Understanding the New Insights: People Talking About This & Engaged Users

, Co-Founder, PageLever

February 9, 2012

As part of the Fall 2011 Insights update, Facebook introduced a brand new language for describing the interactions and engagements you’re getting on your Pages. In the second article of a multi-part series on these new metrics, I’m going to be covering People Talking About This and Engaged Users – what they actually mean and how to use them.If you’re not currently using PageLever, that’s not a problem. We’re here to help everyone simple smile Understanding the New Insights: People Talking About This & Engaged Users

Why do we even have these new metrics?  What happened to what I used to measure?

Before the new Insights came out, many folks were relying on a combination of the number of comments and likes across all of their posts and the number of Active Users on the Page as a way to say “OK, I’m doing a better job at engaging with my audience.”  However, Active Users weren’t really active (I explained that in the article on Reach) and there are more ways to interact with your fans than just comments and likes.  By introducing People Talking About This and Engaged Users as separate metrics, we can more clearly understand how fans are engaging with our page.

What is People Talking About This?

People Talking About This (or PTAT) is the number of individual people who have engaged with your Page in a way that it created a “Story” that went out into the Newsfeed.  This includes commenting / liking / sharing a specific post, liking the Page, mentioning the Page in a post, checking in, RSVP’ing to one of your events, photo-tagging the Page and writing a post on your Page’s Wall.   PTAT doesn’t include people using your Page’s name in one of their personal posts without @-mentioning or tagging it (“I love Disney!” vs “I Love Disney!”)  Facebook chose to showcase this number because the Stories generated from PTAT actions drive any type of viral engagements that in turn help increase growth..

Wait…then what is Engaged Users?

Engaged Users is the number of individual people who have engaged with your Page, regardless if the engagement created a Story or not.  This includes everything from PTAT, plus actions like clicking on a post, opening up a link, watching a video, or viewing out your photos.  All of these additional actions do not create a Story in the Newsfeed, so you won’t see a Story of “David Turner watched PageLever’s video”.  The correct term for these actions is Consumptions, but you can also think of them as clicks, especially if you’re trying to explain this to someone who isn’t deeply familiar with Facebook.  The reason the word Consumptions is used is a matter of semantics – you consumed a video, not just clicked on a video.

How does People Talking About This & Engaged Users fit into my Page’s Lifecycle?

Let’s look at an example of someone commenting on one of your Page’s posts:

1) One of your fans, Bob, sees one of your Page’s video posts in their Newsfeed (Organic Impression)
2) Bob watches the video (“consumed” the video and added to Engaged Users) and loves it
3) Bob comments on the post, which creates a Story in the Newsfeed, and Bob is added to People Talking About This
4) Bob’s friend Jane sees the Story about Bob commenting on your post (Viral Impression)
5) Jane is interested in seeing more of your content and chooses to become a fan by “liking” your page

We also show the number of users who consumed a post, which offers you the breakdown by just Story-creating actions and non-Story-creating actions.  Knowing both of these, plus the unique number of Engaged Users is critical if you’re finely tuning the performance of your posts.

Can you explain Virality Rate and Engagement Rate?

The biggest misunderstanding of Virality Rate is that it has something to do with Viral Impressions or Viral Reach, but it does not.  Virality Rate is the number of People Talking About This divided by the Reach (the number of people who have seen your Post).  It’s measuring “Out of all of the people that saw some content from my Page, what was the rate of engagements that created Stories?”.  Another misunderstanding is that Engagement Rate is the same thing as Virality Rate, but Engagement Rate is the number of Engaged Users divided by the Reach.  However, different analytics providers are using the term Engagement Rate to mean many things, so please double check with them on what they’re actually measuring.

What additional information does PageLever provide on PTAT & Engaged Users compared to Insights?

There are 3 major differences between what we show you vs. what Insights:


Insights’ data points are all based on weekly “rollups”, meaning that if it says you had 10,000 People Talking About This on 01/26, that is actually includes 01/20 through 01/26.   PageLever shows daily, weekly and monthly (28 days) rollups so you can track individual day’s performance much more accurately.  Also, their Engagement Demographics only show one day’s weekly rollup, but we know that different demographics use Facebook on different days.  That means Insights doesn’t show you that more 25-34 year old men are engaging with your posts than women on Mondays and allow you to accurately know which days to post messages crafted towards those men.

Engaged Users + Consumptions

We put more effort into showing you each category of how people are engaging with your Page because PTAT alone doesn’t work for all campaigns.  For instance, YouTube’s Page might have one campaign focused on new fan growth and measuring PTAT would be more important than Engaged Users, where as Engaged Users might be better to measure a campaign to raise awareness about their “Unstaged” concert series.

Comparisons to Prior Dates and Rollups

We give greater context around a single data point than Insights does.  We compare your current performance against prior dates, as well as, show you the daily, weekly and monthly rollups together so you can see how individual days influence trends.

Of course, this doesn’t include features like custom PDF reports, chart exporting, user access control, multiple pages in one place, dashboards or having a voice in the product that you use every day to measure your success on Facebook.  If you want to see exactly which metrics we cover, we published a high level overview of all of the metrics that we cover as of December 21st, 2011.

Now that you understand People Talking About This and Engaged Users, put the knowledge to work!

Social media is all about driving awareness surrounding your brand through allowing your audience to engage with you transparently.  The key benefit of breaking down your engagements and people engaging is to make sure you’re creating content that is appealing to users and have the correct metrics to determine if the content was a success or failure.

I’m planning on covering the PageLever Lifecycle in my next article in this series, but if you’re finding a particular part of the new Insights confusing, let me know and I might write about that instead. We’re always open to suggestions simple smile Understanding the New Insights: People Talking About This & Engaged Users

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