The brands on Facebook that most people are talking about

So you are a large brand that have managed to attract a lot of followers or fans on Facebook. That’s great, but how much engagement is there around the content that your brand is posting on Facebook? That’s what Facebook’s new metric “People Talking About” is trying to measure. The metric “represents the number of people that are talking about the page, sharing content from the page and further interacting with the page, thus creating stories. Its basically a metric of active¬†fans”.

This number can be found on Facebook pages, below the number of fans. But what is a good number? How can you determine if you are doing better than your competitors? To get a better understanding of how the most popular brands are doing in terms of engagement, I looked at the top 40 brands according to a list compiled by Ignite Social Media. There are other pages on Facebook with more fans, like sports teams, but this is a good list to look at.

walmart-facebook

National Geographic fans are active
It turns out that for most of the top consumer brands, engagement levels are somewhere between 0.5 – 2% of the total number of fans. So if you have 10 million fans, you probably have about 50,000 – 200,000 “People Talking About” your content. That’s a good benchmark to look at when you study your own page. At the top of this list is National Geographic, which is a media brand. Media pages often have even higher levels of engagement, possibly because they are very good at creating rich content on an ongoing basis. For example, the Guardian has 124,800 fans and 8,000 (or 6.4%) people talking about its page.

Among the non-media brands, Burberry, Walmart and Disney seem to do an outstanding job in getting their fans like, comment and share their content.

All the top 40 brand pages can be found in this Slideshare document, which you can also download for better viewing.

Other pages with really active fans can be found among sports teams (not on this list). Real Madrid (5.28%), Manchester United (3.21%) and FC Barcelona (2.99%) are some examples.

What I haven’t been able to determine if the value of “People Talking About” will aggregate over time or if it is a measure based on a period of time, for example the last 6 months. UPDATE: it measures the number of people that have interacted with your page during the last 7 days. Do you have any other examples of Facebook pages that many “People Are Talking About”? Please share in the comments.

Footnote: This metric does not measure how many times a brand is mentioned on Facebook.

Update: Hat tip to Markus Welin for the info about the 7 day period of measurement.


Unofficial pages attract Usain Bolt fans on Facebook

I spent the weekend in the archipelago on the Swedish east coast and drove for about three hours to get back home on Sunday evening. We arrived only five minutes before the start of the 100 metres final in the World Championships in Athletics in Berlin. I sat with my two oldest kids and watched the amazing new world record (9.58) set by Usain Bolt and it was a magical moment that I will remember for many years.

Usain Bolt When we get to experience such an amazing performance we sometimes like to show our graditude and support for the athlete. After 9.58, more people will become fans of Usain Bolt and search for information about the fastest man on earth. His own website is of course one such place, but people will also want to become fans of Bolt on Facebook for example. But there are as many as 62 pages for Usain Bolt on Facebook, which one is the official page? Well, there is one page with more than a million fans and it appears to be some kind of official page. It contains a lot of information and it can be reached via the personalized URL http://www.facebook.com/Usain, so it appears to be legitimate.

Another fanpage has managed to attract 127,000 fans, and there are several others with a few thousands Bolt fans. Others are piggybacking on celebrities by “borrowing” their names on different social networks. For example, someone called Jimmy Hawarny has managed to get the personalized URL http://www.facebook.com/UsainBolt for his personal page. And there are several Usain Bolts on Twitter, none which seems to be the real one. While Twitter has tried to solve the problem with fake accounts by creating verified accounts, to my knowledge, Facebook has no such indicator that a page is “official”.

One the other hand, creating fake fan pages is a violation of Facebook’s terms:

Fake Pages and unofficial “fan pages” are a violation of our Pages Guidelines. If you create an unauthorized Page or violate our Pages Guidelines in any way, your Facebook account may be disabled.

Unofficial fanpages may not be a huge problem, in fact they may even become the biggest asset for a brand or a celebrity. The biggest fanpage for Coca-Cola on Facebook has attacted well over 3 million fans, and it was started by two regular Facebook members who had trouble to find a legitimate Coke page. The page has also been embraced by the Coca-Cola Company.

In the case of Usain Bolt, it’s not extremely hard to find the official page, even though hundreds of thousands have become fans of unofficial pages. But when there are so many unofficial pages, maybe it is time for Facebook to launch some form of Verified Pages? Just so that you know what’s what.

Update: In a Google search, the page with 1 million fans and the page with 127,000 fans are both presented as official: “Welcome to the official Facebook Page of Usain Bolt. Get exclusive content and interact with Usain Bolt right from Facebook.”

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Ace of Base relaunch with fans as fourth member

mia rose and ulf ekberg of ace of base

British-Portuguese artist Mia Rose became an instant hit on YouTube after uploading videos of herself singing. The twenty-year old singer quickly grew a large dedicated fan base that loved her songs on YouTube, which has now been viewed many million times. Her channel on YouTube has more than 150,000 subscribers. Her popularity got her a record deal with a major record label, which she now has left for an independent label in order to be more in control over her career.

mia rose at sime

Mia performed one of her songs today at SIME in Stockholm and attended a panel together with Stefan Glaenzer, founder of Last.fm and Ulf Ekberg of Ace of Base. Last.fm according to Glaenzer “is the last destination you need in your life”.

Swedish pop combo Ace of Base might be the next succesful example of the future of the music business. Ulf Ekberg showed how the band is preparing for a comeback after more than a decade in retirement. This morning the band launched a widget on its website that lets users remix and change the band’s songs. People can share the widget with their friends on Facebook, MySpace, Piczo, Bebo, Blogger, hi5 and other social network. There is a sequencer where users can create their own remixes of both old and new Ace of Base songs, buy new loops and materials to add to the remixes. The band will also use the best remixes and put them up on the site. By engaging fans to make their own versions, Ace of Base creates a number of new revenue streams.

The former four man band now has three members, but as Ulf Ekberg stated:
– The fourth member of Ace of Base is now the consumer.

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