Sneak Peek into Facebook Audience Insights Beta

Facebook recently made an exciting announcement for marketers. Facebook is experimenting with letting brands study people’s posts and comments on the platform. Facebook Audience Insights API is currently in Beta test with limited partners, as one of those partners, Ignite is going to give you an inside look at what is to come. Audience Insights is expected to be more widely available in 2018.

What is Audience Insights?

Audience Insights is Facebook’s version of social listening. It provides real-time demographic, behavioral, and interest data for the 1.9B people on Facebook. This tool will help you better understand your audience and what people are talking about outside of your existing fan base to drive better marketing campaign results.

How Facebook Audience Insights Works

Facebook has made Audience Insights very user friendly. To start a search, you must provide  4 fill-in the blank criteria:

  • Gender- male, female or both
  • Age- 18-24; 25-34; 35-44; 45-54; 55-64; and 65+
  • Country- almost any country in the world
  • Topic- topics are optional to include and may change over time

For demonstration purposes, the topic I chose was “Bacon”. You also have the ability to layer in a secondary topic if you want.

Available Audience Insights

Once Facebook returns the search, you get a treasure trove of data on your topic. The data is broken down into three tabs: overview, audience analysis and post trends. The audience analysis tab has the typical 17 demographic segments you are used to seeing for your page demographics (age, gender, relationship, household income, etc.).

  • For example, those who talk about bacon are typically 35-54 years old, married females with a household income of $50-75K.

From there, you can explore the audience’s top interests in terms of Facebook pages and page categories.

  • Bacon-fans are interested in the stock-market, political philosophy, food/recipe sites, HGTV and country music.

The last section under Audience Analysis is “Behaviors”. Behaviors include everything from life events, payment and device preferences, and retail spending.

  • People talking about bacon are more likely to have an Android device, pay in cash and purchase subscription services.

Post Trend Insights

The post trends section takes a deep-dive into what people are saying and sharing around your particular topic. Metrics can be evaluated based on Posts, Comments, Likes or Shares. The breakdown of topics includes:

  • Sample Public Posts- pulls in actual public posts with the topic in the text; however, any user information is removed to keep anonymity.
  • Top topics- additional keywords people associate with the topic.
    • For bacon, those include: cheese, soup, potatoes and slow cooker
  • Top URLs- URLs that are used most frequently with your topic.
    • com,
  • Top hashtags
    • #Bacon, #foodporn, #breakfast, #eggs
  • Top photo concepts- photo themes that appear most often with your topic.
    • Face/people, restaurant, beef cooked, dessert
  • Time posted- time of day when the audience posts about your topic.
    • Surprisingly people talk about bacon more in the evening than they do in the morning.
  • Post sentiment- aggregated feelings about your topic.
    • Bacon has an 84% positive sentiment

Implications for Marketers

To date, we haven’t seen this type of insight from Facebook, especially without paying for a 3rd party tool. With this additional information at our disposal, there are some exciting opportunities for social media marketers.

  • The in-depth audience analysis can be used beyond Facebook to gain a more holistic understanding of your target. It can better inform paid targeting strategies, as well.
  • Being able to segment the data by engagement type (i.e. Likes, Comments, Shares) can give insight on what type of content is driving a specific reaction from the audience. Having this knowledge can inform the content strategy based on the goal of the post.
  • Time posted data is helpful to see when people are online and engaged outside of your existing fan base to optimize content publishing.
  • Sample public posts and photo concepts can inspire new content ideas.
  • Using the Top URL information can give context to what other sites the target audience is visiting and the content that is resonating from those sites.


If you are interested in learning more about audience insights for your industry, shoot us a message.

Ignite Social Media