Using Facebook Page Insights Data to Determine Posting Best Practices in an Academic Health Sciences Library

Kathryn M. Houk, Kate Thornhill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Tufts University Hirsh Health Sciences Library created a Facebook page and a corresponding managing committee in March 2010. Facebook Page Insights data collected from the library's Facebook page were statistically analyzed to investigate patterns of user engagement. The committee hoped to improve posting practices and increase user engagement with the page by studying trends uncovered from data analysis. The results showed that increased posting frequency correlated with more page likes and more user engagement. The type of post content also significantly increased user engagement with the library's Facebook page, with multimedia posts drawing the most interest from fans. Analysis showed that engagement did not significantly decrease during the summer semester compared to the rest of the academic year. Based on these and other findings, the committee created better posting guidelines and will be looking into ways to organize and time posts in order to collect better data and increase Facebook page fans. This article hopes to inform other libraries that are considering creating a Facebook page in two ways: first, by highlighting how Facebook Insights data can be used to capture statistics about user trends; and second, by becoming a basis for best practice posting guidelines in order to have an active, engaging page with fans who remain interested in page content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-388
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Web Librarianship
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013


  • Facebook
  • academic libraries
  • best practices
  • data analysis
  • health sciences libraries
  • library 2.0
  • marketing
  • online social networks
  • research
  • social networking
  • use studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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