Okay so what do I mean with that title – let me first break it down with what those two phrases mean.

“Likes” these show people who clicked the like button on your Facebook page either via the promotion competition you are running or through connections who have shared. You should know that people who like your page but may never come back.

“People Talking About This” is the actual number of people who are engaged and interacting with your Facebook page. It is data in Facebook Insights which sometimes is referred to as “Storytellers.”

Facebook introduced “People Talking About This” in October 2012 , but that metric is still unclear to many page owners. Part of the confusion comes from the name, which sounds like it calculates the mentions of a topic across the social network, when in reality, the metric only counts direct interactions with a page.



Further misunderstanding results from the difference in how this number is reported versus how page Likes are reported. Page owners who know what type of activity increases People Talking About This can improve their Facebook marketing efforts by reaching fans and their friends.

“People talking about This ” is the number of unique users who have created a “story” about a page in the last seven-day period. On Facebook, stories are items that display in News Feel

  1. liking a page, posting on a page
  2. sharing a post, mentioning a post, tagging a post of a page
  3. commenting
  4. RSVP to an event
  5. checking in a place that has a page, sharing a check deal

That what I could find and have used but am sure there are others.

The deal here that when someone does any of the above the metric picks it as a ‘People Talking About This’ count.

Let me give you an example of a Ugandan page that has maximised the use of this metric;   (on twitter) has 49,943 Likes but has 217,412 ‘People Talking About This’ on .

So it is not in the number it is in the engagement, having millions of like with less  ‘People Talking About This’ means you have the likes but less engagement. It is doesn’t matter if you opened the page for marketing or PR, customer care, whatever reasons you had for opening the page, as longer this metric is low you are just growing numbers who are not saying about you.

Here’s what you need to know. This metric is part of the engagement metric. So the number of “people talking about” a post is included in the number of people who “engaged” with that post.

What makes “people talking about this” different from the engagement metric is that it highlights the number of your fans who did something to show engagement to their friends.

Because the metric tracks unique users interacting with a page over a seven-day range, if a fan leaves more than one comment or both likes and shares a post within that time, it adds only one point to “People Talking About This”. However, the number changes daily so it is important to engage fans consistently to keep this number up.

“People Talking About This” is an important metric because it emphasizes interactions beyond an initial Facebook Like. Pages that create posts that fans enjoy will benefit. When people interact with pages in ways that generate stories, pages reach an audience beyond their existing fan base. Users benefit, too, from pages providing more relevant content. Pages that have been focused on gaining Likes without an engagement strategy to follow it will suffer from the disparity between the number of Likes and “People Talking About This”.

Patricia Kahill

Patricia Kahill is a multipotentialite Christian entrepreneur, Content Marketing Coach and founder of the Content Marketing agency, Kahill Insights that helps business owners create engaging and interactive content items for digital platforms with a focus on returning a desired outcome. Patricia was the producer of SlamDunk Basketball Talk a show on House of Talent online TV, a former fellow at Harvest Institute for leadership and now an assessor there, and an alumnus of the YELP class of 2017. A member of the BNI Integrity chapter and African Women Entrepreneur Cooperative. She is driven by passion and curiosity, been taking every opportunity that has been given to her with an ambition of stamping her footprint on the world.

6 thoughts on “The Difference Between Likes and People Talking About This on #Facebook”

  1. Websites run on similar principles…at least the metric do. We have to differentiate between hits and visits. What you are really concerned with is the visits because they can be traced to locations (as long as users do not hide using proxy servers). Visits can even give you browser type and length of use as well as path to site. What google did was to create a similar analytics system based on other pre-existing model like web analytics. Instead though, they use a script which is used to index your site. the end game for them is to enhance their search features while making information more relevant to the user. Sooner or later the browser begins to create a pretty accurate image of the client so that only relevant information shows up when you have casual internet experiences.

  2. Great article. I’ve read that a ratio of 5-10% is considered good, the page at the link you mentioned is currently 10%, and as a comparison the official Michael Jackson page is 1.4% (1,003,761 / 73,165,417) This proves your point that ‘Likes’ are so much less important than actual ‘Talking about’ as far as engagement is concerned.

    I follow the actor Stephen Amell (Arrow) on Facebook. He is one of the few celebrities who actually run their own page with a massive interaction with his fans. His ratio is a huge 32% (525,140 / 1,623,611). It shows that if you talk to them, they’ll come back!

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