How To Bring A Data Focus To Your Facebook Presence

If you think that you can just casually blog, tweet and update whatever content, whenever, to broadcast your health nonprofit’s message, you might be making a big mistake.

You’re not in college anymore, your friends aren’t automatically going to ‘like’ everything you post.

It’s time to bring a rigorous, data-centric approach to your social media postings. Luckily, Facebook’s tools make that very easy.


Bert's Facebook Page

As a pooch-on-the-go, Bert uses Facebook’s Page Manager to inform his social media postings. Let’s take a look at some of these tools, and how Bert can use them to curate his social media presence in an informed, data-savvy way.

Most of these tools will be found under the ‘Insights’ tab. Once you click into this area, you’ll first see an ‘overview’ page, where you can see some summary statistics about the page’s most recent engagement such as raw numbers of likes, comments, share and the reach of the page’s most recent post:

Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 10.55.36 PM

Further down on this page, you’ll see summary statistics about your five most recent posts. Here, we like to check out which posts got the most engagement and best reach, since themes or aspects of those successful posts can inform your strategy. In our case, we can clearly see that posts with close-up shots of Bert’s beautiful wrinkly schnoz are getting the most likes and shares, so we’ll be sure to feature that sniffer prominently in future posts for maximum engagement:Recent Post Stats

Next, the Insights>Overview page shows us a list of some other competing similar canine Facebook pages that we can ‘watch’. Think of this as gathering intelligence about the enemy: you have to follow them, to know what they’re posting. Here, we can see that erudite Cockapoo Zoey has almost 400,000 likes so she must be doing something right – that means it’s time to sniff around her page and see if we can dig up some inspiration for our own posts…

Pages to Watch

Now we turn our attention to the Insights>Likes tab. Here, we can see interactive graphs about when people like our content, whether ‘likes’ are ‘organic’ (when someone likes something in their newsfeed) or ‘paid’ (when someone likes an advertisement). Use these tools to understand how your page’s fans are interacting with your page on Facebook: if your page hit a spike of organic likes after a particularly popular post, then you know you’ve hit social media gold.Net Likes

‘Reach’ refers to the gross number of people who saw anything from your page on a given day. Most of the time, you’ll see spikes in ‘reach’ metrics on days you’ve been posting, but keep an eye out for fluctuations in reach numbers, because they can also spike if your page has been re-posted elsewhere, mentioned on twitter, or gone viral (!) – and you really don’t want to miss out on any of those events.


Under the ‘Visits tab, you can see more metrics about where and when Facebook users have been seeing your page’s content. You can break these metrics down by the Facebook locations through which users can engage: here, for instance, we can see that our page’s fans are predominantly interacting with our posts in their Timelines. So, we know that our best engagement comes from pushing out fresh content into users’ feeds, and Bert should concentrate on that as opposed to, for instance, adding content solely to his page.


Timing is everything, isn’t it? In social media, it really is. If your post goes out at 3am when your users are asleep, or 7am when they’re driving to work, then it might be stale by the time they’re checking their newsfeed at 5pm – and you don’t want that. Posts that don’t get quick engagement will appear to be boring, so they’ll drop in Facebook’s algorithm, and won’t show up organically in news feeds. To avoid that from happening, use the Insights>Posts tools to figure out when you should post: here, we can see that Bert’s fans are most online at about 1pm PT, so we should probably time our posts to go live at about noon if we want to maximize their reach.


Lastly, the Insights>People page shows you demographic and geographic details of your page’s fanbase. Looks like Bert is huge in Argentina, and more popular with women than men, so perhaps it’s time for him to start posting en Español?


Finally, a work about media strategies; paying attention to these data sources will be very important to inform your health nonprofit’s social media strategy, but it’s also important to keep them in context. Remember: your page is your nonprofit’s presence in the online world, and it should primarily reflect your group’s mission, not the whims of the internet hoi polloi. Allow the data to inform you, but don’t become a slave to likes, reach and visits. That’s how so many sites end up being nothing more than repositories of click-baity cat videos; and you certainly don’t want that, right?

3 thoughts on “How To Bring A Data Focus To Your Facebook Presence

  1. This is genius! I never knew we could get all these data from a page profile on Facebook! I wonder if I can do something philantropical and get the same numbers than a famous puppy or cat! Wheels in my head are turning right about know…

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