Harnessing Facebook for marketing is one of the greatest online opportunities – and challenges – in brand marketing and for small businesses. With over 800 million users, the top social network continues to be the best potential online lead generator. At least it can be, if you learn about EdgeRank . . .
Most people are unaware of this, but the Facebook News Feed doesn’t display everything your friends and fans post – and vice versa. To gain more exposure on Facebook, get to know how its “brain” works. That “brain” being Facebook’s algorithm aka EdgeRank.
EdgeRank: Think ‘News Feed Optimization’
Facebook EdgeRank evaluates the content posted to every user’s News Feeds. As you probably know, your News Feed includes status updates, wall posts, videos, and photos. Well, EdgeRank determines whether your content tends to engage people, or not. Once the algorithm sees a pattern that your content is well responded to by your friends and fans, EdgeRank starts placing more of your content near the top of their News Feeds. That’s where the media impressions gold is, when you’ve “optimized” Facebook to position more of your messages at the top of your friends’ and followers’ News Feeds. This can mean massive exposure, additional branding, traffic, and leads – all being social media metrics you can track.
Ways to Improve Your Facebook EdgeRank Score
The EdgeRank algorithm is so called because Facebook views every interaction with a piece of content as having an ‘edge’ – an advantage. The more interaction, the higher value your content is deemed. EdgeRank accesses content on the basis of three values: its Affinity, Weight, and Time. The algorithm adds up these three scores to determine whether your content tends to deserve greater exposure. Let’s examine each of EdgeRank’s value . . .
Affinity is the relationship between a Facebook user and the poster. Interaction is highly valued. The more interaction, the higher the EdgeRank of the posting will be.
Facebook Marketing Tip: If you actively comment, read, like or share others’ postings, most likely, you will be rewarded by Facebook with a higher EdgeRank.
Weight refers to the rank or hierarchy of the content posted. This determines the level of importance your content is given.
Facebook Marketing Tip: Photos and videos are ranked at the top of the Facebook food chain. These are followed by links. At the bottom of the food chain: status updates.
But note that other factors also determine weight. For instance, comments carry more weight than Likes. This is because it takes more time to write a comment than to simply press the Like button.
In fact, in terms of the wildly popular Likes system, EdgeRank becomes even further nuanced. Brigit Larson, SSPR’s Social Media Manger says, “When measuring the success of your Facebook marketing efforts, looking solely at the number of Likes received is never the smartest. It’s too easy to ‘Like’ poor quality content as a courtesy – or purely for self-promotional reasons.”
“What marketers need to gauge is if that content was valued enough for fans to take the time to share.” Larson goes on to say. That’s what understanding EdgeRank helps you do – focus more on creating quality engagements. Inducing Likes with PR legs.
Facebook Marketing Tip: Comments will most likely bring your EdgeRank higher because the signal two factors: both Weight and Affinity. This is because comments support relationship-building. Remember that FB values interaction more than anything else.
Path to the Top on Facebook
Because of its immense popularity and the sheer number of members, optimizing Facebook for marketing is vital. To optimize your News Feed, stay focused on creating quality interactions, engagement, and relationship-building. Specifically:
- Create highly engaging and shareable content.
- Increase your commenting, as this is a secret weapon in determining EdgeRank.
- Increase the frequency of posting quality content, particularly if you don’t currently have great exposure with your target audience.
- Incentivize your target group by creating reasons for repeat interactions. This creates long-term relationships and boosts affinity.
Keep EdgeRank in mind as you exercise your marketing muscle on Facebook. If you do, this may prove to be the smartest way to improve your online business.