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More than ever, businesses are understanding that data is important. But the main importance lies in not how much you collect but how you use it.

At the Facebook Marketing Talks Live event, Facebook's David Software Engineer, Louis Eisenberg, explained how Page Insights can help build connections and engage a wider audience with your content. The most exciting announcement of this break away session had to be the roll out of real time analytics for Facebook pages.

This month, Facebook will be allowing page owners to see their analytics in real time instead of having a two day delay until they have access to data. This is going to be extremely important for those brands who are working on time sensitive campaigns or when they are dealing with a corporate issue and want to see how fast the information is spreading.  This is going to make Facebook pages dramatically more actionable.

Facebook are emphasizing that data shouldn't be about analysis but should be a way of understanding what to do next.  By introducing real time data into their analytics, businesses will be able to make optimization decisions faster. For instance, if a post is shown as being engaging and "viral," you can promote the post by pinning it, putting additional media behind it or create similar posts. You can also see if a post isn't working so you can update or post new content that will be recieved better by your audience.

In addition to real time insights, Facebook announced the new metric "People talking about this." This feature indicates how many people are actually talking about your business to their friends and how that affects reach. This metric includes Facebook users who have:

  • Liked your page
  • Liked, commented on, or shared your page post
  • Answered a question you've asked
  • Responded to your event
  • Mentioned your page
  • Tagged your page in a photo
  • Checked in or recommended your place

It will be interesting to see how this affects campaigns and customer interaction. A lot of data has been available for page owners up until now but how much has it been used to help shape what their companies are actually doing? With these additional features and real time analytics, Facebook Insights may now be more useful to a lot of businesses especially if they want to be agile today instead of waiting a few days to see where they succeeded or failed.

Facebook have released a walk through of their insights tool and how you can use it. It's a great refresher for those who want to get to grips with Facebook data.

Heather Taylor

Published 29 February, 2012 by Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor is the Editorial Director for Econsultancy US. You can follow her on Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

236 more posts from this author

Comments (4)


Lee Stacey

This is a vast improvement from the point of view of a brass tacks community manager but still gives somewhat of a smoke and mirrors view of things. What I really want to see is a raw data feed that I can pull into my own dashboards. I get this from Google Analytics, I get it from Twitter, I get it from my own platform, come on FB, you're lagging...

over 4 years ago


Colin Gilchrist

Identifying the response and subsequent activity based on the content is an invaluable resource but I agree with Lee - I want more...

over 4 years ago

Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor, Editorial Director at Econsultancy

When I worked brand side, this is exactly what I wanted and I can't believe it's taken this long. Yes, there are a lot of people who want even more but I don't think Facebook are going to give it. One of their greatest perceived strengths is the data that they hold. So I'm not going to hold my breath for more any time soon. At least everything will finally be up to date. As for Twitter, they only give a small percent of data through their API so though it is a sample of conversations, it'll never be the full picture.

over 4 years ago


Jen Mozen

I agree, these are great improvements that have been a long time coming. I would love to see Facebook include some truly insightful information that they're in a unique position to offer - show us more information about our fans. Facebook Ads used to include a report that showed aggregate interest information about the people who clicked on your ads: favorite books, movies, music, etc. Tie this information into a brand's insights page and now you've got something truly actionable that helps a brand plan their next customer interaction or campaign. A future "premium" service?

over 4 years ago

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