Friday, November 27, 2015

Facebook Page Insights

A lot of people use Facebook, for their author business, the same way the use it for friends and family.  Though this works, it is not the best way to understand what type of reach you are getting, or what types of fans you have, or how to increase your popularity.

First, you need to make sure you have an Author Fan (Business) Page. Yes, I know FB doesn't show your posts to everyone on a business page. Yes, I know your family and friends may not follow you there. However, this is where YOU learn about your real fans and can control the message. Also, it is only through a business page that you get a lot of great information about your page and how you are doing.  It is the only way you can run ads or boosted posts to increase your reach. It is the only way you can learn what works and what doesn't work to increase engagement and sharing. 

First, it is VERY important to know that Google (and other search engines) do not index Facebook pages unless they are PUBLIC.  This is why having only a personal/profile page is not very effective. Unless you decide that everything on your personal page will be public. If you have real friends and family on your profile page, then you won't want to do that.  However a business page (FAN page) by definition is public.

Google DOES notice the number of links coming from Facebook to your website—even if they come from a private page. The thing is when that happens, Google needs to determine what the topic/category was so they can index it properly. If the page gets a lot of links, even though Google can’t read it because it’s your personal profile, it will try to fit a category (right or wrong) in order to index it. And then rank you for the subject of that page. Having a Fan (business) page helps you to more easily get indexed and the Facebook Page Insights helps describe your engagement more effectively.

Basic Things to Know about Accessing the Insights Page and What is There
  • Get 30 likes as fast as possible. You won’t be able to access Facebook Page Insights until you get 30 likes. The best way to get this is to ask everyone you know to LIKE your page. If you don’t know 30 people you can ask, then purchase a small ad ($10 tops) to get people to LIKE your page. A couple of hours after getting that 30th like, Facebook Page Insights will be available at the top of your Facebook Page.

  • FB stores historic data for 180 days. If you want to keep track of historic data in the long term, be sure to export via the export function in the main Insights menu at the top of your stats. Personally, I don’t care about having it for longer, but some people want to track it all the time.

  • FB tracks everything in the Pacific Time Zone. Translate times to your own time zone if it’s important for you to know exactly when things occurred. This is especially helpful if you run a promotion that ends at midnight, for example, and you intend that to be midnight eastern, or midnight GMT.

Facebook Page Insights

Facebook Page Insights provides you with all kinds of demographic and location data about your visitors. Facebook asks each of us to voluntarily enter all kinds of details about ourselves, knowing Facebook will use this to target ads and more. This same information helps to inform you as well. You cannot associate data with a specific person in the insights dashboard, but you can get a good picture of how things are working. On the most basic level, Facebook Page Insights will tell you which posts had the most engagement from your fans, and what times your audience is on Facebook.  This can help to inform you what types of posts to do in the future and at one time of day or day of the week (again translate to Pacific Time).

You can track reach, engagements, dates and times your fans are online and add to or modify your posting to take advantage of that information.

Competitor Information

Once your FB page obtains 100 likes you will be able to add competitor pages to your Facebook Page Insights as well. You can see details on their top posts, for instance, and things like number of likes and posts in that week. It’s always interesting to see what works for them, right? You add which competitors you wish to follow. I like to add authors in my genres who are bestsellers, as well as authors in my genres who are making some surges in popularity but not bestsellers yet. I can see what they are doing and evaluate if it works for me and my brand.

Yes, they will get a notification that someone is watching their page, but not who watches it. So feel free to check the competition :)

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