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Key Metric for Nonprofit Facebook Community Building

Facebook Insights provides a ton of data on how your organization’s Facebook page is performing. One important measurement you need to analyze to grow your nonprofit’s Facebook page is the “People Talking About” metric.

As we mentioned in our previous post, nonprofits need to focus on data that is tied to their organizational goals. Facebook defines “People Talking About” as anyone who:

  • Likes a page
  • Posts on the page’s wall
  • Likes a post*
  • Comments on a post*
  • Shares a post*
  • Answers a question
  • RSVPs to a page’s event
  • Mentions the page in a post
  • Tags the page in a photo
  • Checks in at a place
  • Shares a check-in deal
  • Likes a check-in deal
  • Writes a recommendation
  • Claims an offer

Facebook provides post level and page level data. Post level provides metrics for individual posts on the page whereas page level offers cumulative data about the page.

*Indicates stats People Talking About measures for post-level data.

So why should you focus on the People Talking About metric?

To grow your nonprofit’s Facebook community, people need to know about your group’s Facebook page. Two ways to build awareness about the page are to run Facebook ads and request fans to publicize the page.

People Talking About is the only metric that tells you exclusively how many people have spread the word about your nonprofit. When people take any of the actions in the list above, it shows up as a “story” in their friends’ newsfeeds.

For example, check out how my friend Mary is spreading the word about Tom Hiddleston by liking his page:

When Facebook users take any of the actions listed above, people in their networks see that action, which ultimately builds awareness around that particular post or page.

What about Engaged Users?

Engaged Users is similar to People Talking About, but there are two reasons why you should go with the latter.

Engaged Users counts negative actions, such as unliking a page and hiding a post. So if you shared something controversial on your Facebook page that received 200 hides from your 1,000 fans, Facebook rates your post as outstanding, because 200 engaged users out of 1,000 fans is a 20 percent engagement rate after all. If you want to grow your nonprofit’s Facebook community, you need to share content that doesn’t lead to negative engagement.

The second reason is Engaged Users counts actions that are unseen, such as photo views and link clicks. When people take these actions, no one but you, the page admin, knows about the action. Clicking a photo doesn’t generate a “story” in the newsfeed. If growing your community requires people to spread the word about your organization, the Engaged Users stat fails to do this by including these silent actions.

Put it into action

The higher your People Talking About metric is, the more people are spreading the word about your organization.

To increase your nonprofit’s People Talking About figures, take a look at our blog post with instructions on how to expand your nonprofit’s Facebook reach by 130 percent. You can also take your nonprofit Facebook community building up a notch by launching community-building Facebook ads.

Questions? Leave a comment below, or write to us at connect [at] mediacause [dot] org.



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