People Talking About This
Facebook introduced a new analytical metric on Facebook Pages that has amounted to a tectonic shift in the way marketers need to think about reaching out to the public. The new “Talking About This” metric puts the emphasis squarely on engagement, something many campaigns have largely dismissed in the race for likes. It accounts for user-initiated activity related to your brand’s Page including: posting to your wall, ‘liking’, commenting, sharing page posts or page content, answering a question on the page, RSVP’s, liking or sharing a deal, and checking in to your location.
Why is this Important? Let’s compare President Obama to Governor Romney. While Obama has many more Likes, it is Romney who has a larger number of “people talking about this”. Not surprisingly, the Romney Page uses upload photo/video apps to drive engagement while the Obama Page does not. The interactivity level that Governor Romney has generated by using applications seizes current political polarization trends and amplifies the volume of his base exponentially.
There are currently more Facebook users in the U.S. (163 MM) than people that voted in the 2008 election (130 MM).
An article posted in Slate (1) discusses a recent survey2 of 2,253 U.S. adults. It shows that nearly half of those that were responding, and who were self-described Democrats, use social networking sites to keep up with political news. Conversely, only about one in three Republican social-network users say the same. Yet despite the number of Democrats who utilize social media as a news outlet and personal soundboard, the number of people reached by the Republican candidate remains fiercely competitive. The logical reason for this success lies within Romney’s utilization of applications such as ours. People on Facebook are 57% more likely to persuade a friend or co-worker to vote, according to Pew.
According to the article (and we’d agree) the shocker lies here:
“A few people even report changing their minds about an issue based on their friends’ political posts. They’re in the minority, to be sure: just 16 percent overall. Among self-described liberals, though, that number rises to 24 percent.”
Who listens to your social conversation?
‘Reach’ measures the spread of a social media conversation in two distinct ways. The first is by determining how far and wide the distance is that your content is being individually disseminated. The second is a measure of potential audience size and total number of people who have seen your content. Campaigns that want to increase their reach and grow their audience need strategies that go beyond traditional means of engaging with fans. Our apps do this by tapping into individual Facebook users’ passions for a product or political ideology, and turn the individual user into a messenger, thereby increasing the audience dissemination size, reach, and participation level.
CONCLUSION: Facebook has changed the game and forced a shift towards engagement. As a brand you have to respond or have your spot on your consumer’s timeline taken by your competitor.
Let’s give them something to talk about
We’ve seen how Facebook has changed the game and forced a shift towards engagement. As a brand, you have to respond or allow a competitor to grab that spot on your consumer’s timeline.
What has become quite apparent is that Page “Likes” have lost their as luster as the ultimate social currency. Now that anyone who views your page can also see how many people are interacting with your Page, your brands or company, or your campaign, each page will be judged by the level of real interest people are taking in them, rather than a collectable number of “Likes”. If you have a substantial amount of Likes, but very few people talking about you, it is clear that your Page is not engaging your users. The truth is that Likes no longer hold the crown as the most important metric for Fan Pages. A Facebook Like is the start of the conversation, not the goal. If fans aren’t engaging with your brand on Facebook then your consumers will never see your updates. Facebook controls the posts that are seen in your followers’ news feeds. The more people that “talk about you”, the more your Facebook page will virally grow on its own. But there’s a catch. Something is stopping you from achieving that viral growth. That something is EdgeRank. Facebook’s EdgeRank is an algorithm that determines how many of your Facebook fans will actually see your updates. The more people who “talk about you,” the more your Facebook page will grow virally. This is why a brand or campaign may not get more Likes after an update is posted. Indeed, only 16 percent of fans will actually see that post. The imperative here, then, is to reach the other 84 percent. Pages today need an effective method to increase engagement.
App types: A recent Wildfire Interactive study of over 10,000 Facebook apps breaks them down into just a few types:
- Photo/Video contest
Clients using our APP Platform increased people talking about this by 484%
(1) Slate Sept 5 2012; http://slate.me/TjMSUF