Want More Social Media Data? There’s a Tool for That!

Content From: HIV.govPublished: April 09, 20194 min read


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With a simple internet search, you can easily find many different tools for tracking your social media metrics. But, if you don’t have time to test out each tool and assess the differences, you can always turn to the built-in analytics tools (often called “native” metrics tools) offered by each platform.

Here are some tips on using Facebook and Twitter’s built-in analytics tools to understand your audience and advance your social media HIV communications. If you’d like to learn more about other analytics tools, make sure to read our previous blog post on tracking social media metrics.

Facebook Insights

As you might have heard, Facebook’s recent algorithm changes mean that less of your organic content (non-paid content) is being seen by your audience. This means that it is increasingly important to understand how to find your audience on the platform and to determine what content is performing well, as publishing posts with high engagement leads to more visibility for all of your Facebook content.

Free metrics are available through Facebook for any organizational page with at least 30 fans. Using the Facebook tool, you can find data on:

  • Page reach to estimate how many users may have seen your content in the past seven days
  • Audience demographics and location to understand your fans
  • Engagement metrics for each post to see what content performs best and understand where the engagement happened (for example, from visiting your page directly, from a page suggestion, or from mobile or desktop)
  • Video views
  • External reviewers (i.e., users who came to your page from a website other than Facebook)
  • Paid ads - there is a lot more detail available for any “boosted” posts (existing posts that you pay Facebook to show to additional users to increase their reach) or paid ads (posts specifically created as paid placements)
  • And much, much more!

See these resources for more on Facebook analytics:

“Using Facebook's Insights Tool, we learned that the number of views for our videos increased when we scheduled a video premiere. Using that insight, we were able to not only increase the number of views for our BRO-ISM series but also to increase the level of engagement during and after the BRO-ISM premiers,” said Daniel J. Downer, Founder, The Bros in Convo Initiative.

“From our Facebook data, the HIV.gov team learned that most of the views for our Facebook Lives come after the stream has ended. We use this information to inform the marketing of our videos to increase engagement and views of the content,” said Eddie Wiley, Online Community Manager for HIV.gov.


A review of Twitter’s available data shows that the half-life of a tweet (or the time it takes for the reach of a tweet to decrease by half) is 24 minutes vs. 90 minutes for a Facebook post.

This means you have only a short period of time to make your content effective, and understanding your own Twitter data can help you do that.

Using Twitter’s free analytics tool, you can view a 28-day summary of your data, including:

  • Top performing posts (both impressions or engagement)
  • Total number of new followers: This can show you if/how your reach is increasing over time.
  • Top followers: Which of your followers have the most followers of their own? Twitter’s free tool can show you this—and give you some potential ideas for partnering with other Twitter users to expand the reach of your content.
  • Top mention: This is the tweet with the most impressions in which another Twitter user has tagged your username.
  • Profile visits (views of your organizational description)
  • Engagement rate: These data show the retweets, follows, replies, favorites, and click-throughs your tweets get — including the hashtags and links those tweets include.
  • Mentions (number of times Twitter users mentioned your handle in their content)

Here are a few additional resources for using Twitter’s free analytics:

“At HIV.gov, we listen to the Twitter community and, where possible, join the conversation. Recently, we’ve increased the use of non-HIV events/holidays, including Valentine’s day and award shows, to promote our HIV resources. The data tell us that this content performs well, especially when we include a link in the content,” said Eddie Wiley, Online Community Manager for HIV.gov.

Coming soon, we’ll be sharing tips for understanding your Instagram data. Make sure you’re signed up to get our posts delivered to your inbox to get the latest updates on digital tools and social media.