Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Facebook Five: Visual

Part three of five breaking down the five key items to successful Facebook Five: today, Visual

Facebook is telling you what's important -- and it isn't your pithy comments or life-milestone moments.

There it is -- the legendary EdgeRank formula.  It's applied now to your news feed.  And the "W" for edge type is skewed to the visual.  If you want to delve deeper into the formula, go to Tech Crunch for a start.

They bought Instagram for a billion dollars.  Think visual is important to Zuckerburg's, well, sorry, . . . vision?

Even if the weight of the edge type was skewed for visual items, consider communication theory.  The old aphorism is correct -- a picture is worth a thousand words, and you don't have 1000 -- just 450 (and you darn shouldn't use them all) words on Facebook.  Video is universal language and if you tell a story well with images, you score a huge two-fer in this Facebook Five: the Sentiment comes naturally to great Visual. (And to hammer a point home, if you didn't click on the first two links to this paragraph to an earlier post about Who is Your Most Valuable Staff Member -- GO NOW.)

Welcome back from your past blog post interlude.  Let's refer back again to our original case study post -- the football field full of freshman.  In a staff meeting, the question was -- but what if you don't have a good picture?  Excellent point -- and of course a few minutes (let me repeat, MINUTES) to download something crisp, or better said, close up thanks to optical, not digital, zoom your message is well served.

But posting an album full of 10 great visual photos is useless if though that last factor -- time -- has eroded the being there/immediacy.  This is more important in the sports side than the general university side, but the chance to gain interaction with followers is greatest in the moment.

One of the first things I announce at CoSIDA and other talks is for people to turn their phones on.  I want them to report out and cause a buzz about what's happening.  No different at graduation.  Or at cheerleader camp when I posted a quick photo of five mascots suiting up.  There's another example of good enough image in real time.

I'm walking out of a meeting where I've said essentially what we're talking about here.  And I stumble upon these high school mascots putting on the suits.  Well, time to practice what I've just preached.  Wait for the last one to get its head on and snap the photo, post it right there, give it a pithy catch line.  Walk away.  As I'm writing this, I decide time to check the results.

Admittedly a compromised picture -- the light was bad and the exposure a bit fuzzy -- but look at what literally 60 seconds of work resulted in:  more likes than the previous six or seven links to NSU press releases combined, couple of shares, a comment or two and 14% reach -- again far better than the single digit we usually get for the push we do on news stories.

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