Thursday, September 22, 2011

atten-shun

Attention is your biggest cost
Attention must be earned
Attention does not scale

This triangulation has been the opening gambit of recent presentations I've done.

I've used the Facebook EdgeRank formula as a case in point.

Quality and context of interactions are most important factors in Facebook marketing. Period

With the recent raft of updates to the Facebook NewsFeed alogorithm thingummy it appears that EdgeRank has essentially become more important than ever.

There's a couple of key tweaks to note.

The function to switch between Most Recent & Top News has now effectively gone. Top stories appear at the top of the pile.

Facebook have also factored in the amount of time since a user logged in. The longer one's absence then the more Facebook will filter stories to give you what it deems to be the most interesting things that have gone on since you've been away.

Whereas power users who are in and out several times a day will see more emphasis on recent stuff.

The biggie for me is the little blue corner on each update which indicates 'top story'.

This can be switched on or off by the individual according to their taste. This seems to be introducing another 'edge' into the mix. Alongside 'likes' and comments etc 'mark as a top story' will likely start to appear as a call to action' for brand created or curated content.

A trick Facebook has in all likelyhood magpied from emerging curation/filtering platforms such as Summify and Percolate.

BUT

And I'll quote directly from this analysis from Colin Murphy, of agency Skinny in AllFacebook yesterday on the impact of the changes for brand pages:

'Brands were undervalued in this update in three primary ways. First, Facebook pages weren’t included in the photo display and recent stories updates. With recent stories, it seems like Facebook’s algorithm will favor a “friendship” over a “brand relationship,” meaning brand content won’t show up at the top of a user’s feed. Second, with the updated newsfeed, photos on brand pages won’t look as sleek and big as they do for personal accounts.

Third, and possibly most important, when a user likes content (again, content, not pages) within the Facebook platform, that content will no longer post to the user’s wall, meaning greatly decreased impressions for brands. To clarify, content outside Facebook that is liked will post to that user’s wall.'


Murphy also speculates that Facebook's drive to add more control and customisation for the users over relevance of content in their newsfeed has the double whammy of pushing brands further towards having to pay for visiblity.

Now, more than ever, is no time for Mott The Hoople Syndrome.

SLIGHT UPDATE 14.08pm: On Mashable just a few moments ago Ben Parr announced 'I have seen what Facebook is launching on Thursday [ie Friday], and it’s going to change the world of social media'.

Friday, then.

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