A Comprehensive Guide to Facebook Insights for Advertisers

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Gone are the days when an entire marketing campaign used to rely solely on traditional media buying. With the rise of social media marketing, billions of users have swiftly transitioned from being pure offline customers to active online audiences. 

The shift in paradigm has enabled marketers to take customer acquisition to a whole new level. Facebook’s paid ads are known as one of the best and most effective marketing channels to reach the target audience. 

As per Statista, about 89% of B2B marketers and 97% B2C marketers prefer Facebook as the ideal social media platform for marketing a brand. 

SmartMetrics believes that the amount of data that Facebook provides to the marketers enables them to leverage their campaigns by adding a personalized touch. We’ve already learned about personalized videos and the impact that it can have on an individual user. 

Paid Ads & Insights

While you can get insights for organic campaigns as well, most of the brand marketing these days rely on paid campaigns. Herein, brands run ads via their Facebook page and aim to attract their target audience. The ultimate goal of each campaign is to attract the right audience at a relatively low cost per click. 

Facebook Insight for marketers

In the example above, you can see FreshBooks’ campaign to get more people to sign-up for their product. This ad leads a user to a landing page wherein they can learn more about the offering. While the front-end is pretty seamless for the user, the actual magic happens in Facebook’s Analytics dashboard.

Facebook insights

On your Analytics dashboard, campaign metrics can be seen as the image above. For every ad that you run, you’ll learn about the reach, actions, page likes, and interactions.

Now that we can picture the front-end and backend let’s learn more about the role of insights, analyzing data, and using it effectively to leverage your brand’s marketing efforts. 

Even if you’re new to Facebook Advertising, the following points will help you understand how Facebook Insights work. The first step in understanding Facebook insights is by understanding the different analytics platforms. 

Facebook’s analytics is divided into three platforms – Page Insights, Audience Insights, and Ad Manager. 

Page Insights provide you a complete overview of how your page is performing. It will showcase all the new audiences that your ad has attracted, the total reach, page likes, and other forms of CTAs such as ‘Contact Us’, or ‘Sign-up’. 

Audience insights provide you a complete overview of your audience. This includes their age, gender, location, activity, and even lifestyle choices. This data allows you to get more creative with your outreach efforts. 

facebook audience insights

Facebook Ads Manager provides you a compact yet comprehensive coverage as to how your paid ads are performing. Herein, you’ll find different data points such as ‘Results’, ‘Reach’, ‘Impressions’, ‘Cost Per Result’, ‘Amount Spend’, ‘Campaign Duration’, and ‘Action Taken’. 

Facebook campaign optimization

Navigating the Facebook Insights dashboard

To access the insights page, you must click on the ‘’More” tab in the navigation bar.

Facebook insights option

From the drop-down menu, click on the option ‘Insights’, and you’ll land on a page that looks something like this: 

Facebook engagement mertics

Some key data points that you’ll find in this section include ‘Actions on-page’, ‘Pageviews’, ‘Reach’, ‘Post Engagement’, ‘Responsiveness’, ‘Followers’, and Orders. The metrics presented in the chart format can also be found on the sidebar towards the left. 

Using this data, ad strategists and marketers can bring down the CPA tremendously. The insights help understand the effectiveness of a campaign. The best way to understand what works best is through Facebook Ads A/B Testing

Running two simultaneous ads helps marketers to understand what works better. At SmartMetrics, we’ve seen that even a single word change in the copy can make a massive difference. Campaigns with urgency often led to higher conversions. However, campaigns with free offerings led to increased engagement and customer retention. 

Studying Facebook Insights

This may sound bogus, but the key to becoming a Facebook ad expert is through trial and error. Similar to all other software and campaigns, the more ads you run, the better your experience will be when handling a campaign. 

We at SmartMetrics believe that even if you dedicate half an hour every day tweaking around the insights page and running small campaigns, you’ll learn to read data within a few months. This will help create a foundational understanding of insights and how to use them to leverage your marketing efforts. 

Novice marketers won’t even consider A/B testing because they haven’t played around enough. However, as you dive deep, you’ll uncover many secrets when it comes to ad performance. As a marketer, it’s quintessential for you to decipher different data sets. These include: 

  • Fan Demographics Data 
  • Fan Geographic Data 
  • Online Habit Data 
  • Post Type Data 

Fan Demographics Data will help you pinpoint the audience that loves your content. Using the data i.e., age and gender, you can build user personas and target the right audience. 

Facebook campaign fan demographics

The demographic breakdown will clarify the picture and will help you optimize for conversions by altering the ad spends. For instance, in the image above, 77% of men liked your page as opposed to 22% of women. Now, since men are inclined towards your ad, you should naturally target them and allocate a higher budget to improve the CPA. 

Fan Geographic Data will help improve your targeting in a bid to go more specific. Your initial campaign will tell you about the response from a particular location i.e., Country, City, and language preference. 

facebook Fan Geographic Data

Using these three parameters, you can modify your existing campaign. For instance, using Spanish or Hindi to hyper-target Mexican and Indian audiences. 

Online Habit Data helps you understand when your target audience is online. You want to run an ad when everybody can see it. 

Facebook online activity

Running ads during peak times will automatically result in better conversion. You wouldn’t want to run ads at 4 am when everybody is probably asleep. Thus, you must evaluate your TG’s activity using online habit data. 

Facebook Analytics post-based data

Post Type Data is the most useful data set. This tells you what form of communication is working. As you know, Facebook allows you to run different types of ads – Photo, Carousel, Videos, Album, and Link-based. 

Once you have the initial result, you can start leveraging a particular channel. In the image above, you can see the organic reach achieved by four different types of posts. This organic data can easily be translated into a paid effort, thereby improving the outreach even further. 


Facebook is a valuable marketing channel for businesses around the world. Advertisers spend millions of dollars each month, trying to maximize their outreach and acquire more customers. Learning to read data and capitalizing on the potential is what separates a successful marketer from an unsuccessful one. 

*All the images have been sourced from WordStream

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