Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Learning Way More About Facebook

The number of Facebook users world wide approaches 600 million as we enter 2011.  It's spanning nearly all demographics and audiences no doubt it is becoming a more important tool for radio stations than the web itself.  When you look at it you can do a lot more with just a few key strokes on a Facebook page than any web site from both the user and the host standpoint.

But as you take a big tour of the Facebook presence for many stations and personalities it's pretty obvious that we are just swinging away at any pitch here.  We don't know much about what the audience does with our Facebook pages, what draws them? what entertains them? what makes them interact with the product?

There is a starting place that every programmer, station IT person, the sales manager and general manager should spend some time with to get at least a grasp of the usage patterns for Facebook.  Take a look at Inside Facebook and you will find a lot of pretty interesting data.  Head to the Page Data and you can see what Facebook pages are gaining and losing views/fans everyday.  You can also look at nearly any page in the system to see the metrics.  You can also look at the games and apps pages for the same kind of data.  There are also blogs on the data, marketing conversations and a bunch of other topics also covered.  While the site is looking to market their data and also their Facebook Bible at least we have a starting point to sort of see the ratings here.

Scanning the rankings for the top Facebook pages radio is way down the list on 'Likes.'  Rush has the biggest site with nearly 700,000 but that ranks around 1,600.  Hot FM in Singapore has around 650,000 as the first music station.  In the U.S. guess who has the most - Z100 NYC - 108,000? or maybe Kiss in LA with only 28.600!! likes? - Kiss Chicago has nearly 3 times the numbers from LA with nearly 75,000.  But none of these big cuming CHRs come close to the U.S. Winner - K Love out of Santa Clara, CA - they have nearly 600,000 likes!! with a Christian format.

Really when you look down the ranks a lot of stations from all over the world in countries like Italy, Germany, Argentina, England, Philippines and even an Arabic station that is signing on this month all have way more likes than any music outlet from the U.S.  It looks like we have a lot to learn here.  Next time we'll look at some research ideas for Facebook after some more digging in the data.