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…
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.