“Everybody using Facebook Insights, throw your hands in the air!” And if you’re not, it’s cool. But if you want to be a “true player” when it comes to Facebook, use it. Want to know how to use Facebook Insights to increase Facebook engagement? C’mon!
Facebook Insights provides information about how users interact with your page that helps you stay in touch with the content that’s working best for you (increase Facebook engagement) while avoiding things that don’t work. Ever used it? Yes? Good! No? Cool – Just go to your Facebook page and click the “Insights” tab at the top of the page… next to the notifications and publishing tools tabs.
Ahhhh, welcome to the wonderful world of how to use Facebook Insights. I hope you like the charts! Now, let’s check out how to quickly peruse the best times and types of posts for your page.
I’ve included a generic chart of general Facebook page engagement by day/time. It’s a good starter chart when planning posts, but not really relevant. Because this chart is comprised of millions of pages (globally) and types of businesses, your own data will be a better indication of what will work for you to increase Facebook engagement. But… check it out anyway, it’s worth a look.
No shocker right? Literally, no one is engaging with Facebook at 2 AM on Monday, anywhere… check. Don’t post then.
Let’s talk about your best times for Facebook engagement! Get started by clicking the “Posts” tab on the left-hand menu in Facebook insights. On the default view, you’ll probably see a chart that looks like a sick whale, labelled TIMES. Don’t worry much about it. If you look above that chart, you’ll see that it’s telling you when your fans are online. Cool. That’s good info, but it doesn’t really help you much. Scroll down and you’ll see a list of your recent posts (click “See More” to view a lot more posts), along with the post type, targeting, reach and engagement. Voila. Now you’re in the know. As you quickly scroll through your posts, look for posts where the bar chart is big for both reach and engagement (meaning there is a lot, ha), then look to see what time those posts were published (far left). Hopefully, you’ll easily notice some sort of pattern. At the very least, you can probably identify a 2 – 3-hour window during the day (or several times) when it seems like posts consistently get better engagement. Check out our example. On this account, it’s blatantly clear that the page followers are dialled in at 6:30 PM. We scrolled through hundreds of posts, and regardless of the type (image, video, text) or topic – they always did well around this time. OK, now what? Use the data! If you have an idea when people have historically been most likely to engage your posts, save your “heavy-hitters” or real goal-oriented post for those very times – when you know that you’re most likely to get a lot of eyeballs on them. Post the fluff or non-essential stuff during those other “off” times.
Was that too hard? Not too bad, right? Still, want to know how to use Facebook Insights to increase Facebook engagement by identifying post topics/types that work? Simple. Repeat the same process. Scroll through the same list of posts, this time paying more attention to the Engagement column than the Reach (although they’re directly related, as people engage – posts are seen by more people). Quickly identify your top 10 or so posts by engagement, then click on the post themselves (right from the list) to open them in a new window. What are they about? What is their style? How is the picture(s)? Did you use emojis, links… anything else? Usually, there is some sort of trends you’ll notice with even 5 minutes of close examination. Now, this won’t sound to detail – but just jot down a few things that seemed to be consistent across these top-performing posts. Sometimes it will be hard to identify (you’re like… “mine are totally random”), but usually, something will stand out. And when it does, you’re in business. Use what you learned to do MORE posts just like these, which will increase your overall Facebook engagement and have you putting out more posts that people want.
So post time and post type are pretty easy ways to use Facebook Insights to increase your Facebook engagement. But, this isn’t a one-time deal. Do it often. People change… yada yada yada (shameless reference for Seinfeld fans, I’m old). So, try doing this once per week, or once per month if that’s too often. The more you look, the better data you have about when and why people are engaging your page.
Was that either TOO EASY or left you HUNGRY for more data? Great! You can dig deeper into the valuable Facebook Insights data by downloading it and customizing the information in a way that’s easy for you to analyze. To download your data, go to Insights again and click on Export (up at the top of the page, right corner). Select Post Data and choose a date range. The maximum range you can export is 180 days of content or 500 posts, whichever number you reach first. And… do you really want to look at more than that? Even a data nerd like myself gets burnt out by thousands of entries. And really a few dozen posts provide helpful insights.
When you download the data, you’ll get a huge Excel spreadsheet (yay for spreadsheets!) with lots of individual tabs on it. Love it, nurture it, care for it. This cute, cuddly spreadsheet provides the data you need to study your content and improve Facebook engagement. For starters, you’ll want to focus on the key metrics tab. Check out the columns for daily new likes, daily page engaged users and daily total reach. Some days stand out. Check the date or dates that do stand out, then refer back to your post insights and see what you did those days – because it worked.
Disclaimer. When you download your post data, there will be so many tabs and columns your head will spin. It’s a LOT of info. A. LOT. Don’t feel like you need to comb through it all, now… or ever. Study it. Look for information that interests you. Anything you can take from this data and put into use to increase Facebook engagement puts you ahead of the game.
So, that’s it. Now you know how to use Facebook Insights to increase Facebook engagement. Really. You’ll see a lot of other information within insights, but none of it will be as helpful as the few things we just discussed. Just for fun though, try clicking Followers, Likes and People to learn a lot about your Facebook audience. I’m sure you’ll be enlightened. Mmmhmmm. Oh, and at the point with which you’ve done what I discussed, throw your hand in the air. You are now a true player. Enjoy.