Facebook Offers Insights for Brands

By Kimberly Moniz (@kimmiekm)

In November 2009, Business.com released their 2009 Business Social Media Benchmarking Study of 3,000 North American businesses.  The study revealed that 83% of participants “favored Facebook as the best social media platform to connect with customers.”  On Facebook, Fan Pages are the way brands most often interact with consumers.  Facebook Insights is a free service that allows Page admins to see statistics and data on their fans and better understand how they are interacting with the Page. Insights are also available for Facebook Social Ads, but this post will focus on the data available from Insights for Fan Pages.

Getting Started

If you are a Page admin, you will see the Insights on the left hand column of the Fan Page:

After clicking to “See All,” you’ll be directed to the full Insights where details about the Page and its fans are broken down into two main categories: “Fans who interact” (an interaction is defined as posting to the Wall, commenting on or “liking” a post) and “All fans.”

Overview and Post Quality

Before delving into the charts, Insights offers a quick look at the Page over the past week, including total number of interactions; number of likes, comments and wall posts; and post quality:

The post quality score is calculated using an algorithm that incorporates number of posts, total fan interactions, number of fans and other factors.  The number of stars depends on how the post quality compares to Pages that have a similar number of fans.


Below the overall evaluation for the week is a graph and chart that measure fan interactions.  You can change the date range for the graph by sliding the bar at the bottom of the chart.  There are various interactions graphs to choose from and each is helpful to paint a complete picture of the Page:

  • Interactions: Total number of comments, Wall posts and likes
  • Interactions Per Post: Average number of comments, Wall posts and likes generated by each piece of content posted
  • Post Quality: Score measuring how engaging the Page’s content is to Facebook users. A higher post quality indicates material that better engages users
  • Posts: Number of posts (status updates, video and photo uploads, etc.) posted by the brand
  • Page Views: Number of times the Page has been viewed by Facebook users
  • Discussion Posts: The number of Discussion topics users have created on the Page
  • Media Consumption: How many photo views, audio plays and video plays the Page’s content has received
  • Reviews: The number of times fans have used the Reviews application to rate the Page
  • [Not Yet Available] Stream CTR / ETR: This graph is a measure of the Click Through Rate and Engagement Rate for the content appearing in the Facebook News Feed. If a user clicks on one of the posts, that is counted as Stream CTR. If a user likes or comments on one of the posts, it is counted in the Stream ETR

* Note: Not all graphs are available for every Fan Page

 Next to the Interactions graph is a chart that illustrates details on active fans for the past week. Active fans are defined as those who have posted on the Wall or “liked” or commented on an update.  This chart breaks fans into age, sex and country:

All Fans

The next chart and graph illustrate all fans of the Page.  The data is broken down into a number of categories:

  • Total Fans/Unsubscribers: Total number of fans over time, overlaid with the total number of unsubscribers.  Unsubscribers are defined as fans who have opted to hide the Page’s posts in their News Feeds
  • New/Removed Fans: The number of people who have become new fans of the Page overlaid with the number who stopped being a fan of the Page
  • Top Countries: Growth of the fan base over time broken down by country
  • Demographics: Growth of the fan base over time broken down by age and gender demographics
  • Page Views: Total number of times the Page was viewed per day
  • Media Consumption: Total photo views, audio plays and video plays for the content uploaded to the Page
  • Unsubscribes/Re-subscribes: The total number of times fans unsubscribed from the Page, and the total number of times fans re-subscribed to the Page

The last section of Insights illustrates the demographics of all fans for the Page, including sex, country and age: 

The Good

 Facebook Insights does a good job of measuring a brand’s fan base and offers good insight into how fans interact with the Page.  Using this information, brands can ascertain which content is most interesting for fans and spurs the most interaction between fans and the Page.  Insights is continually being improved and changed, offering new and more detailed information for brands to better connect with their customers. 

The Bad

Insights runs a few days behind so brands don’t have the most up-to-date information on hand.  The graphs offer time period adjustment but are not available for all time frames a brand might wish to measure.  Insights doesn’t measure custom tabs or applications, and doesn’t integrate with analytics for other marketing channels. 

The Future

Recently, Webtrends launched tools that measure additional elements of Fan Pages, including data about applications, custom tabs, contests and ads.  Others have developed work-arounds that merge Google Analytics with Facebook Insights.  To keep up with these more detailed analytics, Facebook Insights will have to continue to improve their offerings and strive to provide better and more detailed information for Fan Pages.

Overall, I’d give it 3.5 out of 5 slices.

2 Responses to “Facebook Offers Insights for Brands”

  1. 1 Meg (@meg_mccormick) March 16, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Great info, Kim! Thanks for pulling together. 🙂

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