Do you know how well your Facebook posts are performing?
Facebook Insights will provide you with a visual snapshot of how your posts are performing, but when you want to get do an in depth analysis of your individual Facebook posts and the content you share, then you may find that it is rather limited.
If you really want to determine the success of your content on an individual posts-by-post level, then you need to do a Facebook Post Level Data Export. This data will allow you to do in depth analysis to determine what kind of content is working best on you Facebook Page and why.
You can access the Facebook Post Level Data Export by clicking on the “Insights” tab at the top of your Facebook Page and then selecting the “Export” option that appears on the top right hand section of the Page.
Facebook Post Level Data Export insights Data
Facebook Post Level Data Export ConfusionI suggest downloading the data on a calendar monthly basis in advance of your monthly content planning session (which of course you are doing – right?). The monthly calendar period just makes it easier when it comes to comparison between reporting periods.
These reports upon first glance are mind bogglingly confusing to the untrained eye, so best to pick a few key metrics as a starting point and start building some baseline data for your business that you can compare against over time.

Facebook Post Level Data Key Metrics Explained

There are six spreadsheets within the Facebook Insights Post Level Data Export. I suggest focusing on the following “Key Metrics” within the first spreadsheet (the “key metrics” tab) as a starting point:

Column I: Lifetime Post Organic Reach

Facebook Definition: The number of people (unique users) who say your Page post in newsfeed or ticker, or on your Page’s timeline.
In other words, how many people in total have seen your post since you posted it.

Column J: Lifetime Post Paid Reach

Facebook Definition: The number of people (unique users) your advertised Page post was served to.
This is obviously only useful if you are paying to promote any of your posts and will inform you of how many people you have reached as a result of your Facebook Advertising.

Column P: Lifetime Engaged User

Facebook Definition: The number of people (unique users) who clicked anywhere in your post.
An engaged user is anyone who clicked anything, whether it resulted in a story or not. This includes:

  • Likes, Comments, Shares
  • Photo Clicks
  • Link Clicks
  • Video Plays
  • Other Clicks (e.g. clicking on profile link, clicking the “read more” link, clicking to read comments, clicking to see a photo within the comments, etc)

You want to try to keep this figure as high as possible, as this is what will feed into Facebook’s algorithm to indicate the level of affinity each user has with your Facebook Page.
The Comments, Likes and Shares are the main engagements that you should be aiming to obtain from your community if your aim is to increase your affinity with your community. However, those other action are important too, such as link clicks if you are aiming to drive traffic to your website.

Column U: Lifetime Negative Feedback

Facebook Definition: The number of people (unique users) who have given negative feedback to your post.
Before you stress out over this data, remember that everyone gets negative feedback. Negative feedback includes things like unliking your Page, hiding a post, hiding all posts and reporting your post as SPAM. Quite often you will get a larger proportion of negative feedback when you promote your posts as some people do this regularly as an act of defiance out of their distaste for ads. Unfortunately Facebook doesn’t provide a break down as to whether your negative feedback comes from fans or non-fans.

Column Q: Lifetime Talking About This (Post)

Facebook Definition: The number of unique people who created a story by interacting with your Page post.
This data indicates how popular your content is based on how many Comments, Likes and Shares each post has received.
You can get even more granular on this metric by looking at the “Lifetime Talking About This” tab within this spreadsheet.
Sorting your posts within this tab based on which received the most Comments, Likes and Shares is a great way to work out which posts are creating the most engagement with your community (and which didn’t) and then trying to determine why that is. What role did the content, type of post, day of the week and time of the day play in the success or failure of each of those posts? Then consider how you can replicate those factors that were successful and reduce those that weren’t.

Column X: Lifetime Post Reach By People Who Like Your Page

Facebook Definition: The number of people (unique users) who saw your Page post because they’ve liked your Page.
This is the number of your fans that saw your post. Due to the algorithm that Facebook applies to the newsfeeds of users, only a portion of your Page’s fans will see each of your posts, but obviously you want that number to be as high as possible. This can be achieved via creating more engaging content or promoting your content.
You can find out the percentage of fans that saw your post by dividing the number in Column X by the total number of fans on the day of the post and multiplying it by 100.

Facebook Post Level Data Post Details

You will obviously want to monitor the above data alongside the actual posts, making the following columns also useful:

Column B: Permalink

This is the direct link to the post.

Column C: Post Message

Details of the text that accompanied the post.

Column D: Type

The type of post (i.e. Status, Link, Photo,Video or Offer).

Column G: Posted

Date and Time posted. NOTE: The date and time is US time, not the time you posted in your location. I find that this data needs to be manipulated to make it more useful. I like to add three additional columns to the spreadsheet here to reflect:

  • Day of the week – This is for sorting purposes and you can use column G to achieve this (once you have corrected the timezone difference – if there is one)
  • Actual time – Correct the time for your local timezone
  • Time block (in one-hour increments) – This allows you to compare which hours of the day are working best for you by sorting this column by time block. You can also compare time slots on different days once you have sufficient data to assist you in working out the best time of the day to post on different days of the week.

As part of your analysis you may wish to sort your posts by post type or the date, day or time they were posted.
You may wish to “hide” or “delete” all the other columns initially to remove the confusion.
The beauty of Facebook Insights Data is that it remains available for you to go back to and download at any point in time. So focus on a few key metrics initially. Get the hang of the basics and then when you feel confident with the data and have a need to delve a little deeper into additional metrics, you can always go back and re-download a reporting period an fill in the historical data for the new metric you wish to track (or just “unhide” those columns if you didn’t delete them). It is better to take this approach rather than trying to track too much too soon and suffering from paralysis by unnecessary analysis.

What Facebook Post Level Data Metrics Do You Monitor?

Whilst the above metrics are a good starting point, you may wish to monitor additional metrics depending upon your goals.
If there are additional metrics that you regularly track, tell me about them in the comments below, along with your reasoning as to why you monitor them.