If you use Facebook for marketing, you are already familiar with some of the helpful features provided by Facebook Insights. This is a free and simple way to keep track of many Facebook metrics. Many marketers, however, rely entirely on Insights to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.
Unfortunately, this can limit your results. As valuable as Facebook’s own tool is, it has its limitations. Let’s look at why you have to go beyond Facebook Insights to gain a truly comprehensive view of your Facebook marketing campaigns.
Benefits of Facebook Insights
Before we discuss limitations, we should summarize what you can gain by using Facebook’s own tool. There’s no reason not to use Insights, as it’s free and fairly easy to understand. It provides some genuinely helpful information, especially for new marketers and people who are mainly using Facebook for social purposes.
Among the benefits of Insights are:
- Access Page Summary data from one dashboard. This is a helpful page where you can quickly see metrics such as Actions on Page, Post Engagements, Reach, Page Views and Page Likes. You can view both organic and paid results.
- See your most recent posts. This is a reminder of your latest five posts. You can consult this for a reminder of how often you’ve been posting recently and on what topics.
- Analyze video metrics. Facebook recently added new video metrics to Insights that help you understand how your audience engages with videos.
- Learn details about followers who took actions on your page. You can get more than just the total number of likes and other actions. You can see these people broken down by age, gender, country, city and device.
- Target your paid campaigns more effectively. The data you get from Insights can be used to do more effective targeting on future campaigns. You may find, for example that you’ve been targeting the wrong age group. Insights can give you easy access to analytics that can help improve your ROI on your Facebook ad campaigns.
Limits of Facebook Insights
So, if Facebook Insights provides so much valuable data, why would you need anything else? There’s nothing wrong with Insights, as far as it goes. It’s a great tool for providing basic social media analytics. The fact is, however, that you can gain a lot from Facebook tools that go beyond this.
Understanding who is visiting and taking action on your page is important. Just as important, though, is digging deeper and looking at the bigger picture. Facebook, with over one billion members worldwide, is a vast storehouse of information. The insights you gain from your own campaign metrics is only the beginning of what you can learn from this social media giant -if you have the right tools.
The Importance of Social Listening
Social listening takes you beyond the crucial yet insular realm of your own campaigns and lets you tap into what the wider Facebook audience is saying. This provides some extremely useful information. Some of what you can learn by this type of listening include:
- What people are saying about your brand and your competitors. Even smaller businesses who aren’t large enough to warrant widespread discussions should care about what people are saying about competitors and industry leaders.
- What’s being said about the latest issues and trends. The millions of casual posts, comments, memes and other content that gets posted to Facebook every day has meaning for businesses. You can get ideas for new products and services. You can plan your own content marketing and advertising campaigns based on popular trends.
- Discover people’s problems and concerns. The most successful businesses understand that they must address their customers’ most pressing needs, problems and interests. Facebook provides one of the best sources of this kind of information. There are lots of potential customers who haven’t yet heard of your brand. By effectively listening to social media conversations, you can locate and target these people.
- Identify influencers in your field. Influencers help you reach a wider audience quickly. By connecting with people in your industry with large followings, you can gain a wider. It’s therefore a good idea to know which influencers are sharing your content or the kind of content you are producing.
- Compare Facebook data with other social networks. As vast as Facebook is, no single source provides you with the full picture of what’s being said about your brand, industry, competition and related topics. For this, you need to do a certain amount of cross referencing with other social media platforms.
These are some of the main reasons that you should be engaged in social media listening. This is a practice that gives you a real advantage over competitors who are only watching the results of their latest campaign. To get the most out of Facebook, you really need access to a large storehouse of data. Finding analytics tools that let you do this will help you make better use of the basic metrics you get from Insights.
Using the Right Tools for Facebook Marketing
There are many resources that can help you plan more effective social media campaigns. Because it’s the largest platform, it’s especially critical to find the right Facebook tools for your needs. As mentioned, Facebook Insights is a great starting point for your Facebook marketing, both organic and paid. It’s a simple and free way to gather key metrics about your followers and the actions they’re taking on your pages. When using Insights, it’s important to look at all of the data, including the demographics of those interacting with your pages.
If you want to get the most out of your Facebook marketing, however, you need to look further than your own campaigns. You have to be concerned with the myriad conversations that are occurring throughout the Facebook universe and even beyond. Using Facebook Insights in conjunction with more in-depth social media tools provides the ideal balance that will help you maximize your results.