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5 ways to use Facebook Insights to improve your page

By Natalie Bannon

As an administrator of your ministry’s Facebook page, you may have noticed an update to Facebook Insights, the network’s analytics tool. In many ways, this change has made Insights more in-depth, yet easier to navigate. It offers an opportunity to improve your page by analyzing your audience. When you first click on Insights, you see an overview that provides a snapshot of metrics for the past seven days. Let’s dig a little deeper and explore the other five tabs to discover ways to use these numbers to make your page even more ‘likable!’

1. Likes

Get a daily tally of page likes. Check out how your page is growing. Notice any spikes or dips? Hover over each date to see how the total changes. The next graph defines the number of likes and unlikes your page has received. You can also learn the source of those page likes. It’s important to keep an eye on these numbers. Why was October 20 a better day than October 12? Look at the page activity for those dates and analyze what worked and what didn’t. Plan accordingly for future posts.

2. Reach

How many people are actually seeing your activity? The reach tab is where you find out. You can explore posts by individual dates or select a specific range by sliding and dragging along the bottom of the graph. This creates a pop-up window with posts that occurred in that period. Then, you can explore engagement levels. Additionally, you can find out how many likes, comments and shares each post gained, along with the number of times someone clicked to hide your post, unlike your page or report it as spam. Carefully study both the positive and negative metrics to understand what your audience wants.

3. Visits

This tab shows the number of times your page was viewed. These are displayed by visits to your timeline, photo tabs and more. You can also see how many times others mentioned or tagged your page in their own posts and see the websites from which most people accessed your page. Insights for The United Methodist Church page indicate that the top referring websites are Google.com, UMC.org and umcom.org. This is a great way to see how people are finding your page so you can analyze what might be driving traffic your way.

4. Posts

The posts tab will help you tailor content specifically for your ministry’s audience. Because you can see the day and hour when most of your audience is on Facebook, you can adjust your posting schedule. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of trying to figure out the best time to post. You can see here, for example, that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the most active days and 8 p.m. is the most active time for The United Methodist Church page. Note that times shown are set to your computer’s local time zone. What types of posts are most successful on your page? Click on post types. You can see here, for example, that status updates seem to have the largest reach on the denominational page, while photos are the most engaging—garnering more clicks, likes and comments than any other type of post. Scroll down to analyze the numbers for each individual post. To get a closer look at the metrics for a particular one, just click on it.

5. People

Learn more about your page demographics and keep them in mind when you write posts. On the people tab, you can see metrics for people who like your page, people you reach (which is defined as the unique number of people who see your posts) and people engaged (the number of people who have clicked, liked, commented or shared your content). On the left, the numbers break down between men and women, and along the top, by age range. At the bottom of the page, you can see the countries, cities and languages represented. Remember that you can target your posts geographically. This is helpful when you’re posting to audiences in different time zones.

Keep an eye on these numbers regularly, and don’t be afraid to experiment. For more church communication tips, go to youtube.com/mycomtips and head to our website at umcom.org.