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May I introduce to you Facebook’s Edgerank formula:

The above is a nifty little algorithm which determines the likelihood of a post you make on Facebook appearing on your friends or your fans news feeds. It looks a bit complicated, so let’s discuss.

There are three elements which contribute to determining where your post appears and how many impressions it receives, each of which are given a relative importance.

The first most important factor is d for time decay, this means that the more recent a post is, the higher chance it has of appearing on your news feed, as no one wants to see week old updates when they log in!

The second is w for weight, and this refers to how important Facebook determines each type of post is. For example, recently you may have been seeing lots of questions appearing on your feed, this is because Facebook has made them the most important type of post. Similarly, you rarely if ever see on your news feed that someone has liked someone else’s status, so these sorts of posts have a low weighting from Facebook.

The exact weighting of each update is determined by Facebook and is a closely guarded secret; however, from experience of using Facebook you can make a best guess. Photo albums, events, questions and tagging appear fairly frequently, whereas new friends, comments on statuses and likes of statuses don’t.

The third is u for affinity. Have you ever wondered why certain people’s status updates don’t appear on your feed very often, whereas other people’s appear all the time? That’s because those Facebook friends you have the closest affinity with, thought the amount of wall to wall conversations you have, the amount of photos you’re tagged in together and how often you comment on each other’s statuses, determines how likely their statuses are to appear on your feed.

So how can you use Edgerank to your advantage?

So how can a brand use the Facebook Edgerank formula to make sure their posts are receiving the maximum amount of impressions and being seen by as many people as possible? Here are my top tips!

1. Use the highest ranked objects

At the moment we’ve seen that questions, photos and events receive a high weighting, so use them!

2. Avoid using the lowest ranked objects

Status updates with contain links to external sites aren’t given a high priority, as they direct people off Facebook and onto a different web site. That’s not to say you should never post them if they’re valuable to your fans, but use them sparingly and don’t expect to get the highest number of impressions from them.

3. Avoid scheduling updates though third party apps

It can be handy to use apps like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to update your page’s status, but as you haven’t visited Facebook.com why would Facebook give these updates the highest priority when you haven’t visited the site and viewed their advertising? Where possible, do your updates from facebook.com to get the highest number of impressions.

4. Ask questions

And keep them as simple as possible. One of the most successful posts I’ve done asked fans what word came to mind when they thought of the brand. It got a bunch of comments, and this therefore built the affinity between them and the page, meaning that in the future our posts would score higher on their news feeds.

Even the simplest updates, like “Like this status if you’re looking forward to seeing Toy Story 3 this weekend?” or “Who is your favourite character from Toy Story 3” all invite comments and likes, and further build affinity between the user and the brand page.

5. Post regularly

Time is the most important factor in determining your edgerank, so if you want the best chance to float to the top of the feed posting regularly is a must. Each page has a different level of posts that their fans will stand before they hide you, but by posting regular, relevant updates you’ll have the best chance of being seen as the more time that elapses since an update is posted, the further it sinks to the bottom!

Any questions or comments leave them below!

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Hello.

I’m doing a new sort of post today. If you didn’t already know I work for a charity on their social media, so I suppose that makes me fairly knowledgeable about how charities and businesses more generally can develop a presence online, which is something the majority really ought to be doing already for reasons I won’t go into right now.

One of the major motivating factors in getting a company to take social media more seriously and actively take part in it is the possibility that a crisis may erupt on social media, which they’ll need to deal with online. The Domino’s youtube fiasco and Nestle palm oil incident alerted companies to the damage a social media crisis can do to their reputation more generally and highlights the need for a social media crisis strategy.

So here are a few tips for how you can react when/if a social media crisis happens:

  • Decide what your company deems a crisis, an issue, and something which just needs to be monitored for now. How do you know when to pull out the full crisis management plan?
  • Agree on the line you’re going to be taking and the tone of voice you’ll be using.
  • Brief all your relevant employees on what this is make sure they stick to it!
  • If you’re getting a vast amount of comments and queries setting up an FAQ will help you be able to better respond to people. Similarly, a video response is a good way to put a face to your company and is more reassuring than impersonal tweets and messages. Agree on how you can set this set before it’s necessary.
  • Make friends before a crisis happens- if someone does start making negative comments about you, having a community of loyal fans may help silence them.
  • Listen closely. As soon as something hits you want to know about it as soon as possible. Only noticing an “I hate your company” group on facebook or bad customer service blog after two weeks of activity might be too late. Having someone responsible for monitoring online mentions of your company is the best way to do this.
  • Don’t be afraid to get involved. If someone has set up a blog documenting all your customer service failures, a “look but don’t touch” policy will do you no favours. Silence is possibly even worse than a bad response.
  • Prepare your response beforehand. It is possible, within reason, to have a good guess at the likely crisis’ you might face. Decide what these are and prepare “black pages” of your response which can go live on your web site if/when it happens, these will be useful if they can stop the flow of negative comments hours or days earlier than if you were working from scratch.
  • Similarly, you’ll need to work out the specifics. Who is responsible for reacting to a crisis which erupts online? Who do they alert and what do they do? Who replies to comments? If it’s really big you may want to have a team working exclusively on dealing with it. Who are they?
  • Do not disable comments. By switching off the ability to write on your Facebook wall or comment on your blog it suggests you have something to hide. Angry comments don’t come across too well, but an angry comment with an apologetic response shows that you’re listening, whereas silencing all your critics will only make them angrier and more determined to have their say.

Just a few bullet points there but hopefully someone will find it useful. Do let me know if you think I’ve missed anything out or have said anything stupid. Or if you think you have any better ideas!

*Note- That’s not a real tsunami, all people are alive and well as far as I know…

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Toy Story 3

Lotso Huggin' Bear shows Buzz around

One of the movie releases of the year I’ve been most anticipating is Toy Story 3. Anyone around the age of 20 will have grown up watching, and most likely, loving the Toy Story franchise.

We first met Woody and the gang in 1995, then again in 1999. But by 2010 those initial fans are likely to be a lot older and college or University students like me. This was something Pixar certainly did not ignore. In the US free screenings of 60 minutes of the film where shown to college students which they signed up for via the dedicated Facebook page. They were left with a cliff hanger ending in the hope that they’d return and pay for a ticket to see the remainder.

In addition, this age of viewer is also likely to blog or talk about their viewing on social networking sites, which would then create an online buzz about the film and get people talking, creating yet more anticipation for the release.

Alongside this, they also released three teaser trailers as well as gradually releasing character profiles of the latest additions online. My favourite trailer was an IM chat between Woody and Buzz but all are pretty funny and clever, and again likely to get people talking and excited about the film.

Having pre-booked my tickets for the first day of release (yeah a bit sad I know), 3D glasses in hand I sat down to watch the third instalment, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

This time around Andy is leaving for college and the toys are facing their inevitable expiration, much like the franchise itself. They end up in Sunnyside play school where they encounter a host of new toys, Barbie meets her Ken, and a strawberry scented fuzzy bear called Lotso Huggin’ sets a cruel agenda for them to live by.

Unusually for an animated sequel, or even a third instalment, this one actually bucks the trend and is really good! The new characters as well as the old are as good as ever (I particularly like a new dinosaur called Trixie) but there is a sense of sadness and finality which runs throughout.

A lot of high hopes were placed on Toy Story 3 but ultimately I think it not only lived up to them, up also surpassed them. Entertaining from start to finish, without a dull “nothing’s happened for a while, I’m bored” moment in sight and just enough twists and turns to keep you interested without losing you, Toy Story 3 is definitely one of the best films I’ve seen so far this year- although admittedly I never got round to seeing either Avatar or Slumdog Millionaire)

A stand out sequence has to be the gang’s ultimate escape from Sunnyside, as well as the inspired character of Mr. Pricklepants (a thespian hedgehog) and the adorably cute Bonnie.

The ultimate message is that although you may be attached to something, sometimes you have to accept that it’s come to the end and it’s time to move on. However, as we learn in the open ending of the film as one door closes, another opens. It’s a tear jerker but ultimately delivers all we expected and more.

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Last week Topshop’s range of makeup hit stores amongst a flurry of all sorts of in store and online promotion. The range consists of a core collection as well as a trend collection which will be updated each season. The collection certainly has the whole blogosphere talking about it as it seems to have been featured on all the blogs I follow. I like how Topshop have carried over their reputation for on trend fashion over to make up and the packaging and look of the products all represent Topshop’s trendy image.

On the Topshop web site you’ll also find things like a virtual make over where you can upload a picture of yourself and virtually try out the products. My attempt is below, I think it’s got a definite air of transsexual about it but is a nice idea none the less. You can then share your results on the Topshop facebook page which is another well placed bit of online viral marketing from Topshop.

They also have a range of video tutorials on their web site showing you the types of look you can create with the products which is a great idea. The makeup artist explains to you how to use the products to get the looks they promote on their models and given the prominence of makeup tutorials at the moment on youtube with people like Lauren Luke and Ricebunny it is a very clever way to promote their products. With the youtube ones they can come off quite amateur so by having the more professional appearing Topshop ones it shows you the potential of the products. I’ve seen hair care brand Aussie have done a similar thing with their products which is a great and authentic way to promote themselves on the Internet.

In the Oxford Street store they’ve also worked with the SHOW Studio.com project. At the makeup counter you can get a free makeover and then have your photo taken in front of the ‘Magic Mirror’ where over thirty top fashion creatives – including Lady Gaga’s stylist Nicola Formichetti, Edward Enninful of US Vogue, make-up artist Hannah Murray and fashion’s favourite illustrator Julie Verhoeven – dispense sartorial advice that appears written, as if by magic, across the mirror’s surface. Requires a hell of a lot of bravery!

Image taken from Refinery29

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