Do You Know When Your Facebook Fans Are Online?

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This is a very short post, because it really doesn’t need much explanation.

The Facebook page I manage targets current and recent college students. If you work in social media marketing, you have probably been told that this population is using Facebook less and less. While I’ll diligently watch these trends, the data I’m seeing in reputable research doesn’t lead me to that conclusion.

But, it would be silly of me to rely solely on the research reports I cited in the post linked above. What’s better than having third-party data about social network usage? Having first-hand data about your particular audience, of course.

How to find out how many fans log into Facebook each day

  1. Export your Facebook Insights for any time frame you desire at the page level using Legacy layout.
  2. Open the spreadsheet.
  3. In the first tab of the worksheet, scroll to the right to column BT. This column is labeled “Daily count of fans online.”
  4. Insert a new column to the right of BT (your new column will be BU).
  5. Create a heading for column BU called “Percentage of fans online.”
  6. Divide column BT by column B for each line of the spreadsheet, and display as a percentage. Your cell formula will look like this [=BTx/Bx], where x is the row number.

That’s it. You now know precisely how many of your fans are online each day. (Over 90% of mine are. Who says young adults aren’t using Facebook anymore?)

But wait—there’s more!

How to find out how many fans log into Facebook each hour

  1. Staying in the same spreadsheet, choose the 63rd tab, labeled “Daily Liked and online”
  2. Quickly view how many people that like your page were online during each hour of the day on specific days.

Smart page managers will use this data to plan when to post content, or to get a better idea of the true organic reach of page posts within an hour of publication. It’s much more specific than the 7-day snapshot of “When Your Fans Are Online” you get in the web interface of Facebook Insights.

You might also plot each hour of the day (or portion of the day) on a graph to identify day-of-the-week trends, or changes in fan behavior over the course of a few months.

Tip of the hat to Jon Loomer, who broke this down in a much more detailed fashion on his blog.

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4 Comments on “Do You Know When Your Facebook Fans Are Online?

  1. I believe you meant to say “divide column BT by column B” for instruction number 5, no?

    • This is now fixed, and the post is slightly edited to reflect the fact that Facebook has added 60 columns to this spreadsheet since I wrote the post. Wow!

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