Facebook metrics: 5 areas PR pros should measure

“Insights” helps you find and effectively use the data you need to ramp up your brand’s Facebook presence.

If you work in the digital arena, you’ve most likely taken a look at Facebook Insights.

Many people manage online communities and need to track metrics and report to management on who and how many people are using a particular site.

Facebook doesn’t offer the most comprehensive suite of data, so some people have installed Google Analytics for more in-depth information.

But Insights can ably serve most brands, providing basic data that can tell you a lot about how you’re faring on the platform.

My question is this: Are people just reporting “likes” and basic interactions? Or, are they really diving into the Insights data, grabbing the right data and translating that into usable intelligence for the brand?

Here are five key metrics I’ve found useful. They will tell you how you can take that basic data and make it work for your organization’s online marketing efforts.

1. Tab Views. Just like reviewing Google Analytics on your blog, one of the first things you should know is where people are going on your site. Which tabs are fans viewing? On Insight, “Tab Views” is where you find out.

What to do with the data: I had a client who used Insights to learn that a decent number of folks were visiting his site’s Discussions tab. Only one problem: There was no content on the tab. This data alerted us to a missed opportunity. We came up with a strategy that will help us improve engagement with “fans” and ultimately help my client achieve its goals online.

2. External referrals. What are your biggest referral sources online? For most, this will probably be either your website or Twitter. Other sites will work their way into the mix, too. Why are those sites popping up? It’s your job to figure that out.

What to do with the data:
This one depends on your goals. If you’re trying to drive people to your Facebook page from other channels, this is a great metric to check what’s working and what’s not.

If Facebook traffic isn’t necessarily one of your top goals, it’s still worth running down those obscure websites that drive people to your page.

Maybe it’s a site that picked up a blog post your CEO wrote a while back (maybe there’s a strategy there). Maybe it’s a single tweet someone with huge influence in your industry made a week ago. Whatever the case, it pays to investigate—remember, the more informed you are with rich data points, the more effective your decision-making will become.

3. Post feedback. You’ll find this data under “Interactions” in your Page Overview section. It measures the number of “likes” and comments made on the posts in your News Feed.

What to do with this data: You’re looking for the percentage increase month-over-month. If engagement and two-way feedback are two of your goals, this is a key stat to track. Don’t forget to check out the number of “likes” and “comments” throughout the month. Where were your spikes? Did they occur where you wanted them to occur? Did the number of “likes” and comments on a certain post surprise you? Grab all this information here.

4. Monthly Active Users. This metric represents the number of folks who have interacted with (“liked” or commented) or viewed (don’t have to be fans) your page or its posts.

What to do with this data:
First, look at the percentage growth or decline month-over-month. That should give you a good indication of how many people are visiting and interacting with your page compared to the last couple of months.

Next, look at the number against the “Lifetime Likes” number directly to the left. How does it stack up?

Remember, the “Monthly Active Users” number doesn’t just reflect fans, it also picks up non-fans. So, again, if one of your goals is engagement, this comparison is a good one to grab—and it should be a pretty high ratio.

5. Page Views.
This number represents the total hits to your Facebook page. It includes fans and non-fans (including those who aren’t logged in to Facebook). You can find it in the Users tab under “Activity.”

What to do with this data: Here’s where you can really see what days of the week people are hitting your page—and how the spikes correspond with your content. It might make sense to overlay this chart with the days you post. This is a great way to determine which posts might be encouraging fans to click on your actual page. (Remember, this isn’t about News Feed views; it’s about actual Facebook page views.)

A version of this story first appeared on Communications Conversations.


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