What Do Facebook Insights Really Mean?
When you’re managing a Facebook business page, the Insights can be a useful tool in measuring your marketing campaign success. But what do those metrics actually mean? When you’re relying on platform-provided metrics, it’s best to thoroughly understand what you’re looking at because there’s a great chance those numbers are manipulated to inflate the results, as seen in this Wall Street Journal article noting how Facebook overestimated a specific video metric for two years.
Breakdown of Facebook Insights Metrics
There’s post likes and page likes. For Insights’ purposes, we’ll explain page likes. Page likes will report the amount of new users who have come to the page and decided to “like” it. That means your organic posts will show in their newsfeed, should the user decide to follow you. This metric will also show you “net likes,” which is represented by a graph that maps out the total number of unlikes against the total number of new likes in a given time period. Additionally, admins can see where their likes came from, whether it is on desktop, mobile, posts to page, or elsewhere.
This metric is often a page admin’s favorite, because it’s generally the highest number reported. However, reach is calculated in a way that can give you the warm and fuzzies, but it doesn’t actually pull that much weight. The reach is the number of Facebook users your posts were served to. The tricky part here is that it doesn’t mean that just because a user was served your post in their newsfeed that they ever saw it or scrolled past it, let alone interacted with it. What’s much more important than reach is engagement. Unsurprisingly, engagement is not a metric calculated or reported by Facebook for your page, but they do report engagement by post.
Actions on Page
This is Facebook’s closest stab at engagement. It shows how often users interacted with your posts or page buttons and what they did with them. It’ll show you a breakdown by demo of who clicked on your call to action buttons. This is possibly the most important metric because without users taking action, there’s no conversion.
In the posts tab, there will be a breakdown of each published post (organic and paid) and will show you the post’s reach next to the engagement. To take this metric a little further, to truly determine the successfulness of your engagement, you can divide the engagement total into the projected reach to determine your engagement rate. This is not included in the Facebook Insights, but is a better benchmark to see how your page is performing.
Facebook has recently come under some fire for misreporting video metrics, so take these with a grain of salt. Video views count when a user views your video for three seconds or more (and they’ll only count each person’s views once in a half hour session).