Understanding Analytics — How To Make Facebook and Email Insights Work For You


Data makes the world go ‘round. Or at least it helps us to make sense of the world online. A good social media manager is tracking and analyzing data related to their posts and campaigns, so they can better reach and engage their target. However, data and analytics can also be quite overwhelming. There are so many things to look at that you may find yourself lost at what it all means. For this reason, I’d like to take a look at two of the most common platforms being used for online communication: Facebook and email. The analytics used to track these two forms of your message are really easy to use and understand once you get used to them, and understanding them is critical for adapting your message to reach more people.

For the purpose of this post we will look at real Facebook Insights and email analytics from the service Bronto. Although the analytics are from a real company, for the purpose of this post, let’s refer to this company as company ABC.

ABC company is health-oriented and in the Central Florida area. In addition to their Facebook page, ABC company has a Twitter account, Pinterest page and YouTube channel. ABC Company also sends out a bi-weekly e-newsletter. We will be looking at analytics for their Facebook page during the time period noted on the screenshots, and the email statistics are from an email sent on May 21, 2013.

fb insights stop guessingIf you’re new to Facebook Insights there are a lot of good resources out there to help you make sense of it all.  Naturally, going to the source and reading through what Facebook itself has to say about their Insights is a great place to start.  I also recommend looking on YouTube for tutorials on how to understand Facebook Insights. The following two videos are good for quick, easy explanations of a few basic metrics you’ll be looking at.

So, now that you understand some of the basics, it’s much easier to not only look at your Facebook Insights, but analyze what they mean and how you should adjust your integrated marketing plan as a result.


In the above screenshot, you can see company ABC doesn’t have a lot of likes on the business Facebook page with only 880, and with a growth of only .69% increase in likes during the date range shown, they aren’t increasing their fan-base in any sort of significant manner.  However, their weekly total reach has increased by 39.83%, which is a good start and definitely some momentum we would want to continue to build on.

Looking more closely at the specific posts can help us see which posts are the most effective at reaching our audience.  The post on 5/29/13 “Join us tomorrow morning in the Group Fit..” is the best performing post because not only did it have the highest reach at 509, but it also had a high number of engaged users and the highest number of users talking about this.  The virality of this post was 1.96%, the second highest of any post.  In general, we see that posts with calls to action tend to have the most reach, engagement, talking about this, and virality.  The post with the highest virality was on 6/2/13 “Today is National Cancer Survivors Day..”  Due to the subject of this post, cancer survivors, it no surprise that it had the most virality.

week12-charts-larger-mmc_Page_2Looking at the next screenshot above, you can see that the majority of company ABC’s reach is happening with women.  The largest age range is 25-34.  The vast majority of those reached are in the USA, living close by in Orlando, Celebration, and Kissimmee, and they primarily speak English.

Looking in the bottom half of the shot above, also show in the top of the screen shot below, you can see that company ABC is not using paid reach, and most of the unique users are only being reached once.  This is significant because statistically, most potential customers need to have seven interactions, or touches, with a company before they are converted into customers.

week12-charts-larger-mmc_Page_3As we take a closer look at the screenshot above, we also note that most of those folks visiting company ABC’s Facebook page are sticking to the timeline.  The other places they’re looking at are the company’s profile and its photos.  Most of the external referrals are coming from Google, but there aren’t a large number of them.

If I were actually on the Facebook Insights page right now, I’d certainly be finding out which posts caused both the high and low spikes in page views.  I would look at the kind of post (link, photo, contest, call to action) and the time of day they were posted and look for trends I could repeat and expand on.  I’d do the same thing for the downward spikes and try to improve on that content and timing or do something different altogether.


For our last shot of company ABC’s Facebook Insights, we’re going to look above at the demographics of who’s talking about the page.  Again, it’s mostly women and mostly folks ages 25-34.  The top seven locations are all local cities, which is good, since company ABC is a Central Florida service-related company.

When looking at how people are talking about the page I would look closely at what specific posts led to spikes and dips.  In particular, looking at the graph on the right, I’d want to know which posts led to the spikes and rises in virality and try to duplicate and improve upon their reach.

Now let’s take a look at the Bronto email analytics from an email sent by company ABC.  The good news is that almost all of the emails sent (2,624) were delivered.  The bad news is that there is only a 25.2% open rate.  Or is it?  We tend to want to assume that in order to have a successful email campaign the majority sent must be opened.  However, Mail Chimp tells us that the average open rate for a health-related company is only 24.27% with a click rate of 3.64%, so by those numbers company ABC is doing okay.

email insightsBut we don’t want to do just “okay,” do we?  We want to see company ABC thrive!  The most important statistic above is the 0% conversion rate.  This is where we want to make the biggest improvement for company ABC, but it all starts with the email being opened.  So what can we do about it?

Well, in terms of the email, we can start with a subject line that is a call to action.  We should make sure we’re sending the email at an optimum time of day.  We can also make it visual.  Using a call to action for a discount or coupon in the subject line is one way to increase open rates.  Follow that up with really good content within the email that is optimized for mobile viewing, since many folks are checking their email from their phones.

For improvement on Facebook, I would recommend company ABC pay to boost some of their posts — especially those with a call to action.  Providing users with great content, not just making “the ask” online is much more genuine and should be a priority.  Posts that highlight health benefits of certain services or products and then offering a discount from company ABC could be effective.  Cross-promotion from a blog to Pinterest would reach their highest demographic of women.  I think using video is also a key place to expand.  Again, tying it in to content marketing with a blog and posting to YouTube could help establish company ABC as a expert in their field, and help them gain notice, reach and customers.  If there’s money in the budget, some targeted Google ads would be a good step in gaining customers, provided that their website is full of good visuals and good content.  Lastly, I wouldn’t dismiss the notion of using print advertisements that include their website and a discount code they can apply online.


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