Facebook Insights Tips for Beginners

11 September 2017

If you are running a page on Facebook to promote your business, you need to know what’s working and what isn’t to ensure your strategy is optimal for achieving your business goals and attracting your Buyer Persona to your service or product. For that, you need to delve inside the mystical, analytical world of Facebook Insights.

facebook likes

Facebook Insights is a free analytics tools that you can use to better understand how well you are engaging with your audience through your content. You can measure engagement and reach of your posts, as well as monitoring the number of page likes you have.

You need top line Facebook Insights tips to get you started. To access your Facebook Insights, you need to go to your Facebook page and select Insights from the menu bar at the top of the page. You will be directed to your Insights dashboard, which can be overwhelming to look at if you don’t understand what each data section is telling you. Let’s walk through each section, to understand what the data means and how you can use it to improve your Facebook strategy.

Download our Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Ads to learn about running ads on Facebook.

The Insights page provides more detailed data for analysis on the following:

  • Overview 
  • Promotions 
  • Followers 
  • Likes 
  • Reach 
  • Page views 
  • Page previews 
  • Actions on page 
  • Posts 
  • Events 
  • Videos 
  • People  
  • Local 
  • Messages

In this guide to to Facebook Insights, I’m going to highlight the metrics we consider fundamental for any data-driven Facebook strategy: Overview, Likes, Reach, Posts and People.

Insights Overview

Page summary

The page summary gives you a top-line overview of your page’s performance for a selected period of time – the last 7 or 28 days. The data for this time period is broken down into eight sections:

  • Actions on page – the number of clicks on the contact info or a call-to-action button on your page 
  • Page views – the number of times your page has been visited 
  • Page previews – the number of times that people have hovered over your page name or profile picture to see a preview of your page’s content 
  • Page Likes – the number of new people who have liked your page 
  • Reach – the number of people who have seen your posts 
  • Post engagements – the number of reactions, comments or shares your posts have received 
  • Videos – the number of times your videos have been viewed for more than 3 seconds 
  • Page followers – the number of new people who have followed your page 

facebook insights page summary

The data will display both paid and organic actions.

Below the page summary, you will see your five most recent posts, with the following information:

  • Publish date 
  • Content preview – thumbnail of the image and a snippet of the text 
  • Content type – external URL, photo, video 
  • Targeting – which audience you have targeted the post to 
  • Reach – how many people the post reached organically and through promotion 
  • Engagement – the number of post clicks, reactions comments and shares 
  • Promote button – this is a shortcut promotion pop up that allows you to boost your post’s reach to a tailored audience for a particular budget and duration 

Pages to watch

In the “pages to watch” section, you are able to compare the performance of your page and posts with similar pages on Facebook. Comparable data includes: 

  • Total page likes 
  • Page likes from last week 
  • Posts this week 
  • Engagement this week – reactions, comments and shares 

This will help you understand how your competitors are doing compared to you on Facebook and can provide benchmark targets to meet in terms of increasing social media engagement. 


The likes tab details the growth, averages and sources of likes on your page and content, as well as an up to date total of how many likes your page has. Metrics include: 

  • Daily data 
  • Total page likes as of today 
  • Net likes 
  • Where your page likes happened 

One useful feature of the Likes tab is the date range setting. You can view data by week, month, quarter or custom date range to track growth over your preferred period of time.

facebook insights daily likes 

You can track Net Likes which will show you the number of new likes minus the number of unlikes. This may prove useful for identifying which of your content types are better received by your audience. In the same way, Net Likes can also provide insight into why you might be losing page Likes. 

The “where you page likes happened” section is incredibly helpful if you’re using ads to promote your Facebook page so you can track where like traffic is coming from and deciding how beneficial paid promotion of your page is. 


You can find out how many people your Facebook page and posts have reached in the Reach tab. This shows: 

  • Post reach 
  • Likes, comments and shares 
  • Hide, report as spam and unlikes
  • Total reach 

“Post reach” tells you how many people were served your posts and splits reach by organic and paid if you promoted your posts. Hover over a particular day to see its organic and paid reach, or drag to select a series of days’ data for viewing. You will be able to monitor the success of your organic and paid content in terms of their reach and make adjustments to your strategy and budget as necessary.

The more reactions, comments and shares your posts receive, the larger the number of people who are served the post will be. You can track which posts receive the highest levels of engagement and compare them for commonalities to consider when creating future content.

facebook insights post reactions

Similarly, the Reactions bar chart will indicate the number of each reaction your post receives, which is useful for a top-level understanding of the emotional responses of your audience to your content. 

If your posts or page are being hidden by Facebook users, Facebook will show those posts to fewer people, which is something you want to avoid. The “hide, report as spam and unlikes” line graph will help you monitor the negative feedback to your page and content. This is a useful metric to monitor because it can identify common features – be those images, language, themes – that may be eliciting negative reactions from your audience. These insights should inform future content ideas. 

“Total reach” counts all activity from your page that has been seen by Facebook users including your posts, ads, mentions and check-ins. This chart is useful for comparing any paid reach to organic and also to monitor your page’s audience growth. 


It’s vital to understand how well your posts are performing on Facebook if you want to build a successful, data-driven strategy. The Posts tab can be read in three ways: 

  • When your fans are online 
  • Post types 
  • Top posts from pages you watch 

You can identify the best times to post content from the “when your fans are online” section. Facebook can tell you how active your fans are at hourly or daily increments. This insight can be used to help build your Buyer Persona profile and target your audience when they are most active to increase your chances of reaching them.

facebook insights fans online

“Post types” will help you understand what media types are best received by your audience to help you create a more enjoyable content strategy that your audience will more likely actively engage with. 


There’s no one right way and this will be an ongoing experiment, but this data should help you catch more fans’ attention with the content you do publish. You can also see every post you have published in this tab, including the type of post (photo, video, external link), the audience you’re targeting, how many people you’ve reached and the engagement it has received. You can also add paid promotion to any post you like by hitting the Boost Post button. 

Tracking your competitors’ successes is important, too. You’ll likely share a fan base (or at least have some crossover in your audience) so being able to track how they’re doing will give some indication as to how you are doing and potentially providing ideas for how you could improve your strategy. This tab will show you how many engagements the rival posts received and you can compare them to your most recent posts which appear in the All Posts Published section below. 

Within the All Posts Published section, you can sort your posts by the date you published them, reach, or number of engagements by clicking on the column title. This will help you identify which posts of yours have performed best or reached the most people. Analysing similarly-performing posts will identify features to incorporate in future content in the hope of gaining as high a level of engagement or reaching as many people. 


The People tab provides an overview of who your audience is by age, gender, language and location information provided in their user profiles. This data is split into categories: 

  • Your Fans 
  • Your Followers 
  • People Reached 
  • People Engaged 

Your Fans and Followers are those who like and follow your page. Their demographic information will help you identify who is most interested in the content you are publishing on your page. Your Facebook strategy should have identified who you want to reach and this information will help you understand how successfully your current content and promotion strategies are working to achieve this goal. 

People Reached collects data from those who saw your posts in the last 28 days and People Engaged identifies those who liked, commented on or shared any of your posts or engaged with your page in some other way in the last 28 days. These people are not necessarily your fans and may provide different indications as to who your content is attracting. 

facebook insights fans and followers

You’re ready to take on Facebook

Those are the top Facebook Insights tips to get you started with your data analysis and strategy building. While certainly not exhaustive, these five tabs within Facebook Insights will help any beginner build a more coherent, data-driven strategy and guide the content creation process to ensure you are publishing content that will be enjoyed and engaged with.

Want to learn how to create Facebook Ads to better target your Buyer Persona? Download The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Ads and become a paid media pro.

Social Media Beginners Guide




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