Engaging Facebook through EDGErank, Content Optimisation and Killer Apps

Engaging Facebook through EDGErank, Content Optimisation and Killer Apps

18th October 2012

This session at A4U was a great one and concentrated around EdgeRank which is the algo that determines what content is being displayed on a persons Facebook page. Kelvin focused on what EdgeRank is and how its constructed, Martin covered his experience with the Guardian app and Jeremy concentrated on ROI calculation. 

Kelvin Newman,?Site Visibility 

Kelvin started the session by saying he didn’t want to pitch the session just like any other Facebook panel and therefore the session is focusing more on the technology in this case EdgeRank.

Likes are meaningless because if EdgeRank doesn’t display that on peoples pages then they are useless. EdgeRank is the algorithm that determines what people see if they login to Facebook. Kelvin’s perspective on Facebook is that its’ exactly the same as a search results page.  There are 3 main elements to the algorithm but firstly you need to understand what an Edge is.

Edges are pivotal to understand the algo and they are created by:

  • Updating Status
  • Uploading photo
  • Sharing content
  • Basically any interaction that you are adding to Facebook is an Edge.


You set an affinity by viewing a person’s page, commenting on their status, tagged in the same images. Whenever an edge is associated to an individual that creates an affinity. The chat bar gives you an idea about who you have affinity to.


Weight is personal, people that interact more with photographs are more likely to have photos in their feed. Photos, Videos and Links tend to have more weight and therefore have the opportunity to collect more weight.


New is better than old and  that is crucial in the decay element. You need to schedule status updates to when your users are going to be online. Perhaps there is a good opportunity to target the weekends due to less competition etc.

What you need to do:

  • Keep building Affinity when you start up you need an ‘Affinity Acquisition Approach’
  • Ask Questions to build affinity is very successful
  • Have a vote
  • Bait them by introducing contentious content
  • Tease them by introducing future events
  •  Increase the weight of important announcements by asking for shares
  • You need assets – TeamSky always shares photos and they are very valuable to them

Martin Belam,?Emblem

Martin started by talking about the guardian app that they launched last year. It was launched in 2011 and it was an opt-in way to consuming Guardian content. People were very vocal about it and the combination of swearing and caps lock was pretty prevalent. Using the canvas app as because only 77% of people only viewed one page. If the content was within the Facebook environment they hoped that the users would view more content. They found people aged below 25 would authorise the app yet most people older than 25 wouldn’t authorise the app.

They spawned new conversations around old content which allowed a far bigger reach of interaction. This was evident in a size 0 model debate. They made a weekly dashboard which upset some people in that the new traffic was consuming content that wasn’t previously considered key.  They attracted new audiences that they wouldn’t have been able to reach normally.

Facebook has stopped pushing the reach as much as it was in the past however it is still delivering a good amount of traffic to publishers.  It’s all about learning, you need to look at all the data and help develop a pattern.

Jeremy Waite,?Adobe EMEA

Jeremy started talking about how to measure EdgeRank and ROI. Social Media is the one area where you don’t need to outspend your competitor in order to beat them.

Some issues  with Facebook:

  • 66% of people follow less than 5 brands
  • 45% of people who follow brands NEVER want to receive marketing messages
  • 96% of people like a brand only ever visit a brand page once

Only 16% of people that like you see your content within Facebook. Facebook is in fact censoring the content that you are allowed to see.  Jeremy thinks we should stop complaining about Edgerank and that we should focus on great content. He then shared the BT campaign on the marriage. It won numerous awards.

In Jeremy’s opinion it wasn’t great as only 314 people are talking about this even though 814,234 likes. Red Bulls SMO strategy is really simple “50% of people use social media to waste time so let’s give them some really COOL shit to let them share”.


Written By
Louis Venter is the founding director and CEO of MediaVision, a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) company specialising in all areas of search. His particular interests are organic search marketing, paid search marketing, conversion strategy and online PR.
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