Are you using Facebook insights to gain a solid understanding of your Facebook community? If you’re not, or the only thing you check is how many people saw your post, then you are missing out on a gold-mine of information.

Facebook insights is without doubt one of the best in platform monitoring tools in social media land and the best part is that anyone with a business page can access the wealth of information on offer. Furthermore, understanding your pages insights then putting into practice what you learn, will not only drastically improve the performance of your Facebook business page, it will save you lots of guesswork and frustration.  However, being able to access Facebook insights and understanding them are two completely different things, and it never ceases to amaze me how often small business owners ovelook the really important information and just focus on the number of page likes. Don’t get me wrong, page likes are important for building mass (and your confidence), but focussing on just this and celebrating every time you add a friend can result in you measuring the success of your page the wrong way.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed when using Facebook as part of your social media marketing, and adding insights can tip some people over the edge, but if you don’t crunch some of the other numbers, how do you know if you are doing it right? Here we take a look at the essential Facebook insights information you need to help you boost the performance of your page.

Facebook Insights – The Essentials

Once you click on the insights tab, Facebook divides the data into:

  • Top line overview
  • Likes
  • Reach
  • Visits
  • Posts
  • People

This is all great, but between these sections there is a lot of information floating around. To help simplify the process, let’s take a look at bare minimum data you need to look at each week to help you gauge how well your Facebook activity is performing.


Once you click on the insights link, this is the page you will land on. It is a summary of what lays beneath across the other pages including page likes, post reach, engagement and your 5 most recent posts. Have a look at it and if you see any red flags click through to the relevant page, otherwise start with the next tab, likes.


Net likes – it’s easy to get carried away with counting the likes but the best information in this section is net likes, as it shows you likes and unlike activity that may have happened. It is important to track unlikes as it will give you insight into what content is possibly having a negative effect on your audience. One or two unlikes here and there is nothing to be concerned about, but if you see a pattern starting to happen or a large number of unlikes during a particular time period, it’s worth digging deeper and revisit what you posted on that day, chances are some of your content is wrong.


Likes, comments & shares – this is your engagement data and demonstrates how many people are engaging with your content and in what way. The more people who engage with your content, the more people will see it, which takes us into the next most important information in this section.

Total Reach  –  equates to the number of people who were served any activity from your page, including your posts, posts by other people, page like adverts, mentions and check-ins. Remove any paid data if applicable, and this number shows other people engaging in activity about your brand organically.

Your aim is to have this number sitting higher than the number of fans you have. The reason for this is that it will mean more people than those who follow you, such as their friends, saw your content. The goal is to have these ‘once removed’ people like your content and start following and engaging with you.


External referrers – there’s a wealth of information under this section but if you are stretched for time look at external referrers. This information tells you the number of times people come to your page from sources other than Facebook, such as your website. This is vital in helping you assess the performance of your website for driving traffic to Facebook. Often people don’t follow companies on Facebook because they may not know they have a Facebook presence. If your website doesn’t deliver any traffic to your Facebook page, you may need to assess how well you are promoting the page from your website. This data also tells you other sites that are driving interested parties to your Facebook, such as Google or partner sites which will give you great insight into where your fans may be finding out about you.


When your fans are online and post types – these are equally important here, and they work in tandem. Post the absolutely best content at the exact time your audience is active on Facebook and your engagement figures will skyrocket. If your posts are failing to perform you need to assess whether you are posting them at the optimum time, which is when your audience is already there. Posting at 7am when your audience doesn’t log on until 7pm means Facebook has already ranked your data as unimportant to your audience because no one engaged with it.

Don’t believe me, I recently suggested this to a community event I am involved with and over the course of two weeks their post engagement rate went up 535% and total reach went up 187%.


Information about your fans and which of them engage with your content is housed here. You can check into this less frequently but it is still vital to reassess. What does it tell you, well, firstly what the gender and age make up of your audience is which will help you determine if your tone, language and personality is resonating. If you talk tween-speak in a highly masculine voice on Facebook and your audience profile is primarily middle aged females, there’s going to be disconnect. Make sure you are posting content that suits your audience and is age appropriate.

Have you uncovered any other information housed in insights that has turned your Facebook page performance around, we’d love to hear from you?

Image Credits: Silicon Angle Blog

About Zena Churchill

Zena Churchill is a Director at Max & Buddy Consulting. She has worked in senior level business roles across national and multinational corporations, as well as being a small business owner. Zena is a strategic thinker and brings a practical, straight-forward approach to marketing and social media. She has a passion for training & development running practical business workshops for small business. Zena is a Certified Practising Marketer (AMI), sometimes tutors in Marketing at the University of Wollongong and is a Senior Consultant with Trinity P3.

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