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.