Facebook Insights and Advertising for Small Businesses – Part I

Small business owners are especially short on two things: Time and advertising dollars. So here’s a super quick explanation on how to get the most out of your Facebook page and your community using Facebook’s insights and their advertising tools:

Facebook’s insights are located in your admin panel at the top of your Facebook business page. Hit the button that looks like this:

check-page-insights  Once you’re in your insights dashboard, you’ll have tons of information to pour over and pick apart  about who your audience is, how your posts are doing, who’s engaging with you, and lots more. Here are the three most important facts for any small business owner to know:

facebook-insights-audienceWho is your audience?

Being able to gear your content toward your audience is an especially important part of being relatable and fostering engagement. It’s difficult to do this if you don’t know who your audience is. Luckily, Facebook is able to give you more custom demographics about your specific audience than any other product or service in the world. At the top of the Insights dashboard, you can click the “People” tab to find specific information about who your fans are and who are the people that are engaging most frequently with your page.

facebook-insights-posttype What type of posts are most effective?
In order to make the most of this metric, you need to test 4 distinct types of content (Status, Link, Photo, Video) with a bit of regularity in order to give yourself a decent sample size. After you’re through testing, however, the results can be quite telling. You can find the “Post Types” chart under the “Posts” tab. In the example on the right, you can see that statuses and photos have far outperformed links and videos. This is especially important because you can tailor your content to your audience’s preferences. For example, use a photo to emphasize a video or an article rather simply posting the content by itself.

facebook-insights-posttimeWhen are your fans online?
I’ve already spoken about free tools that you can use to schedule your content and also mentioned using Google Analytics to track the best times to send traffic to your website. Well now Facebook can help you pinpoint the best times to schedule your content. Depending on the size of your audience, this metric may not be as useful as it may not shift much, but (combined with your demographic data above) it’s an interesting barometer to keep in mind as you consider your marketing strategy– is your audience made up of high school students who are on Facebook after school or college students who are online late at night? Maybe they’re parents logging on after their kids go to sleep, or young professionals who are online mostly during their 9-5 workday? This metric can help answer more questions than simply “When Are Your Fans Online?”

That’s it for Part I. Next time I’ll discuss how to get the most out of every advertising dollar you have with Facebook Advertising, and how it benefits small business owners. Until then, what metrics do you use on your Facebook page? How do they have you dictate your social media strategy?


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