Can ‘Talking About This’ be greater than No. of fans on a Facebook page?

Brand owners / managers are often concerned about the right metric to assess how effective is engagement on their Facebook page. Facebook does provide a range of exhaustive metrics as part of Facebook Insights, but one of the key metric which is visible to every fan nowadays is ‘Talking about this’. This basically provides figure of number of unique people who have interacted with the page / post in any of following manners – liked the post / commented on post / shared the post / liked the page / posted to a page’s wall / answered a question / RSVPed to an event / checked in at a place / mentioned the page etc. Its debatable in industry whether this metric should be considered as a yardstick of engagament. But, it certainly does have some meaning, else why would Facebook provide it on homepage of every Page and also make it visible to every fan with approx one month history!

I recently had a debate with a brand owner about how much should Talking About This (TAT) be with reference to the number of fans (NoF) on a page. During discussion at one point of time, I put forth my view that, TAT could exceed NoF. The brand owner questioned me on my logic and I explained them that if the content of post is very interesting, fans might not only like and comment the post, but also share the post on their wall, and this would facilitate the virality of post, which would essentially increase the potential reach of post multiple folds. But alas! as usual brand owners hardly understand  and respect these engagement parameters, but are just concerned about NoF, as if a shepherd is concerned about his cattle count, and therefore my point was ignored.

I decided to probe this question further what other social media practitioners had in their mind. Here, are the few responses I received from few of them, who have experience of managing brands.

So, the takeaway for brand owners / managers is that its possible to get TAT more than your NoF in following conditions:

  1. The content is interesting and has enough heat in it to go viral.
  2. The size of overall fan base is not very large

I would conclude that achieving TAT higher than NoF might not be an easy task, however its also not impossible for brands in their initial stages of Facebook journey. They could always try and achieve this. Also, they could consider this milestone as an ideal measure to see how interesting their content is, and what kind of content they should create for continuing higher engagement even after the fan base has increased.


I am presently employed as Associate Director (Paid Media) at Performics.Resultrix, a Publicis Groupe company. Prior to this role I was employed with HCL Technologies as Senior Manger (Digital Marketing). My earlier digital marketing assignments were with ZenithOptimediaIndia (Publicis Groupe) and AdGlobal360. You can follow me on Twitter @anandan22 for all conversations on digital marketing.

2 thoughts on “Can ‘Talking About This’ be greater than No. of fans on a Facebook page?

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  • July 11, 2012 at 12:32

    Hi Anandan,

    Came across an FB page that validates what you said – has around 78k likes and 218k talks. So you defintely can have talks more than likes.
    I still dont really think talks builds community, but definitely can help pique interest.



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