Have you ever wished you could sneak a peek of your competitor’s Facebook insights? Well, now you can thanks to the new timeline design for business pages.

I’ve just learned a new trick from Nathan Latka’s most current webinar and would like to share it with you.

As you may know, after you transition to the new timeline, you no longer have left-side tabs; they have been replaced by 111×74 pixel customizable app thumbnails. All you need to do is go to the business page that has already switched to the timeline layout and click on the “likes” thumbnail showing thumbs-up and the number of fans. If you don’t see it among the four application thumbnails displayed under the cover photo, you’ll have to click the little triangle to the very right in order to expand the selection.

timeline likes thumbnailA side note: While I was looking for a good screenshot of the “likes” thumbnail, I’ve noticed two things:

(1)    Most brands, even very popular ones with a lot of fans and unlimited budgets haven’t switched to the timeline yet;

(2)    Those who switched hide the “likes” info from the page by moving it further down on the app list.

So here is what you’ll see when you click the “likes” thumbnail:

timeline insightsIn addition to total likes, people talking about this and people who checked in, we now have access to:

–     Most popular week (determined by how many people were talking about this page)

–     Most popular city (the city where most of the people talking about this page come from)

–     Most popular age group (calculated from people talking about this page)

–     Photos tagged here

–     Most visited week (determined by how many people checked in)

–     Largest party (the largest group check-in at this location)

This information gives business owners and entrepreneurs a better idea about their competition’s target market (at least the online portion of it) and the success of their marketing efforts. You could research your competitor’s Facebook activities during their “most popular week” and see what they did that worked.  Or discover an unexplored age group for your product or service and target that niche. There are many possibilities, and it’s up to you how to interpret and use this data.

On the other hand, both your competitors and fans will have access to a snapshot of your Facebook insights. You could hide this thumbnail at the very bottom of the applications list, but there’s no way to make it private at this point.

What do you think about this new feature? Do you find it useful, unnecessary or invasive? Let us know in the comments below!