No of Fans Vs. people talking about this Vs. Engaged Users

September 6, 2014 Uncategorized 0 Comments

This has always been a subject of debate for social media analysts. While no.of fans surely suggests popularity of any brand, No. of people talking about that page shows how many of them actually care about brand.

Brands are always excited about number of fans on their Facebook page. In fact, this is the first question most of brand managers ask to each other. It’s a conversation starter among social media enthusiasts & big headache for Social Media agencies. Today, we wanted to dive deeper in to this metric and explore what actually matters for any brand on facebook. We have seen lot of reports & research articles floating on Internet, focusing on no. of fans as important parameter.

But, there are some obvious areas, which needs to be explored once you see million fan communities. Does this no. actually help to achieve its marketing objective? Is it sheer volume of fans that drives influence for any brand on facebook? Are these fans of relevant TG for this brand? How influential are these people within their own social circle?

Once you will think about these questions, whole concept of no. of fanswill seem like a tip of iceberg. You’ll need to dig deeper to know more insightful information. Here we are! Suggesting a more appropriate parameter to evaluate brand’s popularity on social media:

People Talking About This’ (PTAT) is metric which shows brand’s popularity based on logical, measurable & real actions on social media. PTAT utilize followingactions to calculate the numbers:-

  • Like a page
  • Post on the page wall
  • Like a post
  • Comment on a post
  • Share a post
  • Answer a question
  • RSVP to a page’s event
  • Mention the page in a post
  • Tag the page in a photo
  • Check in at a place
  • Share a check-in deal
  • Like a check-in deal
  • Write a recommendation

Whenever a user performs any of above actions, it’s accounted as an ‘interaction’ on facebook’s algorithm. Total volume of such interactions by unique individuals is accounted as PTAT. Let’s explore this parameter using some of most popular Indian & US facebook pages.

Here is head to head comparison between Tata DoCoMo and MTV Roadies facebook pages, which are supposedly most buzzing & probably, amongst the largest (in terms of no. of fans!) facebook pages:

India scenario:-

Brands Fans People Talking About This Percentage
Tata DoCoMo 9,231,953 287,565 3%
MTV Roadies 4,626,043 143,864 3%


US scenario:-

Head to head comparison between Walmart and The Simpsons, which are amongst highly buzzed Facebook pages in US:

Brands Fans People Talking About This Percentage
Walmart 21,883,131 2,819,083 13%
The Simpsons 54,822,111 374,616 1%


Both scenarios portray the same picture. Brands having high fan bases do not score much on percentage PTAT.

‘People Talking About This’ is far more important metric as it focuses on interactions beyond an initial Facebook Like. However, PTAT does not track clicked links, posts read or videos watched. This takes us to another level of interrogation of this parameter. Clicking on a link, video view & post read are also equally important parameter. And, when a brand’s sole objective is to convey its marketing message across social platforms, above actions will result in brand’s marketing success.

So, if brand’s facebook engagement strategy is based on No. of fans or % of PTAT, then they are surely, missing the target. Then, what should brands do? Track Engaged Users!

Brands should focus on Engaged Users. Which includes PTAT, actions like clicking a post, opening a link, watching videos and viewing photos. And how do we track these actions? Well, that is a very simple yet tedious method. But, there is no magic wand that would give you delightful social media insight without putting efforts, isn’t it?

So, here is how we track Engaged Users:

On your facebook insights ‘overview’ tab, you will see details of each post in tabular format. This report highlights 3 important parameters: Reach, Engaged users, Talking about this (PTAT) &Virality. Of which, Engaged users – is what we are talking about. Manually add engaged users for each post & it will show exact no of users engaged with your brands.

Two more sub-metrics that needs a mention here are:

  • Virality Rate: – PTAT divided by the Reach (the number of people who have seen your Post)
  • Engagement Rate: – Engagement Rate is the number of Engaged Users divided by the Reach


About the Author

Tanmay Shanischara

Tanmay is Founder & CEO of MeDigit Solutions. A first generation entrepreneur, he started MeDigit because of his passion for marketing & strategy. He loves travelling, motorcycling & movies!

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