Facebook announced not too long ago that its Insights analytics would be available for regular websites in addition to its very popular Pages. That day has come (actually, it came a little while ago), but it’s one of those features that tend to get glossed over since it’s neither sexy nor interesting to implement. Technically, it’s one of those features that requires little more than copy/paste skill to implement, so it’s something that your average social media guru can’t charge for, thus it gets very little love.
Well, here’s the love. Let’s walk through how to turn this simple feature on and see what it can do for us. First, go to the Facebook Insights dashboard.
- There’s a fairly obvious green button in the upper right. Click it.
- Choose the root domain you want Insights for, like your blog or your company’s website.
- If you want more than just you to have access to the data, link it to a Facebook Page. All of the admins of that page will then get access to the Insights For Your Website feature.
- This is the least obvious part and it’s poorly labeled. Copy the meta tag that appears at the bottom to your clipboard or a text file.
Don’t hit the Get Insights button yet!
Next, go over to your website. Open it up in an HTML editor or in your CMS dashboard. For example, in WordPress, use the built in editor or your theme’s control panel. Find the header file or your theme’s options for integration.
Paste the meta tag just above the closing tag. Hit Save or do whatever your website requires you to do in order to get something committed.
Now, go back to Facebook and hit the Get Insights button. If all goes well, you’ll see your website at the top of the Insights dashboard.
So what do you get for all this trouble? Well, assuming you have a Facebook Like button on your website, assuming that people are sharing your content (blog posts, etc.), you’ll be able to see how your site’s content interacts with Facebook. For example:
There are a lot of different metrics to look at, and perhaps another time or in a webinar we can examine them in more detail, but for now, pay attention most to the top line.
72 sharing actions of some kind took place in the last 30 days. That had a multiplier effect of 225x and turned into 16,228 impressions on Facebook – that is, my content was seen on Facebook 16,228 times. In turn, those impressions generated 104 clicks back to my website.
Why is this important? Facebook is showing me something that no one else has yet – the social feedback loop. I create content, it’s shared, it’s seen on Facebook, and then that additional exposure loops back to create more traffic for my website. That’s a huge, huge deal. It tells me how influential my content is – 225x – not me or my network per se, but how influential the information is itself, because the more influential it is, the bigger that feedback loop will be.
Now, what should I do? Encourage more Likes and Shares of my content. Take note of that wording carefully. I’m not encouraging likes of me, I’m encouraging likes of my content, because that’s what powers the feedback loop. The more I can seed the initial part of that feedback loop – the Site Actions – the more it’ll create everything else. I’ve made some modifications on the site to hopefully help with this, including setting up a sharing link that will work even in RSS readers and email newsletters, so please, if this article was useful, share it:
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Mine’s not turned on yet. But I’ll save for future reference. Thanks!
Chris, thanks very much for making this so easy. You are a born ‘simpliflier’! Best, CB
Does the 225 mean that is the number of people that ReTweeted on Twitter or ReShared on Facebook?
It’s the factor by which the sharing actions resulted in impressions.
This is interesting. I was wondering why you would want to add this when Google Analytics already provides such great metrics – but I love the idea of the social feedback loop. I think I’ll try integrating it into my site this weekend. I’m looking forward to hearing feedback from other people who are using it.
Thanks for this. I had a couple issues: I had to be sure Google Chrome was saving my Facebook cookie (a practice I don’t like because I don’t like staying logged into FB) and I got an error when I first clicked the Get Insights button. I think this is because I use caching in WordPress so I cleared the cache and then it worked.
Mentioning all that in case people have similar issues getting this to work.
You continue to rock, Mr. Penn 🙂 Going to share this. Thanks!
Hmm I keep getting “bad request” no admin data… on this site:
but pretty sure I followed all your instructions to a “T”
Did you ever solve it? I have two sites. Worked on one, no problem. The second one tho I am getting the same error and can’t figure out why.
Sweet idea; just added to shatteringyoursmallcosmos.com. Thanks for the tip, Chris!
Well darnit. I can’t find a page in my WP theme with anything resembling the code in your example — except the Header file, where I duly put the FB meta property code. And get nothing but a “bad request” when I click “Get Insights.” So I guess it’s not going to work for my site, darnit.
Hi, I have a question about the way to set up the insights for a facebook page. I have a page that is running as a sub-folder of my main domain: mydomain.com/facebook/index.html
This page is the one I am using as main page of my fan page using an iFrame application.
Now, my question is the following, how do I do to get FB Insights working properly in such a configuration? If I follow the indication given by the Insights page, the domain I have to set wouldn’t be the page that is actually used on the iframe.
I hope I have managed to explain properly my issue and I hope that any of you will be able to clarify this problem to me.
This is my facebook fan page for your reference: http://www.facebook.com.betterwebpresence/
Thank you so much! Just needed confirmation of where to place the tag – Great article!
Now THAT was a straightforward explanation! I’m going to pass this onto our clients for sure, they are always looking for new ways to integrate Facebook into their websites. Up next…Google+ eh?
Have you run into any sort of problem solving stuff for this implementing OG protocols for WordPress sites? I run two WordPress sites, a webcomic that no one reads and a podcast that is growing in popularity. I had no problem implementing it for my webcomic. Worked like a charm.
For my podcast, tho… absolutely no luck. At least getting Insights to work. The OG tags are working right in other ways, but not for me seeing what Facebook knows about my site. I can’t get access.
I put the fb:admins code in the exact same way on both sites (tho they are different themes), but Insights says that I don’t have the fb:admins OG tag in my podcast site’s code. It is in there. In fact, it is in there multiple times now as I tried putting it in places besides the Header.
When I go to my website and view the source code, it is right there, but somehow Facebook Insights doesn’t see it. I can’t seem to find anyone with this problem online (I am sure they are there and I am just bad at searching, but I have failed).
This isn’t working for me. I just get this error message: “No admin data found at root webpage…” I’m sure I have the meta tag with appropriate data on my site, might I have missed anything?
I’m getting exactly the same problem too Costa. I’ve even gone to the extent of placing the “fb:app_id” meta tag AND “fb:admins” meta tag in my header, and still not working. Constantly getting the same error as yourself. :/
Me too.. anyone find any answers?
Thanks, It help me a lot!