This past week my son turned me on to an awesome Facebook page – Humans of New York … maybe the best Facebook page I have seen.
Before I share with you why this page is so great and what you should learn from it, let’s quickly review some Facebook fundamentals. Most people focus solely on Facebook “likes.” Likes by itself is not telling. You need to look at the “talking about this” parameter in conjunction with “likes.” Facebook defines “talking about this” as
the number of unique users who have created a “story” about a page in a seven-day period. On Facebook, stories are items that display in News Feed. Users create stories when they:
• 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
• claim an offer
The reason why “talking about this” is so important is that it basically defines how many Facebook users see the brand’s posts on their newsfeed. Thus, I always emphasize that the percentage of likes relative to the number of talking about this is the Facebook metric you need to look at.
Now, back to Humans of New York. To start, look at the number of likes and number of talking about this. 1.5 million likes and 600K talking about this. 40 percent of the “likes” are “talking about this.” I have never seen this high of a percentage. As a comparison, entertainers run about 20 percent and commercial brands run about 1 to 2 percent.
The magic of Humans of New York is pretty simple … great photographs and great human interest stories. So while Humans of New York is not a commercial brand, I still believe that marketers can learn much from their approach. Marketers – understand their content strategy. Pictures and human stories are most compelling to digital and social audiences. Find a way to humanize your brand. Feature the people behind the brand, the company team. Highlight the loyalists and the people that support your brand. Open your digital channels to UGC (user generated content). Brands’ Facebook presence must be more about people and stories than product push.
I do realize that Humans of New York is not a commercial brand where their success is measured by units sold. Granted, they have the luxury of posting whatever they want without concern for sales. But brands must have this mentality on their social channels as well. Let me put it this way … Marketers, don’t you want your posts to make it to your likes newsfeed? Don’t you want your audience to love your posts and engage? Don’t you want your brand to stay top of mind?
Make It Happen,
Footnote … While I am an experienced marketer that stays current on new and trending digital environments, it was my son that alerted me to Humans of New York. I constantly talk to my kids about their digital and social experiences and preferences. Even if you are an experienced marketer executing you need to learn from the people shaping the current and future behavior of digital usage.