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How to Use Facebook Analytics

Marisa Sanfilippo
Marisa Sanfilippo

Facebook Analytics can give you the insight you need to better target your audience on the popular social media platform.

If you're a marketer or business owner, Facebook needs to be an essential part of your social media marketing efforts. The social media channel has remained the largest social media platform in the world, with 2.6 billion active users as of this year, according to Statista. By creating Facebook post after Facebook post without tracking and analyzing any metrics, you could be missing out on opportunities to increase engagement and boost sales-funnel success. Read on to learn more about what Facebook Analytics is and how to use it for your business.

Facebook Analytics vs. Page Insights vs. Custom Audiences

Facebook offers three data analysis tools: Facebook Analytics, Facebook Page Insights and Facebook Custom Audiences. This article goes into detail about Facebook Analytics, but before you dive in, it can be helpful to know more about the three tools.

Facebook Analytics defined

Facebook defines Facebook Analytics as the "people-first analytics for an omnichannel world." It offers automated insights into where and how people interact with a business across its website, app and Facebook page so that marketers can optimize and grow their business. Facebook Analytics is accessible via facebook.com/analytics or the Facebook Analytics app.

Facebook Page Insights defined

Facebook Page Insights offers information on business page performance, such as how and when people interact with the page, as well as data about audience demographics. You access Insights by visiting your Facebook page, selecting More from the dashboard at the top of the page and choosing Insights.

Facebook Custom Audiences defined

Facebook Custom Audiences is Facebook's targeted advertising service. This tool offers the capability to upload an email list for Facebook retargeting. The purpose of Custom Audiences is to match existing audiences with people who are on Facebook. You can access Custom Audiences via the ads manager. This article explains more about Facebook Ads Manager. All three of these data sources can be helpful for your social media campaigns.

Facebook Analytics benefits

This tool offers comprehensive insight into your page and audience. It's best suited for more advanced marketers and takes time to learn. However, this is time well invested, as Facebook Analytics can come with big rewards, especially for businesses that use Facebook as a channel to push sales.

Here are some of the key benefits of Facebook Analytics:

Funnel visualization

Facebook Analytics allows you to visualize your entire sales funnel to analyze conversions for a sequence of actions page visitors took, along with the time it took for them to complete those actions.

Data visualization over time

Marketers can pull visually attractive reports, as opposed to just numbers in an Excel spreadsheet. Most reports are for a 90-day period, but some users may be able to pull data as far back as one or two years. The ability to view data over time is just one more way businesses can get value from Facebook Analytics.

Access to the full picture

Instead of tracking data from organic and paid marketing separately, this tool gives users the full picture of Facebook pages, Facebook pixels and apps all in one, which saves time and lets you see everything in one place, so you don't have to hop back and forth from tool to tool.

Free tool

There are some really great tools on the market that come at a hefty price, but Facebook Analytics is completely free to use. 

Data to help improve return on investment

Facebook Analytics data can help you grow your business and improve your return on investment. For example, you can see the following metrics:

  • How many views your page gets
  • Which devices people use to access your page
  • How long users stay on your page

This data can help you learn about opportunities for improvements with your Facebook marketing strategy. For example, if page views are low, you may need to adjust your Facebook advertising to drive more traffic to your page, or if users are not staying on your page long, you might want to experiment with videos to see if they drive more engagement. If a lot of users are accessing your page from mobile devices but you use images that have small text, you could increase the font size.

Guide to using Facebook Analytics

Follow these steps to get started with Facebook Analytics:

1. Set up your page.

No setup is required to use Analytics by itself. However, for the best results, you should, at a minimum, set up the Facebook Pixel on your website. You should also have some knowledge of Facebook Business Manager. In addition, you may want to set up the following data sources:

  • Android app
  • iOS app
  • Facebook SDK for JavaScript web app
  • Groups

Visit facebook.com/analytics to get started.

2. Get familiar with Analytics.

Before you take any further steps, start getting familiar with the functions available in Facebook Analytics. When you log in, here's what's available:

  • Overview. Click this tab to get your page's highlights. You can customize it to include filters. By default, it is set to show new users, unique users, week one retention, median session length, active users within the past 24 hours, user activity, top new user locations, new users, active users by hour, bounce rate, top web pages, gender, age and location.

  • Active users. Get data on how many unique users (also called active users) are using your product.

  • Revenue. Log events to measure revenue. When you log events, you can see purchase data, demographics and trends.

  • Funnels. This section displays the funnels that you have created for your app or website. The funnels you create can measure conversions for any sequence of actions people take.

  • Retention. See who returned to your app, page or other affiliated channel after their first initial interaction. An interaction falls under their first web view for a website, app installation or page view. This data is shown in daily, weekly and monthly intervals.

  • Cohorts. See how cohorts have been created for your app or website. A cohort is a group of people who perform two events you choose over time, such as adding items to a cart and then purchasing them. Cohorts can help you understand your customer journey, lifetime value and repeat purchase rate.

  • Breakdowns. View a pivot table of your data, and group your data by parameters such as channel, demographics and traffic source.

  • Journeys. Journeys show customer behavior across multiple event sources. To view journeys, you'll need to create an Event Source Group.

  • Percentiles. This report shows which of your visitors are most active.

  • Events. Events are actions people take with your product. Facebook notes that you can see events such as app launches, page views and purchases.

  • Event debugging. This is available for Pixel, app event sources and JavaScript SDK. Get access to the last 20 events that were logged within a 24-hour period, and see if events and parameters are logging correctly when you apply applicable filters.

  • Overlap. This feature helps you determine how many people interact with your business on more than one channel or parameter.

  • Lifetime value. Lifetime value refers to the total value attributed to a group of customers based on the revenue they've generated over time. It's really a tool to help you identify your most valuable customers. To view this data, you'll need to log purchase events on your website, app, page or other channel.
  • People. Under People, get access to demographics, interests and other audience details. Under Demographics, view data about age, gender, country, city, relationship status, language spoken, education level and job titles for your audience and all people on Facebook. Under Interests, view the top page categories, such as TV channels, authors and shopping. Page likes also fall under Interests, and they show Facebook pages that are likely to be relevant to your page based on page likes. Under Technology, you can see how many users access your site using a specific device or software version, such as iOS 13.6, Android 10 or Windows 10.

Play around with these metrics, and create some test parameters. Facebook also offers a demo account that can help you understand these tools.

3. Determine and add applicable filters.

Now that you understand what's available, determine and add applicable filters accordingly. Here are some examples of filters:

  • Last 28 days – people who live in the United States
  • Last 14 days – people who live in Italy and have initiated checkout
  • Last 90 days – Instagram profile followers

4. Monitor data through the dashboard and reports to adjust your marketing strategy.

As you monitor your data and pull reports, you may be surprised by what you learn. Your findings can be essential in helping you create effective marketing strategies. The types of Facebook Analytics data you focus on will depend on your business goals. Here are some of the reports you can generate:

Growth metrics

  • Cross-channel user acquisition. This compares the amount of activity on one event source with the amount of new activity on another event source.

  • Active users in the past 24 hours. As the name suggests, this tells you the number of users per hour over the past 24 hours.

  • User activity. Learn how many daily, weekly and monthly users your page had each day.

  • Channel breakdown. See the number of users who interact with your business on each channel (e.g., Instagram, web, Facebook, Android and iOS).

Engagement metrics

  • Top Instagram posts. This is an overview that displays your most popular posts.

  • Active users by hour. This tells you how many users are active at different times of the day and different days of the week. This information can help you decide the best days and times to post for maximum exposure and engagement.

Monetization metrics

  • Purchase tracking: the app launched to purchase on a computer

  • Lifetime value: lifetime value for paying users, containing data for the cohort of users who started using your product during that week

  • Revenue: revenue to see how much money was logged per day using purchase events

  • Device tracking: purchases by device

People metrics

  • Gender: gender by unique users

  • Age: age by unique users

  • Location: the five countries that have the greatest number of unique users who interact with your business
Image Credit: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock
Marisa Sanfilippo
Marisa Sanfilippo,
business.com Writer
See Marisa Sanfilippo's Profile
Marisa Sanfilippo is an award-winning marketing professional who has more than six years experience developing and executing marketing campaigns for small and medium sized businesses with a focus on digital marketing. After graduating Stockton University with a B.A. in Communications and minor in writing, Marisa worked as a freelance journalist for numerous publications, ultimately earning a position as an e-marketing specialist for a credit union. While in that position, she earned HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Certification and helped build the organization’s digital marketing strategy from the ground up. Her efforts helped lead the credit union to success on and offline including: a 200%+ organic increase in Facebook followers, a sales generating blog, and much more. Later on, she worked on a social media campaign that gained recognition by The Huffington Post.