Using Facebook Insights To Better Understand Your Blog Readers

Ryan Dube 24-11-2011

facebook insightsA big part of blogging is understanding your reader base. What is it that your readers (or your potential readers) are interested in? What type of articles do they prefer? What blog posts are they more likely to share with all of their friends? Getting a good understanding of your readers is a big part of growing any blog. It gives you the insight to focus on those topics that your readers and the audience within your niche find most valuable and interesting.


Here at MUO, we’ve covered a number of useful tools that offer insight into different social networks. Facebook Spectrum How to Use Facebook New to Facebook? We'll teach you all you need to know about how to use Facebook in our guide. Learn how to create an account, find friends, and make the most of every feature! Read More was one tool covered in directory – a cool way to see Facebook stats for your Facebook account. was another small tool that was covered, which gives you insights into the general Twitter An Advanced Twitter Insight Tool Read More social network.

What I want to focus on today is a tool that is actually offered by Facebook called Facebook Insights. If you’ve established a Facebook brand page, it provides you with very valuable insights into the interests of your readership.

Using Facebook Insights

If you have a Facebook Brand page that you want to analyze, just log into the Facebook account that you use to manage that page. Then head over to the Facebook Insights dashboard and choose the page that you want to analyze.

facebook insights

When you click on the page that you manage, you’ll find yourself on the “Overview” page. This is where you can see the big picture information, how many likes as well as weekly and monthly users that actively visit your Facebook brand page. It also shows you the overall level of interaction on your page.

info graph on facebook insights

This information is useful to watch for trends surrounding any major stories you publish or any large advertising or marketing pushes that you’ve done for your site. You can get a really useful long-term trend by changing the time frame from one month to several months.

info graph on facebook insights

When it comes to “daily active users“, you really want to see more of those steady plateaus and fewer days with zero or low daily interaction. You can see more details about user interaction just below the trend charts. Here you’ll see interactions broken down daily, as well as any rising or falling trend stats. You can add or remove trend lines by selecting or deselecting the checkbox for that data.

facebook insights api

Best of all, you can export all of the data to an external Excel or Comma-Delimited spreadsheet by clicking on the “Export” button next to the date range.

facebook insights api

This spreadsheet provides you with the highest level of detail that you could hope to gather from the activity on your Facebook page. You’ll see daily, weekly and monthly active user averages, as well as “Like” averages, page views, daily news feed impressions, comments and more. This daily breakdown can help you identify when averages rose in response to a page post you made, or a link that you published.

facebook insights api

Analyzing The Data About Your Fan Base

This is all really useful information to see how well your page is performing overall, but it doesn’t really give you the information that you need to understand your fan base. Luckily, Facebook Insights lets you further focus the data into user-specific information and behavior.

You can get that information by clicking on “Get Details” on top of each chart. This takes you to a new page that shows you all of the very fine details behind the data.  You’ll see unique views vs. post views (how many new users you’re getting), as well as how many people liked or commented on your posts and where those “like” sources came from.

info graph on facebook insights

Insights further breaks down your page user base by demographics like age, gender and what country they are from.

info graph on facebook insights

Further down, another useful piece of information is where the views are coming from, and your Facebook page top referrers as well. If you have a brand page that’s public, the odds are pretty good you’ll see Google at the top of the referrer list here, under your own website (hopefully you’re referring people to your Facebook page from your own website!)

info graph on facebook insights

It just so happens that Facebook is working on revamping the appearance of Facebook Insights, so many of the views above may change slightly – or at least how you access them will be a little different, but all of the data is the same. There are also going to be new features, like this really cool post breakdown that gives you really detailed information about community activity from your wall posts. There even a really cool “Virality?” column that assigns a percentage to the post based on how viral it went on Facebook.

facebook insights

All of this is the sort of detailed information you need to know in order to gear your future articles toward what you know your readers want to see, and what topics have gone viral in the past. Just like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights gives you a bit of a peak behind the curtain to see how people are responding to your wall posts and which posts are attracting the most reader interactivity.

So if you have a brand page on Facebook and having given Facebook Insights a try, open up the hood and look around. You may be surprised what you discover about your fans. Share your experiences and insights with Facebook Insights in the comments section below.

Explore more about: Blogging, Facebook, Web Design, Webmaster Tools.

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  1. cynthia nelson
    December 27, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Facebook is used by a good proportion of the world population, therefore, it may be worth setting up a base camp for your project. You can share stuff with fans of the service too!

  2. Anonymous
    November 27, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Hi, now that the "people like this" link takes you directly to the page insights, I can't find how to unban someone from my Facebook page. Can you help with this?

    • Ryan Dube
      November 28, 2011 at 5:51 am

      I've never blocked anyone, however I believe you need to click on "Use Facebook as xxx" (xxx is your page), and then go to the user's page and you'll see a dropdown to the right. Normally the dropdown is to block them, so I assume if you've blocked them then the dropdown will let you remove the block - that's my guess anyway.