New Media School

Content From: Michelle Samplin-Salgado, Digital Media Director,, and Miguel Gomez, Director,, and Senior Communications Advisor, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesPublished: January 22, 20142 min read


We were excited to receive a number of very positive emails from friends and colleagues in response to our first “school” blog post last week. We are always looking for ways to improve the reach and engagement of our blog posts, and those encouraging responses spurred us to take a look at how well the post did with our target audiences.

This time, we decided to focus on the reach we achieved through Facebook. That led us to look at the data available via Facebook InsightsExit Disclaimer.

Insights and Activity

If your agency or organization’s Facebook page has more than 30 “likes,” you have access to Facebook Insights, a free service that provides details about how people are interacting with your content. After it removes personally identifying information, Facebook Insights also gives you demographic data about your audience, including gender, age, and geographic location.

So how did our first blog post about’s new media school fare on Facebook? As you can see from the image below, 553 people actually saw the post, and it garnered 42 likes, comments, and shares (which is slightly higher than our average post).

facebook school, example of post

What does this mean for the HIV community?

By taking advantage of Facebook Insights, you get free access to information about your Facebook posts—and you also get demographic information about your users that can help you plan your new media strategy.

At, we use this information to look at trends and compare posts. For instance, we learned from Insights that our post from January 3, which contained an image of HRSA’s infographic on access to care, was our most popular post in the last month. It reached more than 1,500 people and gathered 69 likes, comments, and shares—significantly more than our usual posts. This suggests to us that posts with images—as opposed to those with only text—generate more engagement, so we are taking that as encouragement to use more images in the future.

Insights provides a wealth of information on how people are engaging with on your Facebook page and the content that moves them to take some sort of action, whether that be “liking” it, sharing it, or commenting. Have you tried it yet? Let us know!