Measuring Facebook’s Most Engaging Pages & “People Talking About This” Percentage

A few weeks ago I started to evaluate some of the Most Engaging Facebook Pages (ranked by interactions) to see what their ratio of total Fans to “People Talking About This” was. My goal was to establish what their “Talking About This” % might be so that I could use it as a guide. I’ll share what I found after analyzing the Top 20 Most Engaging Facebook Pages below but first let me set the stage with some perspective on social media and engagement.

If you are trying to build a brand, sell a product or create a following (aka Tribe) with social media, you need to understand something that is extremely important for your long-term success.

It’s NOT just about the number of fans / followers that you can accumulate!

You must have fan engagement in order to truly succeed.

There are plenty of Twitter accounts and Facebook pages with hefty follower counts but horrible engagement. You don’t want that. You want good, quality followers who interact.

Think of it like this… if you throw a party and 1000 people show up you would be pretty excited. You might even brag about it. Some might consider the fact that you got 1000 people there to be “Social Proof” that you have an audience or a platform. At first, from the outside looking in, it might appear that you’ve succeeded. But have you?

Just getting them there is only a small part of the equation. It’s what you do after they are there that really counts.

Pick up from the party idea… what happens if those 1000 people don’t engage? When they just sit around, lean up against the wall and don’t interact? The party would be pretty lame wouldn’t it? Most people would soon get bored and stop paying attention or just leave.

On the contrary if your party is happening and people are talking, finding value and having a good time… they will stay and most likely invite their friends to stop by as well.

You see, social media is like a drug. We’re all mesmerized by the numbers and we all want the big digits in the “Followers” or “Fans” box but pursuing that alone is a recipe for an ineffective platform and weak influence.

Quality is more important than quantity but… they are mutually significant. It’s not about one vs the other, necessarily, it’s about BOTH AND. If you can strike that balance with quality then you’ll likely see your quantity grow exponentially.. but if your quality sucks then your quantity will too.

One quick indicator for the health of a Facebook page is the “Talking About This” metric that Facebook shares publicly on all pages (left side towards the bottom just under the number of fans that a page has). You can read more about what makes up that “Talking About This” number here or here but for the sake of simplicity, it’s basically just a guide / glimpse of the fan interactions a page has had over the last several days.

If you see a page that has a big fan count but no one is talking about it then most likely their community is inactive or worse… their party is lame and no one is paying attention (but the good news is that trend can be reversed as well).

As one who administers and develops several Facebook pages for myself and for clients, I wanted to know what the AVERAGE “Talking About This” score / rating might be for some of the top ranked Facebook pages out there so that I could compare that average and get a base idea of what a good “Talking About This” percentage might be.

So here’s what I did…

  1. I ran across this article featuring the 20 Most Engaged Facebook Pages and this one with the 10 Most Engaging Pages. The articles are from 2011 but still was a good snapshots of pages that create solid engagement.
  2. I had a quick spreadsheet created that listed each page, their current (as of January 31, 2012) FAN COUNT and their current “Talking About This” number.
  3. We then did some simple math to determine each page’s percentage of “Talking About This” compared to the number of overall fans. Below is what was found…

The value here is this…

  • The AVERAGE of all of these pages together was a 6% “Talking About This” to FAN count ratio so if your page is at 6% then you are at least averaging what some of the so-called “best” do. If you are over 6% then awesome. If you are under then you need to intentionally create more engagement.
  • If you take a look at the pages of some of the MOST engaged and study their posts, how they engage, etc. you can likely pick up a few ideas that you too might be able to implement in order to successfully increase your page engagement and “Talking About This” ratio… in fact, there are a few good tips here and here on that as well.
  • If nothing else, this is a great reminder that you have to do more just practice fan acquisition and fan growth techniques. If you TRULY want to increase your influence and you truly want to move the needle forward then you must create engagement. That’s where real impact occurs.

Numbers change and stats fluctuate, we all know that. So while the numbers I share above may be different by the time you read this… the fundamental point stays true. Pay attention to the metrics that matter. Don’t be so wooed by words like “Social Proof” (in the sense of Quantity of fans alone) that you lose sight of the what matters more (Quality of fans as well).

I’d personally rather have 12 fans that pay attention, that follow and engage rather than 100 who were lukewarm and merely standing against the wall. Those 12, if truly engaged, can be the catalyst for so much more.

What are your biggest struggles / questions with optimizing your Facebook page or social media in general?

Let me know here or leave a comment below and I’ll post answers to your questions in future posts (and show you how I’ve grown Facebook pages to over 400,000 followers with huge levels of engagement.)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Well, this is encouraging…I’m managing the Facebook page for a magazine that my workplace publishes, which I started doing about 3 months ago.  We had 756 fans when I started, and now it’s at 6,377…not a huge number, but still significant growth.  Our page is definitely geared toward a niche audience, too, so we may never have the widespread appeal of some other pages.

    We do use some ads too, so the growth is not just from my efforts. But I just did the math to find my “talking about this” percentage, and it came to around 21%…I’m excited! I just really do hope that it is contributing as far as adding value for our brand.  And I do strive to add valuable content for our readers.  I’m so excited to discover your site…I think it will be very helpful. 🙂

  • Facebook/freakypets

    Cool.  Wasn’t sure about our page but while we are only starting and have about 5,500 likes (growing pretty quickly, at least to me!), our fan engagement is over 25%.

  • Debbie

    Thank you for this insightful article, I would love to talk with you if I could, we are, as a group, trying to make a name for ourselves as being influential on Facebook, we are getting ‘Talking About This’ rates of avg. 24%, and often seeing 75 – 88% as well. We are doing a presentation and wondering what numbers specifically would someone be looking at to measure how influential one is with their FB Pages/profiles. 
    I am also desperately looking to find an app or service that can combine these numbers for me for all the pages I admin (looked at Social Sprout but their numbers are ‘Impressions’ and we are, I think, looking for actual ‘talking about’ numbers.  There seems to be no-one who can do this for us (we have 40 FB Pages).
    Are you available to help me for any length of time get my numbers in order for my presentation?

  • Daniel, do you understand the “mention the page in a post” condition for the “talking about this” feature in Facebook? I’m looking for a little insight on a specific part. Imagine I had a “generic” fb account name — take for instance “Jesus Daily.” If someone unrelated to “Jesus Daily” wrote a post on their own page which reads, “I try to walk with Jesus daily” would “Jesus Daily” get “credited” for people talking about their page? If so, additionally, what if someone posts “I try to walk with Jesus in my daily life?” Are Jesus and Daily close enough together in that sentence that Jesus Daily gets a ping for being talked about?

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  • Kerry Taylor

    There is a facebook page which sells alot of my books, I am trying to find a page with the same capability. I have tried finding the competitors to the page, but I am thinking I should be looking at it at a different angle. Any clues? Thanks

  • Carole Scott

    V useful. Thanks. I was just asking myself the very question so that I can benchmark our success against averages, so thanks!

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