Katherine recently talked about the new Facebook algo update, and strategies you can use to beat it. I decided to take a look at the Facebook Pages that are utterly dominating even after the update. These aren't the most "liked" Facebook Pages. Instead, these are the most talked about Pages. And since I've already pointed to academic research demonstrating how audience interactions produce revenue, while Page Likes don't, this is about as close as we can get to measuring actual revenue.
So, what are these top tier Facebook Pages doing better than the rest of us?
1. WTF Magazine
As of February 18, WTF Magazine has had nearly 12 million people "talk about it" in the past 7 days. Unfortunately, Facebook considers "liking" and similar actions "talking," but it's still the best metric we have to work with.
More importantly, though, the page only has 1.6 million likes.
You read that right. WTF Magazine reaches at bare minimum 12 million people, even though only 1.6 million people actually subscribe to the Page.
Here's an example of one of their successful posts:
Why does this work?
- It gives you that "feel good" sensation. This woman beat cancer. The sense of triumph that comes from something like that is contagious.
- It's original. The image isn't just inspiring, it's something you probably haven't seen before.
And then there are posts like this:
- Cynical as it might be, it's hard not to laugh, and laughter powers social activity.
- It's unexpected. In fact, the success of the Page is perfectly embodied in its title: WTF. Anything mind-blowing, unexpected, or surprising has a tendency to succeed on social networks.
Of course, we can't all be online magazines filled with crude jokes and oddball news stories, but if you can't understand why this Page is successful, you will have a very difficult time succeeding on Facebook. Facebook isn't a place for niche topic discussions, it's a place for mainstream exposure.
This Page should make it very clear that Facebook is a place to grab traffic. As I've said many times before, email is where you want your customers to be if you want to keep them.
2. Mentos *Cough*
I was starting to think that Mentos went the way of the Dodo bird based on the lack of "freshmaker" commercials. But it turns out that they're apparently killing it on Facebook. As I write this, Mentos has over 6 million people talking about it, more than half of its 10 million subscribers.
For a business comparison, the most Liked brand, Coca-Cola, with 79 million Likes, has 570,000 people talking about it.
So why is Mentos doing so insanely well?
Well...they probably aren't, actually.
Okay, I promised you Facebook Pages that slaughtered the algorithm update, but this Page is actually a splendid opportunity to point to a particularly wasteful and uninspiring aspect of Facebook marketing.
What am I getting at? Let's take a closer look.
Hmm, so the "talking about this" activity is really just being caused by new Page likes. Let's take a look at their posts:
73 likes? Out of 10 million subscribers? And zero Shares? In fact, none of the posts seem to have more than a few comments and a few dozen Likes. What's going on? Why so many "fans" and so little engagement?
I'll take a guess. It's probably because they're buying Facebook ads. And sadly, Facebook ads have proven themselves to be no more effective than click farms.
That's right. Facebook has a huge black market "Liking" problem. Millions of fake personas are Liking things on Facebook for pennies in order to inflate the appearance of their competitors. These Likes are sold on click farms, thousands of them for dollars.
And to avoid burning their clients when they get caught, those click farms are also "Liking" legitimate brands, and they're doing it by clicking Facebook ads.
I hate to say it, but Mentos, like oh so many other marketers who pay for Facebook ads, are wasting their money.
Mentos may have 10 million "Likes," but judging by the posts on their page they only have a few dozen actual fans that see their content.
Don't let this happen to you.
3. George Takei
This, now openly gay, actor who played Mr. Sulu on the original Star Trek has built up a massive following on social media. George Takei currently has 6.2 million people talking about him on Facebook. This is slightly larger than his number of page subscribers: 6.1 million.
And yes, those are real fans, as evidenced by posts like this:
Why is George Takei so popular, even after the revelation that he doesn't even write all his own jokes?
- Judging by the response from Reddit, one of the most vehemently critical places on the web, fans pretty much get that George Takei is a brand, and they don't really expect him to craft everything that gets posted to his account.
- His posts are very relatable to his audience. He references things that they care about, from Star Trek to gay rights to the discomfort of winter.
- The posts make people laugh.
So What Have We Learned?
- Don't waste money on Facebook ads until they can resolve their click farm problem.
- Use images every single time you post
- Post surprising content: the kind of thing that might make you say "WTF?"
- "Feel good" emotions trump anger and fear
- Be inspirational
- Make people laugh
- Be relatable to your target audience by taking stances, making references, and playing with inside jokes
- People like to put a face to a brand, even if they know it's a brand
Hope that helps. Thanks for reading. Be sure to pass this along if you liked it, and leave us a comment if you've got something to add.
Image credit: Sarah Reid