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Facebook has recently begun beta testing updated page analytics with a swanky new look.
I’ve been playing about with the new system over the weekend, and while there’s plenty to be said for the new aesthetic, is there really any more useful insight on offer here?
Let’s take a look...
The new looks starts in the admin panel, with a snapshot update of your current performance:
As you can see, The Econsultancy Page's reach is down this week.
However, Facebook has a rather odd habit of updating on different days, so this figure may have fallen because I looked at this on a Monday.
Less happens on our page at weekends (although typically more happens on most pages, so make sure you know which type of page you are) so the figure drops.
Benchmark this on the same day every week.
Clearer overview data
When you click through to analytics, you’ll be presented with a much clearer overview of recent activity:
The date range is highlighted, and there’s some simple graphs showing how you’ve done week on week.
Remember that if you carry out campaigns on Facebook then week-to-week benchmarking only provides a cursory view. Make sure you compare this over extended periods.
There’s also a snapshot of your recent posts, showing engagement, Likes, and a useful breakdown of fans/non-fans, allowing you to check your organic outreach (clue: it’s probably not a lot):
Note the highlighted ‘boost’ buttons, continuing Facebook’s crazed hunt for revenue.
Moving on, we’re still limited to a 90-day date range, but there’s a simple slider and some clearer graphs showing page growth:
People interacting with your page
There’s also a section highlighting when you received Likes, and where they came from. Extremely useful for mapping campaigns and checking what worked and what didn’t:
Facebook has also made benchmarking easier, adding automated ‘compare over time’ dividers. Just click on ‘Organic’ or ‘Paid’ to track how well you’re doing:
Measure Tab and App performance
A range of graphs show which tabs visitors hit on your page, who referred them, and activity and mentions of your page by others within Facebook:
Unfortunately the information is presented in a counter-intuitive way. The smaller numbers hover at the top of the graph. In the picture above, the light grey and purple represent much smaller figures than the blue.
The best time of day to post
Next up we've got some seemingly useful charts showing when fans are online:
Unfortunately this is a bit convoluted, and not nearly as revealing as you might think.
The figures displayed are the number of your fans who saw any post on Facebook on given days/hours.
Based on this, it would appear that around 4pm on a Thursday is our best bet, but as these are figures for any posts, your content could still be overwhelmed by updates from friends, promoted posts, or just standout content from competitors.
If you’re going for the rush hour, make sure you use content that really pops, otherwise you could easily be buried.
We’ve also got a chart showing the best performing types of content, but as we never post just a link on our page, I’m going to assume this is also averaged across all of Facebook, something which should be made clearer:
Every page is different. What works for Coke isn’t going to work for Econsultancy, or Jeyes Fluid, so don’t rely on platform averages.
Finally we have ‘people’ graphs, showing us a slightly tidied-up version of existing analytics:
These kinds of demographics do have their uses for some pages, but they lack the required detail to be insightful (We are apparently very popular in South Korea, despite a lack of content targeted at the market. Maybe it’s my stylish K-Pop good looks.)
As always all of this can be exported to CSV.
Overall this is an improvement on Facebook's existing analytics, but there are still too many average figures and a lack of click-through without downloading.
Page analytics give you a good overview of how well you’re doing, but for more granular detail you must make sure you have tracking attached to all your content, and utilise a variety of analytics tools to gain a clearer insight.