This article first appeared as Anthony Bullick’s column in the Daily Post business section on 23 August.

Facebook’s constant algorithm changes mean the goalposts continually move for businesses trying to market their brand successfully on the platform.

Fortunately, organisations can use Facebook’s comprehensive analytics function to create and tweak campaigns in real time for optimal impact.

Insights, accessed when logged into Facebook and located in the main menu bar, provides companies with stats on everything from which posts attracted the most engagement to which demographics are most interested in your updates.

Not all information provided will be relevant to your business, and it’s vital to interpret the data to receive meaningful analysis. Follow these steps to harness Facebook Insights and boost your brand’s results.

The overview page displays a snapshot of key metrics including post engagement and page likes. But businesses should only use this as a quick visual to spot anything out of the ordinary eg big spikes or dips, and will get more value by digging deeper.

Page likes shows the change in the number of people who have ‘liked’ your page. Pay attention to big increases or decreases and investigate eg did a particular piece of content cause it?

Similarly, in the ‘reach’ tab, which shows how many people your post was placed in front of, monitor for significant changes and review why by looking at what was published that day. This section also shows stats for overall engagement including likes, comments, and shares.

Anything that causes a positive result, may mean your audience prefers this type of content. Conversely, if there were dips in performance, it could mean your fans are losing interest in your posts.

Brands should spend the majority of their analytical time in the ‘posts’ tab because it provides valuable information on each individual Facebook post. For example, scanning down the ‘reach’ and ‘engagement’ columns will easily identify which content performed well. It also displays type (link, picture, or video) to help companies understand what format their audience prefers.

Similarly, if you upload video to your page, there is a separate ‘videos’ tab that presents data on number of views and total minutes played for each individual video.

For a business that relies on local custom, the ‘local’ tab shows peak hours for when people are nearby, as well as the demographics of those who have been within 50m of your premises.