A guide to Facebook analytics and the best free and paid tools

A guide to Facebook analytics and the best free and paid tools
11th June 202012 min read

Have you checked in with your Facebook analytics recently? Do you know where your brand stands today as opposed to where it stood last week or last month? What’s your average engagement per post, and has it been getting better or worse?

The only way that you will gain a greater insight into your work and how your content is working for your brand is if you take a regular dive into your analytics, pull out the most useful metrics to you, and report on them regularly.

How regularly you decide to report, and what you decide to report on is entirely up to you, but there are a few key metrics that most companies and brands will follow using the Facebook analytics tools that are available.

Doing regular Facebook profile analysis will allow you to build up a picture of how your content is performing and why, and it will mean that you have greater control over your brand reputation, changing and tweaking things as you go along to get the best performance for the best categories of content.

What are Facebook analytics and What Analytics Can Facebook Give Me?

When discussing Facebook Analytics, it’s essential to understand that this refers to the statistics and information gained from your brand’s Facebook page, and not your own personal profile. This can relate to many, many different areas of your account, and there are tools that list engagement, clicks, reach, impressions, views, along with many other options.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the analytics, especially if you decide to pull a full report from Facebook Insights, this can be enough to terrify most new social media managers but have no fear! We will go through and hopefully demystify some of the terminologies and explain why each one is important.
Using Facebook analytics can give you a really unique insight into how your brand is performing and how well your content is landing. It can alert you to the changing tides, and it can ensure that you’re not wasting time, effort, and even money creating content that your audience just isn’t engaging with and content that isn’t providing you with a return on investment.

Your Marketing Funnel: A Brief Interlude

When you first begin down the tack of digital marketing, it’s easy to believe the hype that social media is the ‘only’ thing you need to concentrate, but unfortunately, this just isn’t true. Social media is an integral part of the marketing funnel, but it certainly isn’t the only part of the marketing funnel that you should be worried about. 

Even more important to consider, social media should both adequately support and actively promote the rest of your marketing efforts, ensuring that everything is on brand, said with the right tone of voice, follows your colour scheme, and really fits the objectives of the business. Not all social media pages will sit in the same part of the marketing funnel, and it may even be a fact that some channels will sit in multiple parts of the marketing funnel.

It’s because of this very unique aspect to social media marketing that we need to be very clear with our goals. We’ll briefly explore the marketing funnel for a second and see where social media (and Facebook in particular) will fit into this, from then we can decide which metrics we’ll find the most useful when it comes to analytics later on.

It’s a common misconception that the marketing funnel ends with a purchase. As you can see from our example here, Purchase is towards the end, but it’s also close to the middle. A True marketing funnel will make provisions for turning one-time customers into not only repeat customers, but also advocates of the business.

If your business or brand specialises in a product that has either a lifetime guarantees or is expected to last a very long time you must make provisions to turn your customers into brand advocates. You may be investing in extras or bonus options for whatever product you have but getting your own audience to do your marketing for you is a great way to build brand loyalty. People buy people after all.

Let’s take a brief interlude and explore each step of the marketing funnel and see where we can fit social media marketing into this.

Awareness - This is the very top of the marketing funnel, it’s where your audience first becomes aware of your product and has some knowledge of what you do. Instagram usually sits quite well within the awareness category as a purely showcasing app without the drive to click through.

Interest - You’ve caught your audience’s attention and you’ve not scared them off by jumping on them straight away, they are now interested in your product and are actively finding out more. This is a delicate balance and it’s still all to play for at this point.

Consideration - Your audience is tipping more and more towards wanting to find out more about your product. They are wondering how it works and how it fits in with their lifestyle etc.

Evaluation - Your audience is well into researching your product and is actively considering it. At this point they are weighing up the pros and cons, they are seeing if there are any other products on the market that do the same thing, and they are interested in your customer service side, how do you treat your customers?

Decision - Crunch time, hopefully your audience has decided that your product is the best product for them, the price is right, and your customer service had good reviews.

Purchase - It’s time to part with the money. This is where most traditional marketing funnels end. The audience has decided, and they have purchased your product. You’ve made the sale, case clued, but there are three more important steps that you must consider.

Repeat - Can they purchase again? If it’s a lifetime product or a product that is meant to last a long time, can they be purchased for friends and family? Do they want a second product for themselves? Are there any other products you make that this audience may be interested in?

Loyalty - Loyal fans are vital for a business. Those purchasers that come back time and time again to buy your products. These are the fans you need, the ones that don’t really care if your product is more expensive than somewhere else, in some cases they don’t even care if it’s not as good and somewhere else, loyal fans will stick with you because they believe in your why.

Advocacy - If you can turn a loyal fan into an advocate you are winning. Advocates will do your marketing for you in some respects, they will tell their friends and families about your product, they will continue to sing your praises and of course they will then drive more people to your products. Advocates for your brand come in many different forms, and it’s important to really take the time to foster authentic relationships with advocates.

If you decide that you’d like an influencer to be an advocate for your brand, make sure it’s a good fit. It’s much better to have an influencer who is genuinely in love with your brand and your product than someone reading from the same script as everyone else you’ve sponsored with barely any interest. Think about all of those photography YouTube channels sponsored by a particular website company. They all sound the same, they all use the same script, and barely anyone believes it anymore.

We can use this delve into the marketing funnel to decide how we will be positioning our social media content and for what purpose.

Due to Facebook’s many different posting types, it’s often the case that Facebook will sit on various different rungs of the marketing funnel, and users will come back time and time again throughout their user journey.

A great example of this is Mooncup, a company who have designed a reusable menstrual cup that saves 11,000 pieces of sanitary wear going to landfill over a woman’s lifetime. These products are meant to last for 10 years, meaning women may only buy 2 or three in their entire lifetime.

Mooncup uses their social media channels to create awareness and interest around why their product is important and why it will be a life-changer for so many women. Here are some of the ways they use social media marketing to help customers along the sales funnel:

  • They are not afraid to get involved in important conversations around things like World Oceans Day, period poverty, and #PlasticFreePeriods, helping users decide that not only are their products the best but the company actually cares about broader issues. 
  • They will often release coupon codes or promotions on their channels, prompting those who were considering taking the plunge and buy the product, 
  • Their commitment to good relevant content and excellent customer service means their customers (who are probably only going to spend a maximum of £60 throughout their lifetime with them) are turned into advocates, spreading not only an important message about period health for women, but also recommending the product to hundreds of other women each, increasing sales for a relatively small company.

Understanding How Analytics Metrics Help Your Business

Looking at the Mooncup example above, it’s clear that a deeper understanding of Facebook’s Analytics tools is needed to be able to adequately put each piece of content in the right area of the marketing funnel. 

It’s very important that you do this, especially if you’re the one reporting on the ‘success’ of your Facebook page. Success is a fairly arbitrary idea, and can come in many different forms, it's vital that you make clear which posts were a success and for what reason, and which posts weren’t a success and how you’re learning from this going forward. 

Here are the key metrics that Facebook tracks, and how they will be useful to your business.

Actions on Page - Facebook described actions on page as the number of clicks your page received on things like a website link, contact details, location, or your call to action button. This is a global metric and is calculated differently on a post-by-post basis. 

The actions on page metric is good to keep a track on if you are looking to encourage your users to take a specific action such as clicking the messenger button or asking for direction.

Page Views - Another global metric, this one tracks the number of times your page was viewed by users. Interestingly, it tracks the number of times your page was viewed by both logged in and not logged in users, meaning those who may or may not be fans of yours.

Page Likes - Page likes related to the amount of new likes your page has received over a given period. This is both a global metric and can be measured on a post-by-post basis, allowing you see which content is driving likes as well as benchmark how well your page has performed over any given period to gain new likes.

Post Reach - A post-by-post metric usually split into three categories: paid, organic, and total. Of course, it’s useful to know the total reach for the month or week, or even over six months, but having specific post data allows you to see which posts and post types performed well for reach overall.

Post Type - Facebook categorise posts by their post type, such as status, link, or photo, but we’d recommend you also categorise your own posts by post category. 

We go into some more detail about this in our Best Times to Post on Facebook. Still, the short of it is, some posts may appear to be the same (such as photo posts) but the actual creative may have a specific purpose such as brand warmth or information about a sale, updating your opening times, or asking users to engage. You will only be able to tell the effectiveness of the post type when you drill down into your own categories.

Post Engagement - Engagement is split into various different categories by Facebook: Likes, comments, reaction, link clicks, other clicks, video views (there are various different Facebook video analytics on offer), shares, and likes, comments, reactions on that shared post. This can seem really overwhelming at first but getting to grips with the different engagement types can be absolutely vital.

Remember Facebook sees ‘engagement’, but it may not see engagement as positive or negative. There IS an option for negative engagements (such as sad or angry reactions, unfollows and even reporting. Still, Facebook cannot yet distinguish between a “hey I love your content!” positive comment on a post and a “hey your content is really bad and makes me angry!” negative response on your post.

Post Clicks - Facebook tracks click on posts, but there are two types of click it tracks. You’ll more than likely be interested in link clicks, but you will also have the option to view metrics on ‘other’ clicks such as read more or view more photos, or, even the information attachment to links on your page.

It's’ not necessarily a bad thing if users click the information button on your link post. They may just want more information about the website, but it is something Facebook has implemented to combat the spread of fake news.

How to get Facebook analytics

If you’re ready to jump in, take the plunge and begin to analyse your Facebook data, you’ll need to first know how to gather this information!

There are four (and a half) proprietary methods for gathering Facebook post analysis and other data from your Facebook page, and all of these are free! These are:

  • Facebook Insights - This is found at the top of any page that you manage and gives a thorough overview in a not particularly user-friendly way. You are able to download various pieces of information from Facebook Insights though, so it’s an invaluable resource.
  • Facebook Analytics - This is a dedicated dashboard website that can display similar information to Facebook Insights, but in a much more user-friendly fashion. Available from analytics.facebook.com, you are able to customise your dashboards and funnels to really get a good insight into your page.
  • Facebook Analytics App - A mobile app for both Android and iPhone dedicated to giving you an overview of your Facebook analytics on the go. This is particularly useful to take into meetings on a tablet to give live insights right then and there when required and is a really good Facebook mobile analytics option.
  • Facebook Creator Studio - Facebook’s Creator Studio is a great place to schedule posts on both Facebook and Instagram, and it does have some ability to show top line insights in a slightly more user friendly way than your Facebook Page Insights. Our experience with this has been that it’s still quite buggy, and much more geared towards video posts which does mean it’s of limited use.
  • Facebook Pages Manager app - This one we’re calling the half option. The Pages Manager mobile app does provide some insights and analytics. Still, we wouldn’t suggest using it as a full solution at all, it’s not really designed to be a full analytic suite on the go as its companion app, Facebook analytics, is.

Our Top Third-Party Facebook Analytics Tools

Maybe you want to take the plunge and start exploring your Facebook insights in more detail? We’d suggest going for a third-party analytics tool, these usually offer similar analytics but in a much more readable and digestible way. Sometimes spending money to save a few hours’ worth of work is a really good plan, this is one of those times!

These are the best Facebook analytics tools that we have found across the web. Some are free Facebook analytics tools, some are only paid, and some are “freemium” products, meaning they offer some free Facebook analytics, but the paid option gives you a deeper insight. 

Some of the options listed below will allow you to create a free Facebook analytics report, but some of the freemium options lock this out as an option only after you’ve upgraded.

Social Status

What it does:

Social Status covers all of the main social media accounts and splits their analytics into four sections: Ads Analytics, Competitor Analytics, Influencer Analytics and Profile Analytics.

What it’s good for:

Social Status is a great tool to use to benchmark your content performance against that of your competitors. Like all other options, you will be able to track the best days to post, how your posts performed, you can use it as a Facebook page demographics tool, and set benchmarks for the return on investment from Facebook to your business. 

The added bonus with Social Status though is that you can track your competitors and gain insights into your industry’s averages, which is an excellent added bonus option in our opinion.

You’re able to download the data in many different useful formats such as CVS, PDF, and PPTX (PowerPoint).

Social Status is probably our favourite tool for Facebook competitor analysis.

What it costs:

Social Status is actually really well priced, sitting around the $49 per month mark for the first tier, rising to $199 per month for more team options.

Union Metrics

What it does:

Union Metrics works across the major social platforms (we mentioned it in our Instagram Analytics blog too) and provides excellent social media reports, with the bonus of being able to bundle all platforms together enabling you to see a whole-picture snapshot of your social media activity.

What it’s good for:

Getting a really good in depth look at your entire social media platform activity and measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns. 

Union Metrics enables you to change campaigns on the fly, so you’re able to take advantage of an agile working structure. Being able to measure your activity across your pages will give you a really deep understanding of how each of your platform’s audiences are different. No more copying and pasting content!

What it costs:

Union Metrics has no free option, but the paid options start from $49 per month for an account aimed at single social media managers, and $199 a month aimed at marketing teams.


What it does:

Another tool that we mentioned on our Instagram analytics blog, this tool is just for Facebook and Instagram (it doesn’t analyse Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest). Iconsquare is an official Facebook marketing partner, which should mean they receive updates as a priority. In theory!

What it’s good for:

One of the great things about Iconsquare is, just as with Social Status, you can track your competitors and get some insight into how they are doing. This is especially useful if you suddenly see a drop off in engagement or clicks, you’ll be able to tell fairly fast if this is an industry wide issue or whether it’s just your page that is affected.

Iconsquare also allows you to track your followers and follower growth, view the standard metrics such as best time to post and reach ad impressions, and you’ll have many options for exporting your reports to suit every marketing team!

What it costs:

Whilst they do offer a free trial, Iconsquare actually costs from 29€ to 59€ depending on the level of detail you require.


What it does:

Wiselytics pride themselves on providing simple analytics for everyone with a well-designed user interface. There is also an option for you to be able to moderate and monitor your Facebook community through Wiselytics.

What it’s good for:

This analytics tool is one of the nicest one we’ve found. It’s great for tracking your best performing posts (and your worst) and you also have the opportunity to compare your ‘scores’ with those of your competitors.

It offers similar analytics to other competitors such as information on your fans your reach, impressions, interactions, etc, and the monitoring and moderation options are a real added bonus for this platform.

What it costs:

Wyselitics free option gives you a week’s worth of data, but the paid options allow you to gather data from your page’s creation date, meaning it’s a great option for those taking over a page who want to do a full and in depth audit. The only thing that bugs us is that the pricing for the paid enterprise option is on request only, so we aren’t able to tell you here how much it’s likely to cost.

Social Pilot

What it does:

Social Pilot has been around for a number of years and has, thankfully, gone though some major updates to ensure that it’s keeping up with the times and that the user interface is actually usable!

What it’s good for:

Social Pilot was initially created as a scheduling assistant with some analytics as an added bonus, but over the years they have really evolved and are now giving really good and thorough analytics offering to their customers and users.

As with all of the other tools on this list, you are able to see information on your fans, their demographics, when the best time to post is, benchmark your best and worst performing posts and get information on your Facebook page grown from both a paid and organic perspective. 

The user interface is now nicely laid out, simple to use and quite intuitive. You also have options to download nicely laid out reports too.

What it costs:

For the level of detail and information that Social Pilot offers, you may be surprised to know that the first-tier plan is only $8.33 per month, and the agency plan is only $6.66. They offer a 14-day free trial too!


What it does:

Grylitics is a little bit different to the tools we’ve discussed before, this tool’s primary focus is on analytics for Facebook Groups. If you’re looking to make Facebook Groups a part of your content and social media marketing strategy, then Grylitics has your back with the hard data.

What it’s good for:

Just as with pages, Groups will have top performing posts and member analytics that are really important for marketers to know. 

Grytics allows you to get the details on which posts are performing well and why, ranking them by engagement, measure your whole group activity to see how well the group is performing, and understand when your group is the most active so that you can tailor your content to your group specifically.

What it costs:

This is a really valuable tool and it starts at only $11 per month, the Global Plan is around $125 per month.

We think Facebook Groups can be a great way to engage on a more personal and private level with a captive section of your audience and having a Facebook group insights tool that works is really important.

Why You Should Track Facebook Analytics

Getting to grips with Facebook analytics is a vital step for any business to take, it will allow you to really build Facebook and social media marketing into your content plan and see what performs best.

We believe that Social media marketing can be a huge benefit to businesses both large and small, and working with influencers can be a great part of that. As we discussed in the marketing funnel section earlier, understanding the role that social media marketing plays within the marketing experience and user journey can really open up the floor to both new audience members converting into paying customers, or to paying customers converting into advocates who bring in new paying customers.

When you create your first Facebook analytics report, whether you use just the Facebook insights app, or one of the more advanced options we discussed above, you’ll need to make sure you include sound reasoning behind your content choices. 

It’s not enough to say, “this month’s best performing post was XYZ because it had the most link clicks”. If your best performing link clicks post had only three comments on it, but your engagement post had over 300 comments, it might be argued that the latter was more successful.

When thinking about how to use your newfound analytics skills, make sure you’re reporting on the right thing and for the right reason. There may be many options and you may feel really overwhelmed when you first log into Facebook analytics, but knowing what you want to get out of it will make things a lot easier.

One of the best ways to interpret your data is to ask questions and then find the answers to those specific questions. For example, some of the question we suggest you may want to ask yourself are:

  1. What was my best/worst performing post this week for link clicks?
  2. What was my best/worst performing post this week for engagement?
  3. How many posts were video based?
  4. How do video posts compare to text only posts?
  5. How to text only posts perform next to image posts?
  6. What does my overall average engagement rate this month?
  7. How many posts did I design to be purely engagement only, and how did these perform?
  8. What ratio of my posts were promotional vs non promotional?
  9. How valuable is my audience at the moment?
  10. What percentage of my audience is in the [X] demographic?

Being able to answer those questions using your analytics tools will mean you have a deep insight into how your page is performing and why it’s performing in a certain way. This means you’ll find it a lot easier to justify your social media performance within the setting of your overall marketing strategy.

Facebook insights for personal page

Have you ever wondered if you could get Facebook profile analytics for a personal page? Or even why you may want to do this? 

It can be quite useful to see how your own friends and family react to certain types of posts While we’re not at all advocating using your family and friends as an experimental sounding board for your latest greatest content (and there may be some copyright issues around that anyway!) there is such a phenomenon as the social media echo chamber.

This phrase has mostly been used to describe political opinions online, the idea being that we surround ourselves with people who think the same way we do, meaning that we only see posts that confirm what we believe, rather than posts from a different point of view.

The echo chamber effect is a hotly debated topic, some people believe they do exist and they can lead down very dangerous paths and even contribute to the sharing of fake news, and other believe that it’s a myth and that the algorithms will flag content that is inappropriate.

We won’t go into it in any real detail here because it is such a huge topic, but the point we did want to touch on is that you may only be seeing content from your friends and family of a certain type, and content from brands that people just like you follow.

Why not try posting some different types of content (keep it kind!) and having a look to see how well it “performs” on your own profile. While you’re at it, follow a few brands you wouldn’t normally follow, you may surprise yourself and come up with a flash of inspiration for your brand’s next brilliant post!

Summing Up

So, by now you should be an expert in Facebook analytics, right? Well, maybe!

Don’t feel bad if you feel that this has been a bit of an overwhelming post, there is a lot of detail to take in and getting to grips with analytics can lead you down some incredibly rabbit holes, but the most important thing to remember is that you should be able to find out all of the information you’ll need to know about your page by using Facebook analytics, be they the free tools or the paid tools.

Analytics should be a big part of your social media marketing strategy, it is, in our opinion, a huge waste to run a page without taking into consideration the statistics behind it. Shooting in the dark has never really solved anyone’s problems, and better-informed content means better created content!

Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed though, if you are a beginner social media manager and this is your first-time diving in, take it slowly. Take a few weeks to understand one or two metrics, then move onto some others. 

There’s a reason why they are called ‘key performance indicators’ and not ‘all performance indicators’ understanding which performance indicators are key to your business will allow you to understand which performance indicators are actually just a waste of your time.

We’d suggest that you set aside some time each week, each month, and semi-annually to pull together a report. Set more time aside for your first report and use this as a template to inform further reports. Be really clear about what has worked well, what hasn’t worked well, what things you can see need improvements, what content the data is telling you needs improvements and, possibly the most important one, what goals you have for next week or month or year.

Setting aside some time regularly to go through your accounts means you’ll pick up on any subtle changes quicker and be able to react faster, and this will mean your analytics become not just informative but possibly even a brand saver!

How are you planning to use Facebook analytics to grow your business? Are you interested more in the demographics of your followers or are you someone who loves the graphs and trend lines (especially if they’re going upwards!). 

We’d love to hear from you!

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