When it comes to Facebook, small business owners are on the same playing field as their larger competitors. The features that Facebook offers for business pages are the same, and free, no matter what the size, industry or operating budget of the owner. Small business owners can break into emerging markets with the right use of Facebook features.

Where some business owners tend to get confused is when it comes to determining the effectiveness of their Facebook page. More specifically, they may have trouble figuring out what works with fans and followers, and what does not.

Facebook actually gives you all of the information that you need to post smartly on your business page, but you have to know what it all means to make the most of the data. The best place for small business owners to start analyzing their Facebook impact is in the Overview Tab. This is one of four tabs that you can choose after you have launched the Insights feature, which is found by clicking “View Insights” in the upper right hand corner of your Admin Panel on your business’ Facebook page.

The Overview section will quickly show you how your page is performing presently and compare it with the past. Within the Overview tab are a few additional options for analysis:

Figure 1: Courtesy of Mumbling Mommy's Facebook Insights

Figure 1: Courtesy of Mumbling Mommy’s Facebook Insights

-Page Likes. This will show you total likes for your page (not your status updates), how many new likes you received in the past week, and how that compares to the week prior. This is an important stat to keep an eye on, particularly if you have tried a new engagement strategy. It can show you at a glance if your efforts have paid off.

-Post reach. This number accounts for the amount of people who have seen your posts in their News Feed. This number is not exactly actionable because it does not tell you who interacted with those posts (that will come in the next point), but it is helpful to determine people who DO see your posts. To simplify the Facebook algorithm: the more people who engage with your posts, the more likely they are to see you in their News Feed. So a rise in your post reach numbers likely means an increase in engagement levels too.

-Engagement. This is the most important part of the overview tab – at least when it comes to guidance for small business owners. It goes beyond simply the people who saw your posts and tells you who engaged with them. Facebook defines this stat as: “The unique number of people who liked, commented, shared or clicked on your posts.” Under that number are the number of new likes, comments, shares and total post clicks for that week.

If you scroll down in the Overview tab, underneath the three sections listed above, you will see your last five posts and the reach and engagement levels on each. This is a quick way to see what posts are faring better than others. You can also compare day of the week or time of day and see if that had any bearing on the results.

With 93 percent of marketers using social media, your small business is at a disadvantage without maximizing the use of Facebook. If you are not sure where to start your Facebook business page assessment, get familiar with the Overview tab in the Insights feature. It can help inform your future social media strategies and let you know what your fans really want to hear from you.

What social media strategies work the best for your small business?

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Katie Parsons
Katie Parsons writes for ChamberofCommerce.com where she specializes in business news affecting major markets. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small companies with online growth. Plus, it facilitates connectivity between local firms and over 7,000 Chambers worldwide. She is also the creator of Mumbling Mommy where she blogs about parenting and working from home.