Facebook insights – a unique look at your friends

Do you know who your friends are? In real life you’d be able to answer yes pretty confidently, but when it comes to social media the answer’s not so easy. 

Keeping track of who your friends are and where they are is a somewhat difficult, if not impossible task. However, with Facebook’s nifty little Insights tool, you can at least get a unique glimpse of who’s liking your page.

Why is this important? Well not only does it show you who you’re targeting with your engagement activities, it’s also a useful tool to show you the groups you’re failing to hit. It’s with this in mind I’d like to share with you a little glimpse into our special little Flagship friendship circle…

Once you’ve set up a Facebook profile, edited it to your liking and set out your wares, with any luck your friends will come. By clicking ‘ View Insights’ you’ll be greeted with a whole bunch of statistics.

Page overview

The page overview part of Insights gives you a snapshot of your success with your Facebook profile over time. You can choose the figures over a month-by-month basis, or simply choose the timeframe you’re interested in.

From the overview, currently Flagship has 655 monthly active users (up 5.1% on the previous month), with our posts being viewed 27,315 times. These are great statistics to prove value for money – how much would it cost to send 27,000 texts or make 27,000 phonecalls?

Users

The users tab gives a unique insight into your friends’ activity. From the chart below I can see, for example, that we get more new likes around the start of the week rather than the end. This could indicate that I need to do more work with engaging friends and potential friends at the end of the week to try and encourage more sign-up.

But here’s the best part of the Users Insights – your friends’ demographics…

According to the figures, 75% of our friends are female! 75%! Without wanting to make some wild accusations, perhaps this is understandable? As a social housing provider, perhaps we have to learn to accept that we’re not a cool brand that appeals to men like your Sky Sports, Manchester Uniteds or Carlsbergs of this world… Perhaps women are more inclined to like you, simply because we appeal more to them.

(I could also say it’s because women love a good chat and a moan, but that’d be wrong…right? :p)

Anyway, I digress…

What is even more fascinating, is that out of all ages….

  • 36% are aged 25-34
  • 24% are aged 35-44
  • 16% aged 18-24
  • 13% aged 45-54
  • 7% aged 55+

This shows us that most of our friends are customers who are in the most expensive times in their lives. Aged between 25 and 34, they have the most drain on their resources – perhaps they are responsible for a young family? It’s not surprising then that content messages tailored to saving money, freebies, deals and discounts go down very well. It’s also not surprising that posts targeting younger customers don’t get much response.

As a result of this, I’m now coming up with more ideas to try and reach our younger customers. Things like free days out to theme parks and local attractions and competitions to win a trip to the cinema…

Interactions

The final Insight tab, interactions, shows you which posts exactly brought about the most response / impressions. I can see here that a post about the Royal Wedding at 10am on a Thursday got 1,419 impressions, whereas a short congratulations message to a local group about their success with a crossing on a busy road got 843. Made at 16:49 on a Friday it gives me an really useful insight into the best times to get messages out there.

To sum up…

Facebook’s Insights is a wonderful little tool to give you some really useful figures in how you’re using social media and who your friend base is. It shows you the things you’re doing well, it shows you who you’re hitting with your messages and how you’re hitting them and for me it is a godsend.

However, when it comes to social media, there’s always lots more you could do. No one is an expert in the right way to do things – social media is such a new field it’s a game of hit and miss as to what will and won’t work. I can say with 110% certainty, for example, that I will never get our friend base to 50% male and 50% female – it will never happen!

To conclude, whilst Insights won’t ever give you the answer for what you need to do better, it can at least give you a hint!

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