Facebook Insights – Basic Terms
Here’s one I get asked a lot: “What’s the difference between impressions and reach of Facebook? And what’s engagement?!”
So I thought I’d write a quick guide to Facebook Insight Terms.
First things first, I’m going to talk about users ‘seeing’ content. By this I mean it appears on their timeline so that there is the potential for them to see it. Of course you can’t guarantee someone has actually seen something… but more on this in a moment.
What is REACH?
Reach is the number of unique individual’s who have ‘seen’ your post. So if your reach is 100, that means that your story has appeared on 100 people’s timelines.
What are IMPRESSIONS?
Impressions are the number of times you post has appeared on people’s timelines in total. So say your post appeared on 100 people’s times lines three times each, your impressions would be 300.
What is ENGAGEMENT?
Engagement is an interaction with your post. Engagement is useful metric and something to aim for as, while reach and impression show you how many people might have seen your post, engagement tells you how many people are actually interacting with it.
Type of ENGAGEMENT
Engagement is a fairly broad term that can be broken down further into the following type:
- Likes: people liking the post
- Page likes: people liking your page after seeing your post
- Comments: when someone writes a comment beneath the post
- Shares: when someone posts a link to your post on their timeline
- Link clicks: where someone follows the link on your post through to your website
What this means
Reach, impressions, and engagement are not mutually exclusive. If you’re posting engaging content you can expand your reach through user interaction which will increase the number of impressions.
If your fans interact with your post then their friends will see this interaction. This will expand your reach and increase your impressions. If they then interact with your post this once again expands the reach and increases impressions. This is what’s known as viral reach.
This is why I normally aim to get good engagement with the content that I post. It means I know that people are interested in what I’m posting and that the potential organic reach of my future posts remains high.
A post with a reach of 100,000 and 1,000,000 impressions that doesn’t get any engagement would worry me. Why is no one liking it? Probably because they’re not interested. And if people don’t engage with your posts, the chance of reaching them organically with your next post decreases.
Of course not everything you post is going to get massive engagement. Sometime I have to post dry messages about building closures and service updates. Surprisingly, these do sometimes get likes, but generally my aim here is reach and impressions. However, I still need to make sure other content I post is engaging to ensure that these service updates get the organic reach that I need.
Where do you find this info?
Most of this information can be found via your page insights. However page insights can be quite daunting to look at, so instead I’m going to show you how you can quickly find out how well your posts are doing.
Underneath your post you get a little caption which tells you the reach of your post (next to the boost button).
If you click on this you’ll get a window which pops up with some really useful information. It doesn’t give you everything discussed above (you can’t find out impressions or page likes for example) but you can still get some really valuable information here quickly and easily without having to wade through your insights.
These basic analytics break down your likes, comments and shares. What I particularly like is that it not only shows you the likes that have appeared on your own post, but also on shared posts. So if someone shares your post on their timeline and their friend likes it, you can see this.
What’s also quite handy is you can see negative feedback as well. This helps you gauge the response to your posts; if your negative feedback is high then you should probably conduct an evaluation of your content to see what might be causing this.
For further information on likes, reach, and engagement, check out the Facebook help pages.