I'm excited with Facebook's latest metrics, "people talking about this" for Pages which rolled out early October 2011. The number is a combination of many interactions that takes place within the Facebook pages for the past seven days. It includes:
- Liking a Page
- Posting to a Page’s Wall
- Liking, commenting on or sharing a Page post (or other content on a page, like photos, videos or albums)
- Answering a Question posted
- RSVPing to an event
- Mentioning a Page in a post
- Phototagging a Page
- Liking or sharing a check-in deal
- or checking in at a Place.
Though I don't see how it's going to affect user experience but as a marketers, I see that it helps in three different aspects.
1.Understand that fans are not a measurement of engagement.
Many brands are rolling out campaigns after campaigns to recruit fans without having a long term conversation plan (I hate!). This new metric is a more accurate way for brands to measure their engagement on Facebook as compared to likes. It limits the use of likes as an indicator of success.
I made a comparison for the top five brands on Facebook in the Malaysian market (source:Social Bakers), calculating the engagement rate based on "people who talked about this" number and divided by the number of fans. Obvious observation shows that a brand can't buy their way into popularity all the time, in this case - the 1Malaysia Facebook page which lacks interaction for obvious reasons. This could call them to rethink their engagement strategy to justify the money they are spending on social media.
2. Think long term.
The stats on "people talking about this" challenges the social media marketers to have an all-year-long engagement plan without blindingly running contest every once in a while. As this engagement number is based on the last seven days, pages might see great engagement numbers when they have got Facebook ads running to promote their page contests etc, what happens when the contest stops?
3. Helps digital planners choose their paid online advocates carefully.Publishers, media owners and bloggers have been selling social media "influence" based on the number of fans/followers (which I do not agree, but that's another topic all together which I discussed in my new post: Planning for Social Media Campaigns). This engagement number would help planners decide if they should or shouldn't use a particular online "celebrity" instead of blindly paying them to post an update.
Also here’s an example of paid tweet by a celebrity gone wrong. Though they claim that it was a publicity stunt for Del Taco, who would describe their food as shitty? Here’s the article on it on Mashable.
Related Post: Why Social Media is like Volcano Eruption