyzing.

The second section is a graph detailing how many times, not only your Page, but also any individual Tabs that you have set up, have been viewed. This is a relatively new addition to Facebook Page Insights and is a great tool to measure the effectiveness of those Tabs you’ve set up. Is anyone going to your Newsletter Tab or that Contact Tab?

Interestingly, the metrics also include your Admin area as well as your Insights area, but you can click on any of the available tabs in the right side to only see metrics for that tab.

Below that is a graph that details when other people have mentioned your Page or posted content to your Page themselves. Many businesses do not allow posting by others to their Page, and mentioning of business Pages on Facebook still isn’t very commonly used by users, but it’s a good idea to monitor those occurrences as, over time, most businesses would still want that frequency to increase.

Finally, Page owners can see how often traffic to their Facebook Page has come from outside Facebook. This is referred to as “external referrers.”


For most businesses, their own website is likely to dominate this metric as that’s the most likely place potential Facebook fans are going to see and use a link to your Page. But if you’re using newsletters or other cross-promotional techniques, we would hope to see that happening here. The External Referrers report is therefore a great mechanism for judging the effectiveness of offsite Facebook Page promotion.

#6. Posts

The Posts tab within Facebook Insights has three sections to choose from at the top:

  1. When Your Fans Are Online
  2. Post Types
  3. Top Posts from Pages to Watch


When Your Fans Are Online will demonstrate to you the hours of the day over the past week when your fans tend to be online. This is invaluable information to help determine and hone your Page post strategy. If you’re posting in the morning, yet your fans are most active in the late afternoon, it would be a good idea to post later in the day to take advantage of that peak usage period.

Post Types displays the three different kinds of posts (Link, Photo, Status [text]) and how you’ve used them over the past week, and the engagement you received. This allows Facebook Page owners an easy way to compare their recent posts by type and how those posts have performed. Did your status updates get more reach then your image posts? Which post type tended to get more comments and shares?

Top Posts from Pages to Watch shows you how your competition is doing. You will need to have selected one or more Pages from your competition to watch, and when you do, you’ll see their most recent posts and the levels of engagement those posts have received.

Below these sections, you’ll see a snapshot of all of your past posts. The report details the published date, title, target (i.e. Public), reach and engagement.

#7. People

The People metric is a particularly interesting set of graphs that detail who is currently liking your Page. It’s divided into:

  1. Your Fans
  2. People Reached
  3. People Engaged
  4. Check-Ins


Your Fans details how your current fan-base breaks down according to Women versus Men, various age groups, and includes a comparison between your Page likes and Facebook overall. Below is your top Countries, Cities and Languages.

People Reached is a similarly constructed metric, but is not limited to just your current fans. If any of your Page posts have been Liked or Shared or Promoted, you will have reached more than just your existing fan-base.

People Engaged demonstrates demographic data from the people who have liked, commented or shared your posts over the past four weeks.

Check-Ins demonstrates demographic data for any fans who have checked in to your Facebook Page.

#8. Determining Success

So now that you know how to access your Facebook Page Insights and what the current tabs and metrics are, what does it all mean? How do we know if our business and Facebook presence is successful? There are three areas that we want to pay attention to overall: Numbers, Trends and Activities.


The number of Facebook Page Likes you have matters.

I know, that’s contrary to what many social media marketers will tell you, but bear with me for a moment.

If you have 0 Facebook fans, the most brilliant post in the world will still reach 0 fans, so it’s clearly important to gain more fans.

But it’s also important to understand that due to Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, your posts will only reach a small percentage of your fans; only those that have actively engaged with you and your posts frequently and recently. This means that fans who aren’t interested in what we have to say on Facebook are worthless. Buying fans just to boost your Like count is a waste of money.

But good, interested, targeted fans are important and critical.

So it’s OK to want a lot of Facebook Fans; in fact, we should want a lot of Facebook Fans. But do not do anything to arbitrarily inflate that number.

When running Facebook contests be smart about what you give away to attract the right people.


As we’re looking then at Facebook Fan metrics and post metrics, what we should be looking for then are positive trends. Is our Facebook Page fan-base growing? Are we getting more likes and comments and shares than we did last week? Are we reaching more people than before?

Notice that I have not given specific numbers as targets.

Businesses on Facebook should not set goals of XXX new fans or comments. Rather, focus on attracting and connecting with people on a much smaller scale. An individual scale. Social Networking is about networking which happens on a one-to-one basis.

While you don’t have to thank individuals for Liking your Page or a post, you should definitely make an effort to respond to every comment and reach out to people regularly. As the days and weeks go by, as you connect with more and more people, you should see the levels of conversation and engagement that take place on your Page going up and up.

Mari Smith pays special attention to connect with her fans. She makes sure that she (or her team) replied to comments.



And as we see these levels of engagement increase over time, we should also see a greater focus on the more valuable kinds of engagement and activities. While Page and post likes are nice, it’s far better to encourage and receive comments and shares and interest in your Page and posts.

If I Like a post that you’ve shared, that’s a particularly passive action on my part, and requires virtually no time or commitment. If, however, I am interested enough in what you have to say to leave a comment or share it, I am likely just as interested in clicking-through to your website, and perhaps taking some additional action.

If you can generate sufficient interest to stimulate a series of actions, it’s far easier and more likely that fans will take actual sales-related actions like signing up for a newsletter, clicking through to a product, and so on.

To encourage these kinds of activities, be sure to ask questions and create posts that get people interested. Contests are a perfect example of this, as they are an ideal invitation for Page fans to jump into a conversation and take some action. They become excited and interested in your Page and brand, and are more likely to talk about it and share it with their own followers, expanding your reach dramatically.

This is how Antavo talks about their own sweepstakes.



Taking the time to learn about and actually use Facebook Page Insights will help you to measure your success and determine your Facebook and social media marketing strategy in the days and weeks to come.

Always pay attention to the growth of your Page and how your posts perform so that you can measure, improve, execute and repeat.

How to Use Facebook Insights to Win Business? by
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Mike is a Social Media Consultant and Blog Coach in St. Louis. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's. He is active on all of the major social networks and enjoys writing and teaching how to leverage the Internet.

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  • Antonio Calero

    Very good article Mike, simple to understand for anyone starting on Facebook Insights.

    However, when it comes to posting times, I always recommend to be cautions and understand well your audience before deciding what to do. I recently wrote an article for Top Dog Social Media’s blog commenting about this.

    Afternoons are usually when most users are connected, but if all Pages followed by those users post at the same time on the premises this is the moment when users are connected, chances are your post will not be delivered by Facebook due to the high competition in the News Feed. I’ve found that sometimes publishing at different times could provide much better results. For example, I once managed a Page which core audience were mums and house-wifes, and where I found that posting in the mornings (the least popular timeframe) was more successful, as they were home and kids free. On the contrary, posting on weekends or afternoons-evenings did not provide much engagement at all…

    • Mike Allton

      And that’s exactly right. I have these kinds of conversations with clients all the time, regarding many different platforms, and the suggestions are always the same. Use demographic and usage data as a BASELINE to get you started, and then experiment, observe, and improve over time.

      Thanks Antonio!

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  • Scott Ayres

    Good rundown of Insights!

    • Zsuzsa Szabo

      Thanks Scott!

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  • Stuart Dell

    Facebook is a very powerful marketing platform and when use correctly can give a lot of benefits especially for a business. Sometimes tools can help too! Ever heard of

  • Jordan

    amazing article i really appreciate your work on this topic. i will keep your key points to use it on my facebook page of our website and also facebook launched his new featured for facebook page that is page story thats is pretty nice in my views