Friday, April 09, 2010

What are the top Australian Facebook pages (and how many are government-run)?

Social media commentator Laurel Papworth published a list last week of the top Australian Facebook pages (by number of fans). She's just updated it to include more identified through a crowd sourcing process in her blog.

The post, Fanpages: List of top 100+ Australian Facebook Fan Pages, provides the first glimpse of which organisations and brands in Australia are constructively using Facebook to build communities of interest, support campaigns and seek community feedback.

The diversity of Facebook's audience is visible just by looking at the five most popular pages:
I'm happy to say that Australian government isn't totally absent from the top half of the list - with Tourism Australia's Australia page in 6th place with 372,000 fans, the War Memorial's The ANZACs page in 21st place, with 150,000 fans, the Department of Health and Ageing's binge drinking campaign Don’t Turn a Night out into a Nightmare page at 29th place with 110,000 fans (note: I am involved with the management of this page) and the Australian Institute of Sport at 50th place with 50,000 fans.

There are a number of other government sites further down in the list as well, starting with the Victorian government's Melbourne Australia page in 58th place with 23,000 fans.

It would be fantastic to see a comprehensive list of all the Facebook pages run by Australian governments - like the Twitter list I developed.


  1. Office for Youth in South Australia in on Facebook -; but only 268 fans....

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  3. I don't put much stock in lists, particularly ones done by people who lack certain social skills and pass themselves off as experts - and done really for vanity and traffic generation purposes.

    Also, the whole profession really needs to get away from a pure numbers game - quality over quantity should be the real goal.

    And what value are these pages delivering to the brands? Are they really engaged with consumers - or is it just a place where like minded people can congregate and talk about a common subject?

  4. Hi Michael,

    Laurel's post specifies what the list is being used for - to help teach people how to use social media to deliver value (see my quote below).

    Your quantity versus quality comment runs into the issue that while we can clearly and (largely) unambiguously measure numbers, quantity; quality is subjective and hard to measure in a comparative fashion.

    Also the purpose of pages varies. Some are designed to allow like-minded people to congregate, some are designed to engage consumers. Each needs to be measured individually against its own goals.

    The value of a list is to help discover these pages - which then allows viewers to form their own views.

    Here's the reason given for Laurel's list:

    "I use this list to teach classes on social media. We go through some of the pages and evaluate how well they are doing. We also look at the pages that aggregate all their products and brands on multiple tabs on one page versus individual pages for each brand. What is their default landing tab for non-members? We look at engagement, competitions, regularity of updates, if they seem to have a preplanned diary or are winging it etc. How many have a clean URL how many don’t. We usually pick a few and see how it works as a Hub-and-Spoke (do they have Facebook links/widgets on their website?). There’s always big debate over the list and how well they are doing. Don’t forget – numbers change over time …"

  5. Here's a start