In a fit of procrastination this morning I looked at the Facebook pages for a dozen travel brands along with ten travel bloggers and collected the two numbers in the left hand column: “Like this” and “Talk about this”. I was curious if there was much correlation between the two — seems there is.
Most are familiar with the Like This number. It represents the number of people (or bots masquerading as people) who have, at some stage in their like “liked” your page.
For Talk About This I went to Googletron which sent me to Quora which sent me to the Clix Group where I learned that “Essentially, the metric tracks the number of people who have created a story from the page in the past seven days.” There is a number of ways you can do that, by liking the page, posting on the wall, commenting on the wall and so on (see the Clix Group page for a full list).
So, I think I’m right in saying Like is everyone who has ever liked you and Talking about is those who have somehow interacted with you in the past seven days.
What I then did was select a dozen travel brands and ten bloggers and collated their likes and talking abouts. The only criteria was that the site had to have at least 1,000 people who had liked it. I then divided the number of talks about by the number of likes, which gave me a percentage score for each site.
The Facebook pages are (in alphabetical order):
I picked the above as examples of either major legacy publishers in travel (eg Lonely Planet, Rough Guides) or new media (Bootsnall, Matador etc). Travelfish.org is my site. Why KLM and Visit Britain you ask? Because they’re both often talked of as best case examples, so I wanted to include them to provide a benchmark of sorts.
Everything Everywhere https://www.facebook.com/EverythingEverywhere
Indie Travel Podcast https://www.facebook.com/indietravel
Malaysia Asia https://www.facebook.com/MalaysiaAsiaPage
Uncornered Market https://www.facebook.com/UncorneredMarket
In picking the bloggers, some (Everything Everywhere, Legalnomads, NomadicMatt and Uncornered Market) I know personally, others I follow or have heard of them frequently. Nothing scientific at work here.
Save a couple of outliers (KLM for travel brands and Legal Nomads for bloggers) anything over 3% and you’re ahead of the pack. The bloggers tended to rank slightly higher, perhaps due to the more interactive vibe of that slice of the web or also perhaps because of generally lower overall numbers.
Some more thoughts:
Have budget? Use it wisely
I guess it helps to be an international airline like KLM as they’ve some budget to do some pretty cool things to get more energy out of the page, but then VisitBritain, which has received considerable praise (and I assume budget) was lagging a bit in the crowd.
I dropped Jodi (of Legalnomads) a line to ask after her Facebook activity and she replied saying “I don’t tend to post based on what I think my FB fans might like so much as I post the things that I find engaging or interesting, which I hope is what led them to the page in the first place. Times when I travel I post less external links & more photos from the road. It’s been very rewarding to have such a great response and engagement on the page.”
Makes sense. If you’re trying to make a connection with people, it’s best to try and be yourself. Perhaps more of a challenge for a brand than a blogger — which may explain the slightly higher rate for bloggers.
With the Travelfish.org Facebook page we post four to five times a day Monday to Friday (less on weekends) and that appears to have helped the reader interactions. Compare that to say Rough Guides, which is publishing to the wall every now and then, often with stretches of 3-4 days between posts.
Photos, regardless of quality tend to get a lot of likes and comments. Images embedded in the wall-stream get better interaction than a link to a photo off-site, but then you lose the traffic across to your site. Bit of a tradeoff here and one needs to make a decision where you want people to be consuming your content.
Is it worth it?
I’m no Facebook fan personally, my true allegience lay with Twitter, but at the start of the year we decided to make a concerted push to increase our presence on Facebook. We set a goal of attaining 10,000 fans in the year (which we’re not going to make) and to post on the site frequently.
Facebook is now our second largest source of traffic after Google. Facebook brings us more visitors than Bing or Yahoo
So yes, it is worth it
I’m no genius with numbers, the data I used for the graph above is here if you’d like to cook it up other ways — do let me know what you come up with.