“Talking About This”

Facebook talking about thisFacebook has recently updated its Facebook Insights.  Along with these improvements is a new public metric called “Talking About This”.  I will be writing more on the other changes to Facebook insights in the coming weeks, but Facebook’s “Talking About This” metric is the one that most people have been asking me about of late, so I will start with this one. This publicly facing metric on your Page can be found directly below your Facebook Page fan (“Likes”) count, providing an additional measure of social proof to those viewing the page.

How is this number calculated?

This anonymous aggregated data refers to the number of unique people who have created a story about your page within a seven day period.  The results are a couple of days in delay (which is typical of all Facebook’s page insights at present – let’s hope that changes soon), so don’t be alarmed if you are starting to engage with more people but your figure is not rising immediately.

What is a story?

Stories that are included in the calculation are when someone:

  • Create discussion on your facebook page and increase your "who's Talking About Me" on your insights,Likes your page;
  • Posts to your page’s wall;
  • Likes, comments or shares one of your page posts;
  • Answers a question you posted;
  • RSVP’s to one of your events;
  • @ mentions your page;
  • Photo tags your page;
  • Checks in at your place; or
  • Recommends your place

What is a good figure?

How to tell if you are engaging your audience on facebook, A good figure is proportionate to the number of people that “Like” your page.  If you get the number of people talking about your page and divide it by the number of “Likes” that your page has then multiply it by 100, you can work out the percentage of people engaged with your page compared to the number of people that “Like” it.  It is this percentage that you should be looking at to measure how effective your engagement level is rather than the number itself.
From my investigations so far it seems that for most small businesses (without massive fan bases) that are doing a good job of posting quality content on a regular basis that percentage is hovering around 5-10%. You would think that the more people that “Like” your page, the higher the “Talking About This” number should be.  Well this is usually the case, but not always proportionately.  It is interesting to note that those with fewer fans (such as many small businesses) seem to manage higher engagement levels.  Many of my favourite pages that post quality content on a regular basis but have large fan bases are returning a rate of less than 1%.  Perhaps this is because pages with a smaller fan base are more likely to have genuine “fans” of their businesses.  Whereas, some of the pages with larger fan bases may have many fans that have just liked their page for a one time offer, such as a to enter a competition, and have had little engagement with the page since.

Is the “Talking About This” metric actually important?

Bee Bowen Millinery Facebook Page,
Getting people to talk about your page is one of the best ways to reach more people and therefore amplify your message by increasing your virality.  This is key to increasing brand awareness and getting your businesses messages out to more people.Because of this, I believe this to be one of the most important metrics you should be taking note of.  Therefore your strategy (if it isn’t already) should be less about increasing the number of page “Likes” and more about increasing engagement with your fans.  But it goes further than that, “non-fans” can post to your wall and create stories about your page also now.  With this in mind, you should try to generate content that not only resonates with your fans, but is also potentially of interest beyond the niche you are targeting, making your content more likely to be shared by your fans with their friends (your “non-fans”) and then liked/shared/commented on again via those “non-fans”, all the while pumping up your “Talking About This” number.
In some cases I have seen fan pages where the number of people “Talking About This” is higher than the number of “Likes”.  This usually occurs when a Page posts an item such as a photo or video that goes viral through their fans and friends of fans sharing their content, so the number is drawn from more than just the page’s fan base, but it is not sustainable at this level.  You may also experience a higher rate of engagement around the time of a launch, event or competition and then a sudden drop off once this period has past.  This was the case with one of my clients Bee Bowen Millinery around the time of the Spring Racing Carnival when we were showcasing her hats in action. The great thing about this type of situation is that when the “Talking About This” metric is that high, then the number of people that “Like” your page is likely to spike at that time also due to the increased awareness of your brand, quality of the content you are sharing and level of social proof being demonstrated, so this strategy inadvertently results in more page likes as a bi-product rather than as the initial goal.

How do I increase the number of people “Talking About This”?

It all comes back to content – consistently high quality valuable content posted on a regular basis and acceptable frequency for your audience that is.  This should be combined with regular competitions, events and other activities that are likely to cause a buz and increase your engagement levels. Because the “Talking About This” metric works over a seven day period, often you will find a spike or a sudden drop off in numbers as particularly engaging posts come into or out of that time period respectively.
Whilst peaks and troughs are to be expected, as a general rule you should be aiming to replace those posts that are dropping out of the seven day period with posts that are equally (but preferably more) likely to get people talking about your content.  You also need to balance the number of posts with the level of interaction you are receiving, as your fans may not like commenting, liking or sharing too much content in one day. Experiment with the type, frequency and timing of your content and then monitor and analyse the results in your Facebook Insights to gain valuable feedback on what resonates best with your audience.  More on that later…
So check out your Facebook page now and calculate how many people are talking about your page and how does it compare with you number of page likes? Tell us about it in the comments below.