How often do you pop in and check out the analytics in Facebook Insights or another tool you use to monitor your page performance? While coming up with engaging content isn’t a hard science, using tools to analyze what your audience resonates with is absolutely a must when it comes to planning and strategy.

Facebook Insights can leave a little to be desired on its own so we do recommend using third party tools to help make interpreting the data a little easier. Posting apps like Buffer and SproutSocial having built-in analytics to help dive deeper into your data and discover what gets your audience talking… and what doesn’t.

Analyze top performing posts & post types

The best way to assess what gets traction on your page and what doesn’t is to go explore the post data itself in the insights section; simply go to the “Posts” section and scroll down to “All Posts Published” to take a better look.

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You’ll see a few options for how the data is presented; you can click on Engagement to see posts vetted by Reactions, Comments & Shares but we’d also recommend reviewing them by Engagement Rate.

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Engagement Rate measures the percentage of how many people interacted with your post based on the people who saw your post. This allows you to analyze your content in a more meaningful way as it is a truer measure of gauging your audience’s interest.

Out of your top performing posts, identify a few themes or styles of post that seem to resonate with your audience. Examples might be on-page flash giveaways, stunning photographs, funny memes or community interest related content. This will help guide your content strategy and give your audience more of what they respond best to. We do recommend using other social tools where possible to provide deeper analytics and help sift through the data. Facebook Insights alone aren’t always able to provide as comprehensive a picture as other tools such as Social Report or SproutSocial.

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These tools are also excellent at displaying retroactive data in an aesthetically pleasing and informative way. Here’s an example of a SproutSocial graph displaying some of our client data measuring the success of the past year.

Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 3.31.12 PMPro Tip: Don’t forget to take a peek at content that serves as strong traffic and click generators as that might not always appear to be your most engaging content at a surface level.

Evaluate Your Audience

It’s important to pay attention to WHO is interacting with your content and liking your page, as well as when they’re most active online. This will help inform any tweaks you should make to your content to appeal more / target different demographic groups.

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Compare your page fans to who your content is reaching and who is engaging with it. This is an easy way to pinpoint who you could be doing a better job of appealing to; for example, given these metrics it indicates a predominantly female fanbase, so working on increasing engagement with a male audience could be one of the takeaways from this particular data set.

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Pro Tip: According to a super awesome study conducted by our friends at Buffer, the most popular time of day to post is the late morning and lunch hour. Try experimenting with posts outside of the typical times and see if it results in a boost of engagement. Less busy newsfeed could mean increased opportunities to be seen during these non-peak times.

Use Pages to Watch to monitor competitors

Quick, check your Fanpage; do you have your Pages to Watch section filled out? It’s a great way to easily monitor your competition and compare how you’re doing. Any small business, or larger business for that matter, can benefit from monitoring comparable organizations in real time. In the Overview section of Facebook Insights, simply click Add Pages if you haven’t already and let the spying begin. The pages you select will not be notified they have been added by your page so it’s pretty incognito.

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You can even keep an eye on their top performing posts to see what kind of content is gaining traction on their page…and what isn’t.

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Monitor drops in reach / unlikes

Facebook Insights is handy for discovering the good, bad and the ugly. Part of that means knowing where you’re not doing so great so you can correct your course. It’s in your best interest to monitor these actions closely and keep an eye out for content that generates negative reactions and attempt to weed it out altogether.

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In our experience we’ve found that the virality of a post generally has a negative correlation as well, with hides, page unlikes or the dreaded “report as spam” at the very worst. Obviously, the more people that see a post, the higher potential for possible negative reactions. As long as the ratio isn’t too extreme, it’s generally safe to say not to worry so much about those as the benefits of explosive reach outweigh some Unlikes or Hides. As you can see from the post below, the higher the performance the more likely there’ll also be some negative actions as well. Post Details will you you a comprehensive overview of stats on content you’ve boosted.

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There are no one-size-fits-all rules when it comes to social or Facebook for that matter. Different audiences respond to different content but we do know practice makes perfect and building an engaged audience takes time and dedication. Let us know what content you find works best in your industry. Any Facebook Insights tips we missed? Let us know in the comments