Marketer-Speak in 2012 for Facebook Changes in 2011

2012 kicks off the year of the verb. Hot debates stemmed following the change in Edgerank, as part of comprehensive changes from F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference, in September of last year. Since then, subsequent changes affected Facebook applications, third party publishers, and Facebook analytics, to name a few. For those not as interested in keeping up with the day-to-day changes, below are three key summary strategies for adapting a Facebook page to optimize engagement with the changes and two key takeaways from the changes in 2011 moving forward.

Three key summary strategies for adapting a Facebook page to optimize engagement with 2011 Facebook changes:

  1. Facebook decreases the value of a Page Like and of a Post Like.
  2. For the social marketer: Comments four times more valuable in driving click-throughs than Likes.
  3. Graphrank, a News Feed prioritization for Open Graph apps, comes to Facebook. 

Two key takeaways from 2011:

  1. Facebook’s Champion in 2011? The developer,  the Hacker, and the Open Graph-speaking marketer.
  2. Facebook applications will become the most valuable opportunity for brands to engage Facebook users.

Three key summary strategies for adapting a Facebook page to optimize engagement with 2011 Facebook changes:

  1. Facebook decreases the value of a Page Like and of a Post Like.  Facebook knows that the true social value is in commentary between fans. Sharing about a TV program or mommy topic is the value that social brings that is not available in any other platform. Likes put too much of a focus on time-sensitive information and do not give enough weight to what users truly care about over time.  For this reason, Facebook is shifting value to “engagement,” which is driven by comments and viral shares, and they will continue to do so.
  2. For the social marketer: Comments four times more valuable in driving click-throughs than Likes.   Subsequently, Facebook’s algorithm rewards actions that require more from the user. Likes remain the most prevalent form of engagement on Facebook, but comments have more pull — more than four times as much. From All Facebook, the average post on Facebook generates:
    1. 3.103 clicks per like,
    2. 14.678 clicks per comment, and
    3. 0.005 clicks per impression (meaning page view).
  3. Graphrank, a News Feed prioritization for Open Graph apps, comes to Facebook. With the announcement of the latest improvements to Open Graph apps, applications that live within a user’s Timeline must now be prioritized amidst Facebook’s many other existing features in the NewsFeed. In order to do so, these Facebook applications are ranked against each other, in what is called “Graphrank.” Graphrank is then incorporated into the larger Edgerank algorithm, which determines overall News Feed prioritization. According to Facebook, Graphrank (or a user’s likelihood of seeing an app’s activity in their NewsFeed) is determined by a confidential ranking that is determined upon the following, and the infographic to the right helps to visually outline these factors:
    1.  Affinity (or the app user’s relationship with the user viewing the story, as determined by their shared interests, activities and other Facebook touch points)
    2. Weight (depends on its design and as compared to the performance of other applications as well)
    3. Interactions (a user’s quantity of times interacting with the app; it is critical that this factor be optimized when designing an application’s strategy)
    4. and, Time Decay (or the length of time since the story occurred).

Subsequently, here are two key takeaways from 2011:

  1. Facebook’s Champion in 2011? The developer,  the Hacker, and the Open Graph-speaking marketer. Facebook Apps become available to all brands, and the most creative will begin taking advantage of their value immediately  Overall, Timeline apps may become even more important for brands than Pages themselves.  Creative and technologically-sound developments will continue to increase in importance more and more. For this, Facebook has created its own culture of hacking and conferences for the developer and gamer and will continue to invest in these areas and pools of individuals as resources.
  2. Facebook applications will become the most valuable opportunity for brands to engage Facebook users. As Facebook continues to shift their focus on engagement, Facebook interactions from brand pages that only marginally succeed in engaging fans with status updates and media updates will begin to lose status and credibility in users’ News Feeds. Instead, those solutions that provide utility to users and are easily integrated with seamless sharing will begin to emerge as a more successful and popular platform. These applications allow for users to utilize their capabilities time and time again, gaining valuable real estate not only in users’ News Feeds, but also in users’ Timelines. The questions to ask for successful  applications development include:
    1. What content would a user want their friends to see? That is, content must be designed so that it meets those social projections users desire. Does the content shared shed a positive light on the user or his or her ability in a game, for example? Is he or she sharing activities that they would like their friends to see, which would incline their friends to have a more favorable perception of them, such as a run tracker or donation acknowlegement.
    2. Why would a user’s friend want to see the information shared on an application? This allows for the proliferation of the application. Considering what benefit a user’s network would gain from seeing the shared question essentially questions its overall social (or passalong) value.
    3. What would motivate a user to share their activity on a frequent, regular basis? Once applications become more widespread, this metric will increase in importance more and more. Designing the app to have a frictionless tie into users’ lives that motivates them to share (and share often) is critical to its success. For example, is the value of the application the overall balance it accrues from shares over time, so users are incentivized to share all of the time to tick their total sum higher and higher? Or, does it incorporate a gaming element that allows for competition among other friends posting, adding a time-sensitive element?

Sources and for more information
2011 In Review - Facebook Developer Blog
EdgeRank and Graph Rank Defined - Inside Facebook
The Facebook Apps Are Coming: 4 Reasons Your Business Should Care – Social Fresh
How Timeline Changes Marketing On Facebook - All Facebook

One thought on “Marketer-Speak in 2012 for Facebook Changes in 2011

  1. Pingback: Open Graph Guidelines Updated to Prevent Content Consumption Spam – Meaningful Stories Matter! | Engauge Blog

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