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How to navigate social media insights

This article describes the specific insights available on different social media platforms, and how to select the right one.

Not only does social media provide a platform for marketers to communicate with their audiences but it also allows us to learn about our audience.

Social media insights

We can gain insights into their personalities, interests, social habits, behaviours, and content consumption patterns.

The information we acquire through social media should inform our future marketing decisions and improve our overall output. It should also stop you from repeating past mistakes and, in time, increase the quality (value and relevance to the audience) of your content.

There are multiple sources from which you can gain data. There’s also a selection of marketing platforms that will aggregate this data for you. However, these can be expensive and learning how to do this process manually will give you an invaluable understanding of each data source.

Let’s have a look at the insights available on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


A screenshot of the Facebook insights dashboard.

To download a detailed description of this visual, scroll to the “Downloads” section at the bottom of this step.

Facebook offers an insights platform to those with a business page, providing a variety of information about your audience and the content you publish there.

The metrics that you can track include:

Actions on page

The number of clicks on your page’s contact info and call-to-action button.


The number of times a page’s profile has been viewed by logged-in and logged-out people.

Page previews

The number of times people hovered over your page name or profile picture to see a preview of your page’s content.

Page likes

The number of new people who have liked your page is broken down by paid and non-paid.

Post reach

The number of people who had any posts from your page on their screen, broken down by total, organic, and promotions.


The number of times people recommended your page to friends on Facebook.

Post engagements

The number of times people have engaged with your posts through likes, comments, shares and more.


Your response rate is the percentage of messages you responded to in messenger. Response time is the average time it took for your page to respond to a message, based on the fastest 90% of response times in Messenger.


The number of times your page’s videos played for at least 3 seconds, or for nearly their total length if they’re shorter than 3 seconds, broken down by total, paid, and non-paid.

Page followers

The number of new people who have followed your Facebook page is broken down by paid and non-paid.


A screenshot of the Twitter insights dashboard.

To download a detailed description of this visual, scroll to the “Downloads” section at the bottom of this step.

Whilst Twitter Analytics is somewhat simpler than Facebook, their in-platform insights is a necessary and valuable tool in determining the success of your content.

Your analytics dashboard reports:


This is the number of times you have tweeted in any defined date range.

Tweet impressions

The number of times people saw a tweet.

Tweet engagements

How many times has someone interacted in any way with your tweet? This includes clicks on your images, links, profile and hashtags. It also includes; expands, likes, retweets, replies and follows.

Profile visits

The number of visits to your Twitter profile ( from all internal and external sources.


The number of times your handle (@yourusername) has been included in the text of another user’s tweet.


This is the total number of followers you have, with the change over the previous period. You can also see how many followers you gained or lost each month in the overview dashboard

In addition, Twitter has an Audience dashboard that offers a number of insights into your audience and other segments of Twitter’s wider audience. Through partnerships with data companies, Twitter has matched user records to provide information such as; demographics, consumer behaviour, lifestyle, interests, jobs, and technology footprint.

You can compare your own audience with other personas to discover which metrics your followers over or under-index on, compared with, for instance, people who support Manchester United, are weight-conscious, are retired or who use iOS.

These differences should guide you on how to cater to your audience and be of most value to them, but also on how to attract other specific audience types, based on what they will respond strongly to.


A screenshot of the Instagram insights dashboard.

To download a detailed description of this visual, scroll to the “Downloads” section at the bottom of this step.

The mobile-first image and video platform have a stripped-down insight product, allowing owners of pages that have registered as businesses to view key summary data about their posts and audience.

You can access top-line stats about your feed posts, stories and ads (‘promotions’) in the form of the following:

  • Impressions – views of the content
  • Engagement – likes, comments or clicks on posts
  • Unique views – people who have seen the content
  • Profile visits – visits to your profile page

In addition, there is data about your audience on Instagram, such as:


How many accounts have you reached in total per day over the last week?


How many and the number lost or gained since the previous week.

Top locations

Where your followers are concentrated, by city or country.

Age range

How your audience is split between age groups.


The gender distribution of your followers.

Follower’s active times

The days of the week, and hours of the day, that your followers are most active on Instagram. When looking at hours of the day you can cycle through the days of the week to see hourly patterns on different days.

These will likely be the same throughout the weekdays, and then different on the weekend.

If you’d like to learn more about running a social media campaign, check out the full online course from The Institute of Data and Marketing, below.

This article is from the free online

Running a Social Media Campaign: Customers, Influencer Engagement, Analytics

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