Quickpost: Digging into the new Facebook ‘Trending Topics’ feature

Yesterday, ‘Facebook trending topics’ feature showed up on my personal Facebook profile, as it might have on some/all of yours as well.

Here are some observation about the ‘Facebook Trending Topics’ feature I want to share:

1. The trending topics do not seem to be tailored by regions (unlike Twitter) – this will probably mean that if a video goes viral in countries like Brazil or India, it will show up on your list of trending topics in other countries (whether or not you are interested in that content). Here is a snapshot of a video going viral in India becoming a trending topic all over the world?!

2. The trends seem to be highly influenced by the link posts – A large part of all the posts in the ‘Trending Topics’ feed is links. Also, it appears that the part where it says ‘Why a topic is trending‘ is just the title of the most shared link post. (I don’t know why I was expecting more from the ‘Why’ part of ‘Trending Topics’ feature when it was announced – maybe I was looking for some application of text mining technologies)

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3. A brand can get into the ‘trending topics’ feed (not the list, but the feed) by mentioning the topic in their statuses or by posting a link related to the trending topic. This, in a way, calls for real time online marketing – if I see Warren Buffett trending and (suppose) I am managing  some Financial Firm’s social media, I can post a blog about Warren Buffett and get into the trending feed. Or I can just make a Facebook post mentioning Warren Buffett and try to gain some engagement/new fans from there.

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4. The ‘New Stories’ button – unlike your personal new feed, the ‘trending topics’ feed has a ‘New Stories’ button. – It leads you back to the top for the newly updated posts revolving around the topic.

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If you have observed something more or new about this feature, please do share it in your comments!

I am now trying to find ways to leverage this feature to help brands increase their ‘reach’ – the question is, even if we succeed in increasing the ‘reach’ and ‘engagement’ using this feature, is the Facebook Insights ready to trace and measure engagement/reach gained through this feature? – do share your thoughts!

PS. An achievement for Facebook would be a ‘Personalized Trending Topics’ list/feed based on the Pages I ‘Like’ and the content I ‘share’. – I think it would be more relevant and of value to me as a user.


After reading more about the feature, I realized that the trending topics are actually personal to each person and that everyone will see different topics based on his/her interest – that is actually cool! Check out this link for further read.


ROI and Social Media (Value of a ‘Like’)

‘Like’, ‘Share’ and ‘Follow’ are modern world’s three most powerful buttons. One cannot imagine to build a brand without these three buttons in this Social Media driven world. Yes, there are other buttons as ‘pin’ or ‘+1’, but when it comes to high-end digital marketing, ‘Like’, ‘Share’ and ‘Follow’ are still dominating the Social Media Universe.

Now with the rise of immense power gained by businesses on Social Media, Return on Investment becomes as important as Brand Management. And here is when value of all the “likes’ and ‘shares’ comes into the picture.

The idea here is to figure out whether your Social Media strategies are generating revenues for you or not! How do you do that? There are white papers and books available to explain ROI with Social Media, but I found something beyond the scope of regular articles.

It’s a formula called Value of a Like (voal),


developed by Dan Zarrella, a Social Media Scientist at HubSpot.

Below is what each term in the formula means:

L – Total number of people you are connected to. That means the number of people who ‘like’ your Facebook page or who follows on Twitter.

UpM – The term means Unlike-per-month. If you go to your page insights and export the data as an excel file (for past 1-3 months), you will be able to figure out the average number of ‘Unlike’ per day. (For twiiter, ‘Unfollow’)

Lpd – The term means Links-per-day. It is the number of posts you publish on Facebook/Twitter.

C – It is the average number of clicks on the Links that you post on Social Media. With the data exported from the Page Insight, you can get this number.

CR – Conversion Rate is the traffic you are gaining through Social Media. It is the ratio of people who follow/like you to the people who clicked on the links you posted and came to your website.

ACV – Average Conversion Value is your lead value, your average sale price from people coming through Social Media.

Here, (L/UpM) is sort of a churn rate for your Social Media, (LpD * 30) is the number of posts that you publish on your Social Media, (C/L) gives you the ratio of people who actually clicks your links out of people you have as your fans/followers.

On the other hand, CR and ACV helps you calculate the actual Return on Investment based on the above mentioned terms.

Now, just when I thought it’s AWESOME, a link was waiting to amaze me!! And it was the link that motivated me to actually write this blog!


The calculator on the link follows this formula and gives you the ROI. And not only it follows the formula, but also explains it and helps you get your numbers correct!

Do share what you think about it, I would be glad to learn and explore what you have got to say and share!

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Social media and customer dialog management at Starbucks

Here is presentation created for one of the courses I have taken this semester: Business Intelligence under Professor Zhiqiang Zheng.

It introduces how 3-M Framework (Megaphone, Magnet and Monitor) helps businesses create Social Media Campaigns/Strategies and focuses mainly on how Starbucks does the Customer Dialog Management through Social Media.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Would love to have your response on this one, share what you think about the 3-M framework! :)

Google Fusion Table & Data Visualization

Few days back, one of my Facebook Page got its 100th like and I could see that the likers  are from all different countries around the world. And I thought wouldn’t it be great if I can put them all on the map?

That was when I got to know the power of Google Fusion Table for Data visualization.

So, this is what I did and I loved the outcome presented by Google!!

1. The page is about the people of sun sign Libra (created with a vision to get all the Librans on Facebook together!!) and due to the openness of the subject the page was built on- it could attract people from different parts of the world.

2. With Facebook insights, I could get the data about people and their respective nationalities.

3. Now it was Google’s turn to show its magic!

3.1 Go to Google Docs, click on ‘Create’ and in the more section go for ‘Fusion Table’

3.2 Select the spreadsheet you want to visualize on map.

> In our case, I just created a spreadsheet with two columns, one for number of people and second for their Country.

3.3 Click on new tab ‘+’ button and select ‘add map’

4. That’s it! Google will do its job and you’ll have all your data about people and their country visualized! It also works on the bases of longitude-latitude! And apart from that, there are many things you can try to make  it look cool. Also, you can share, publish and embed your visualized data!

5. Below is the image of 100 awesome Librans I mapped using this feature! :)

And here’s the link to the map: http://goo.gl/YoqTs
Have a great day! And please drop a comment if you too have played with Fusion Table, I’d be very happy to learn new things! :)

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