A Facebook Page Every Marketer Should Learn From

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.



Filed under brand communication, brand marketing, brands, digital media, Facebook, marketing, social marketing, social media, social media marketing, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve

5 responses to “A Facebook Page Every Marketer Should Learn From

  1. And now you’ve introduced me to HONY. Three cheers for great content. Thanks Steve!

  2. The simple stuff just makes sense, regardless of it not being a product it’s how you learn from the fact they ask people to engage with something they all have – a story.

    Whilst working on a FB page for a food festival this summer like the summer before in the 4 days of the event the talking went from 200 to 1300, and 2000 likes. Last year in four day it went from 29 to 900 in 4 days and 1300 likes. It worked becasue the communities and networks connected were ready and waiting. Just like the NYC community is above.

    You’re right to listen and learn from anyone relevant whether young or old, if it makes sense do it. Sorry I have been absent from your comments Steve.

  3. Cecilia

    I have loved this Facebook ever since I came across it a couple of months ago. I am involved in expats life and every one of their post is an inspiration to us. It is indeed a great example of what a fb page should be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s