• Tech Talk: New Facebook Analytics Platform Gives Page Owner Deeper Insights

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals
    December 11, 2013

    by Megan Wolleben

    Megan Wolleben

    Somewhere around the start of the fall semester, Facebook rolled out "Insights," a new analytics platform. The update was ill-timed for many of us in career services, but now that things have slowed down a bit, I've had a chance to explore the new changes and I like what I see.

    So what are the new features and what could they mean for you as a page owner? While analytics have become more sought after, it seems that the time available to really dig deep and understand them has dwindled. With these changes, Facebook promises to bring better insights in a more simple-to-understand manner.

    Facebook claims it is now easier to:

    • Monitor what's working and not working on your page.
    • Understand the people who like your page and engage with your posts.
    • Make decisions about the best ways to connect with your audience.

    There is a lot to go over with the new changes, so for the sake of brevity I'm going to highlight how it is easier to accomplish the three claims above with the new Insights, why it matters and, showcase some of the new information that is now available to page owners.

    Monitor what's working and not working on your page.
    Why it matters: With this you can better understand what your audience wants to see and how it responds to of the information you offer.

    • In the "Posts" tab, you are able to see individual post details; click on any post and you can see that particular post's "likes" and "shares," and the comments made about it.

    • Negative engagement is also available in the “Posts” tab. Here, you can get a breakdown of negative actions such as “post hides,” “hides of all posts,” “reports of spam,” and “unlikes of the page.”

    Understand the people who like your page and engage with your posts.
    Why it matters: If you are seeking to increase your likes or engagement, this information is helpful to see what population you are doing well with and what segment of the population you could better engage.

    • The “People” tab gives you fan demographics compared to the general population of Facebook. This information can be helpful in targeting information or shaping a message.

    • “People Engaged” shows the percentage of people who have liked, commented, or shared your posts in the past 28 days.

    Make decisions about the best ways to connect with your audience.
    Why it matters: This improvement is pretty self-explanatory; being able to see where your audience comes from and when they are online can help you plan posts and be more strategic in marketing campaigns.

    • Under the “Likes” tab, you can determine where page likes came from, and see where and what is driving traffic.

    • Under the “Posts” tab, you are able to see what day of the week most fans are online and at what time. This information could be incredibly useful when deciding on marketing plans and/or when scheduling posts.

    Facebook’s demo video claims that the changes will make the new insights more “actionable, simple, and powerful,” and will allow page owners to improve the way we “publish, market, and connect.” Whether this is true or merely a string of buzzwords remains to be seen. My advice? Go in there and start playing around so you can determine what Facebook Insights are most meaningful and useful to your own metrics.

    I like to monitor analytics to see what is working, but I don’t live and die by the numbers. The updates pull together your data to create a more compelling story of what is working on your page and where you can improve, and helps you understand your page insights in a more, well, insightful way.

    I highly recommend taking five minutes to watch the demo from Facebook for more information on the updates. After watching it, I was excited about the possibilities and level of analytics now available to me as a page owner.

    That said, there are other platforms you can explore, consider, and use for gathering Facebook data:

    Megan Wolleben is assistant director at the Bucknell University Career Development Center.