Facebook Analytics: Definitions and Organizing Data

Have you ever exported your Facebook Analytics to take a closer look? It’s overwhelming. In fact, it seems like the designers wanted to inundate you with information so that you wouldn’t look at it. Really though, Facebook collects so much data per post that they want you to have everything available to you.

This post looks at some of the key sections in the excel spreadsheet export from Facebook analytics so that the next time you look at it, you won’t feel so overwhelmed.

 

 

Step 1: Exporting Facebook Analytics

Go to your Facebook Page (not personal account) and click on Export Data in the top right corner

facebook analytics, export spreadsheet, social media analytics, beckmann collaborative, small business development

 

You’ll see a pop-up box with a few options. Today, we’re looking at your posts so choose the the Post Data option. I recommend looking at a minimum of 3 months of data, so adjust the Date Range to reflect that amount of time.

Facebook analytics, facebook insights, exporting facebook analytics, export spreadsheet, beckmann collaborative, small business

The pop-up box with your export options

TIP: If you are a Mac user, download it as a CSV and open it with Google Sheets

 

 

Step 2: Reading Your Facebook Analytics Spreadsheet

The rows across have your individual posts, while the columns provide the data points for each post. Whether you download and Excel or CSV file, the number of columns will initially seem endless. It’s really about 67 columns.

Facebook analytics, data spreadsheet, facebook post insights, post data, social media posts, social media analytics

There seem to be a million columns….

 

You probably will not be concerned with the first 2 columns: Post ID and Permalink. These are more technical items that do not affect your business intelligence.

Next you’ll see a few other familiar column titles: Post Message and Type. These are pretty straightforward – it’s your actual post on Facebook and the type of post it is according to the Facebook types (link, photo, video, or status). Those are followed by Countries and Languages. These columns will only affect your analysis if you are targeting other countries or speakers of multiple languages. And right after those is the Posted column, which identifies the date and time that you published that post on Facebook.

Step 3: Organizing Your Spreadsheet into Tabs

Since this amount of information can be overwhelming, I recommend breaking up the Facebook Analytics post information into multiple tabs. To do this, I rename the tab ALL and then duplicate it into a new tab.

Tab # 2

This second tab is focused on Reach. First I rename the tab to be Reach.
Before we go any further let’s get clear about the difference between Reach and Impressions.

Impressions: The number of times a post from your Facebook Page is displayed. People may see multiple impressions of the same post. Impressions give you a clear understanding of how many times your content has been exposed in the News Feeds of your page’s fans.

Reach: The number of people who saw your Facebook post. Reach may be less than impressions since one person can see multiple impressions of a post. Reach is important because it tells you the number of people who viewed your content.

 

There are 5 columns related to reach (I, J, K, U, and W).

  • Column I is titled Lifetime Post Total Reach with the description of “Lifetime: The total number of people your Page post was served to. (Unique Users)”
  • Column J is titled Lifetime Post organic reach with the description of “Lifetime: The number of people who saw your Page post in news feed or ticker, or on your Page’s timeline. (Unique Users)”
  • Column K is titled Lifetime Post Paid Reach with the description of “Lifetime: The number of people your advertised Page post was served to. (Unique Users)”
  • Column U is titled Lifetime Post reach by people who like your Page with a description of “Lifetime: The number of people who saw your Page post because they’ve liked your Page (Unique Users)”
  • Column W is titled Lifetime Paid reach of a post by people who like your Page with a description of “Lifetime: The number of people who like your Page and who saw your Page post in an ad or sponsored story. (Unique Users)”

 

After identifying the columns most important to my analysis of Facebook post reach, I remove the extraneous stuff such as the Post ID, Permalink, Countries, and Languages since those columns do not impact my analysis. Again, if you do target people in other countries or speaking other languages, then you’ll want to keep those columns.

Faacebook analytics, excel spreadsheet, facebook insights, small business, small business marketing, data analytics

The column headers are reduced down to these

Then I remove all of the other columns that are not related to Reach. Leaving me with just 8 columns. This simplifies my analysis so that I can focus on how many people were reached by my Facebook posts.

TIP: Split the Posted Column into 2 new columns (Date and Time). Then you can view the times of day and days of the week where the highest number of people were reached. (Article with Excel Directions)

 

Tab #3

Duplicate the ALL tab again. The third tab is focused on Impressions, so rename it to Impressions.

There are 5 columns related to reach (L, M, N, T, and V).

  • Column L is titled Lifetime Post Total Impressions with the description of “Lifetime: The number of impressions of your Page post. (Total Count)”
  • Column M is titled Lifetime Post Organic Impressions with the description of “Lifetime: The number of impressions of your post in News Feed or ticker or on your Page’s Timeline. (Total Count)”
  • Column N is titled Lifetime Post Paid Impressions with the description of “Lifetime: The number of impressions of your Page post in an Ad or Sponsored Story. (Total Count)”
  • Column T is titled Lifetime Post Impressions by people who have liked your Page with the description of “Lifetime: The number of impressions of your Page post to people who have liked your Page. (Total Count)”
  • Column V is titled Lifetime Post Paid Impressions by people who have liked your Page with the description of “Lifetime: The number of paid impressions of your Page post to people who have liked your Page. (Total Count)”

Just as we did with the Reach tab, after identifying the columns most important to my analysis of Facebook post impressions, I remove the extraneous stuff such as the Post ID, Permalink, Countries, Languages, and Target Audience since those columns do not impact my analysis. Again, if you do target people in other countries, speaking other languages, or in specified audiences then you’ll want to keep those columns.

I also remove all other columns not related to Impressions, which leaves me with 8 columns again. Now I can focus on how many impressions my Facebook posts received.

Tab #4

While Reach and Impressions are important to understand, paramount to your social media success is Engagement with the content you’re posting. The fourth tab is focused on the Engagement with your posts, so follow the same steps of duplicated the ALL tab and renaming it accordingly.

This is another area where information can sometimes be unclear. You will see “People Talking About This” in several columns, “Post Stories,” and “Post Consumptions.” Then you will see “Engaged Users” verses “Post Consumers.” These are all related areas and important to look at closely when doing your Facebook Analysis.

 

Let’s define these categories:

Post Stories refers to the number of “stories” generated about your Facebook Page’s post when a someone interacts with your content, thereby sharing it with their friends. This could include: likes, comments, answering a question/poll, responding to an event, mentioning your page in their own post, tagging your page in a photo, or recommending your page to someone.

Post Consumptions refers to the number of clicks anywhere in your Facebook post. This includes link clicks, photo views, video plays, and other clicks. The term “other clicks” refers to clicks on a page title, see more, or any interactions that generate “stories” on Facebook.

Talking About This is refers to the number of people who have “created a story” from your Facebook page’s post.

Engaged Users is the number of people who have clicked anywhere in your Facebook posts cumulatively.

Post Consumers is the number of people who have clicked anywhere in your individual Facebook post, whether they create a story or not.

TIP: Comparing Post Consumptions with Impressions allows you to figure out a click-through rate for each post. This lets you measure the frequency of engagement with your content.
Facebook Analytics, Social media data, facebook insights, post data, post insights, beckmann collaborative

Here’s how I like to organize it … with color codes

 

I like to keep all of this information together in the Engagement tab. So go ahead and identify the columns for each of these categories.

Post Stories includes 4 columns (AM, AN, AO, AP)

  • Column AM is titled Lifetime Post Stories by action type – comment
  • Column AN is titled Lifetime Post Stories by action type – like
  • Column AO is titled Lifetime Post Stories by action type – other
  • Column AP is titled Lifetime Post Stories by action type – share

Talking About This includes 4 columns (AI, AJ, AK, AL)

  • Column AI is titled Lifetime Talking About This (Post) by action type – comment
  • Column AJ is titled Lifetime Talking About This (Post) by action type – like
  • Column AK is titled Lifetime Talking About This (Post) by action type – other
  • Column AL is titled Lifetime Talking About This (Post) by action type – share

Post Consumptions includes 5 columns (Q, AU, AV, AW, and AX)

  • Column Q is titled Lifetime Post Consumptions
  • Column AU is titled Lifetime Post Consumptions by type – clicks to play
  • Column AV is titled Lifetime Post Consumptions by type – link clicks
  • Column AW is titled Lifetime Post Consumptions by type – other clicks
  • Column AX is titled Lifetime Post Consumptions by type – photo view

Engaged Users & Post Consumers includes 7 columns (O, X, P, AQ, AR, AS, and AT)

  • Column O is titled Lifetime Engaged Users and has a description of “Lifetime: The number of people who clicked anywhere in your posts. (Unique Users)”
  • Column X is titled Lifetime People who have liked your Page and engaged with your post and has a description of “Lifetime: The number of people who have liked your Page and clicked anywhere in your posts. (Unique Users)”
  • Column P is titled Lifetime Post Consumers
  • Column AQ is titled Lifetime Post consumers by type – clicks to play
  • Column AR is titled Lifetime Post consumers by type – link clicks
  • Column AS is titled Lifetime Post consumers by type – other clicks
  • Column AT is titled Lifetime Post consumers by type – photo view

 

You can follow the same methodology for looking at your Video views and Negative Feedback – putting them into their own dedicated tabs. In fact, you can even break-up the engagement data into two tabs: Post Stories and Post Consumptions in one tab and Talking About This, Engaged Users, and Post Consumers in the other.

 

Analyzing Your Facebook Data

This post focused on definitions and organizing the data exported from Facebook. If you would like to get further insights into how to analyze this information, then please join me on Friday, January 27th for a live stream where a group of us will discuss our approaches Facebook Analytics and insights for our businesses (Sign Up Here).

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *