5 Reasons to Export Facebook Insights

This post was originally written for the Higher Ed Experts Faculty Voices series. As a member of the faculty, I teach Social Media Measurement for Higher Ed, a 4-week online certificate course to help higher education professionals improve their ability to quantify their social media efforts.

Do you rely on the Facebook Insights dashboard, or another social media measurement tool to get data about the your page and posts? If you’ve never exported your Facebook Insights, you may be missing out on data that can help you learn more about your Facebook community or the performance of your posts.

Here are five reasons to export Facebook Insights today, with specific instructions to help you find the data you need within the massive Excel spreadsheet provided by Facebook.

1. Find out when your fans are online

Sure, the Insights dashboard gives you a graph that shows when your fans are online, but that only includes that data from the last seven days. If you want to see if your fans’ schedules change based on the time of the semester, or when classes are not in session, you need day-by-day, hour-by-hour data. You’ll find it in the Facebook Page Insights export, in the very last tab, daily liked and online. Each row represents a day, and each column represents an hour (0 = midnight, 1 = 1:00 a.m., etc.).

You can use this information to:

  • Calculate the true organic reach of your posts within an hour of publication by dividing your reach by the number of users that were actually online (if your fans weren’t online, they were never going to see the post).
  • Determine when to post for the best potential reach, and know if that timing varies based on the day of the week or the time of the year.

2. Report your daily, weekly, or monthly reach

Relying on post-level data to paint a clear picture of your reach is short-sighted. Most of us don’t expect to reach every fan with every post, but we should have an expectation of reaching a certain amount of our fans each day, week, or month. Download the Facebook Page Insights export and scroll over to columns AD-AF to see the daily, weekly, and 28-day reach of posts from your page. A quick calculation of any of these columns divided by column B, lifetime total likes, will give you post reach as a percentage of your total likes. If you pay to promote posts, you can continue to the right to view similar columns that break down your organic and paid reach.

3. Quickly identify your top-performing posts

Whether you use reach or engagement rate to determine your top-performing posts, it can be cumbersome to scroll through the Facebook Insights dashboard to view posts that are more than a week old. If you download the Facebook Post Insights export, you can view the data from up to 500 posts at once. To identify posts with the highest reach, simply sort the spreadsheet by column H (columns I and J break reach down into organic and paid).

To sort by engagement rate, first you’ll need to do a quick calculation. Insert a new column into the spreadsheet, and divide the total lifetime engaged users of each post (column N) by lifetime post total reach (column H). Format this column as a percentage, then sort to identify your most engaging posts.

4. Learn what posts generate negative feedback

Did you know that you can what posts cause people to hide, unfollow, or report your page? Download the Facebook Post Insights export and scroll to column R, lifetime negative feedback from users. Sort this column from highest to lowest and you can quickly identify what posts, if any, resulted in more negative feedback than normal.

5. Pinpoint your true potential reach

Worldwide, about 65% of Facebook users log in every day. If your primary audience is college students, the number is probably much higher than that. But no matter who your audience is, it’s unlikely that all of them log in every day. If you download the Facebook Page Insights export, you can tell exactly how many of your fans were logged in on any given day. Check out column BT, daily count of fans online—this is your true potential reach on any given day. You can divide this column by column B, lifetime total likes, to quickly calculate the percentage of your fans that were online.

Download your Facebook Insights export today

To download your Facebook Insights export, visit your page as an admin, click “Insights” at the top, and then “Export” in the upper right. Choose the date range you’d like to export, and indicate whether you want your report at the page or post level.

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