Today I received a notification giving me the chance to try the new Facebook Insights for a side project I work on. The following is an overview of the changes I'm noticing, improvements, and new insights that you might be able to draw from the upgrade.

 Section 1: Overview Page

As you dive into the new insights, you're immediately greeted with an improved overview page providing quick breakouts on many common key statistics. Not only is it visually more appealing, but the data available is a bit deeper and represents some of the (what I believe to be) new information compared to the old FB Insights.

The new navigation provides great drill down and improved ease of use for reviewing certain data points than was previously available.

At this point there isn't much data manipulation to be done, but you can click in to individual posts to get a breakdown of post clicks including photo views, link likes, post likes, etc. Handy if you're just checking some quick data on a recent post.

Section 2: Page Data - Page Likes

Page data is the first navigational link/tab available and it pulls up a new Insights layout that is carried pretty well throughout the rest of the system. There's easy time range manipulation at the top, and multiple data points displayed in charts with switch options on the left to highlight/eliminate different data points and types.

The section I've most appreciated has been the last one detailing where "Page Likes" have come from. While I'm not sure of the full detail that exists as the likes to this page are limited, I've read you can see mobile distribution, ads vs organic (as detailed with the switches on the right), and other such details. This data can be extremely useful for not only improving your targeting to grow page likes, but also to understand where and how users are interacting with your content.

This section of a post from seems to back this up:

The “Where Your Likes Came From” chart details where people came to “Like” your Facebook page from the Web:

  • Mobile: User came to your page from their smartphone or tablet
  • On Page: People “liked” your page after accessing the URL directly
  • Page Suggestions: User liked your page because Facebook suggested it based on another page you liked
  • Ads and Sponsor: You paid to have your Page displayed with a like box somewhere on Facebook
  • Others: Anywhere else, such as seeing your page on a friend’s page 

 Section 2: Page Data - Post Reach

Within the Page Data seaction, FB also provides the standard data around number of likes, comments, etc. related to your posts in aggregate. Again, the standard slider for time adjustments (or calendar, or preset) is present, as well as breakouts across a few data points. I'm fond of the re-integration of the negative sentiment interaction breakout here as it can help you diagnose problems leading to drops in fans, etc.

Section 2: Page Data - Page Visits

The Page Visits section offers largely standard reports, but there's some great value in being able to see referral traffic to your FB page from outside sources if you are tracking your social presence and mentions on the web. This can also be valuable for link building or other promotional/inbound work, as it may help you identify connections you haven't made already with other relevent businesses/individuals.

There's also a variety of metrics surrounding interactions within your FB page which can help validate content choices or improve your understanding of what users really want to do on your FB page. 

Section 3: Posts - All Posts

If you're looking for data on your individual posts, this is the place to be. FB (in my opinion) has significantly upgraded the UI here when it comes to breaking down data related to individual posts. It's very easy to quickly order posts using the navigational drop-downs, or by clicking on columns. Data points around likes, reach, comments, etc. are all available to help you get an idea of which pieces of content are really working well and which ones aren't. There's also column breakouts identifying the type of post and any targeting options related to the post that might be affecting numbers.

Section 3: Posts - When Your Fans Are Online

Unfortunately I'm not able to switch back to the old Insights platform to confirm this, but I don't recall having the ability to see when users are most likely to see your posts on an hourly and daily level. Again, quite possible I missed it but this was a great find for me. 

Part of what got me exicted here is that Facebook seems to be giving you more and more information that can directly help you improve your EdgeRank scores on the platform. I wish Google provided information that I felt correlated as tightly as I believe some of the FB data points might. Wouldn't it be nice... 

I wasn't able to catpure this, but a quick mouse-over on any day will chart your fans on top of the Facebook averages on the chart below, giving you an understanding of when your audience is active compared to Facebook as a whole. Again, mostly useful for targeting your work to when your audience is likely to be engaging and active. 

I think it would be awesome to be able to get even more granular here and start to understand when your likes, comments, etc. seem to come as well. For instance, just because my audience sees more posts, doesn't nescessarily mean they are the most active/interactive on the platform at that time. I think there are some ways to back into this data, but it could be something made easier in the future.

Section 3: Posts - Best Post Types 

 Best Post Types is a quick tab showing which types of posts have performed the best for you (surprise!). It's pretty simple, but nice to have.

Section 4: People - Your Fans 

Facebook's interface and data for "Your Fans" isn't drastically different (unfortunately). This area represents one where I wish Facebook would provide more data since they have so much available on individual fans - far beyond what a standard analytics platform can offer from a demographic standpoint.  Instead we are limited to geographic region and some age/gender breakouts. Nice to have, but it always leaves me wanting more.

Section 4: People - People Reached

Haver you ever wondered about the demographics of who's seeing your posts beyond the fans of your page? One of the reasons we're all working with Facebook is because of its massive power to spread something beyond your immediate audience. The "People Reached" report gives you a little peak at different aspects associated with the people outside of your fanbase who are being exposed to your content. 

Again, this is helpful and can tell a story about whether your posts are moving across people who might be interested in the content or not, but it also seems light to me. More demographic information about these people would be helpful. 

The interface here is slick with mouse-overs revealing more details and breakouts of the statistics.

Section 4: People - People Engaged

The final data point covers the basic demographic data of those that are engaged with your posts vs. the demographics of all your fans. I unfortunately don't have any data here on this sample set at the moment, but I can see it being useful when analyzing the engagment of your fans. I will say it would be easy to assume that if one primary group is engaging, that they may be the most valuable, but I think that can be a dangerous assumption as there may be others that don't engage heavily but highly value the information your sharing. Tough to get your head around those.

This could also be a tricky metric if you're in an industry in which it's more logical to have less FB engagement than others.


Overall the new Insights provides a much easier interface for gathering information about your audience, and adds a few points of data that help fill out the offering. 

The potential data available from social platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. is quite overwhelming. However, the benefits form the data can be huge in understanding your fanbase, how they interact with your content, product, brand, website, etc., and of course meeting potential customers, current customers, and other important individuals right where they want to be met, with the content they are after. I'm looking forward to FB building out their insights more in the future and have my fingers crossed that will be able to access more demographic information.


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