Warning: this post may leave you feeling overburdened, overwhelmed and over the never-ending quest for social media results that meet expectations. Presuming you aren’t in that state already.
Brett was training in Dalby, western Queensland this week when he heard a tragic tale from a father of two concerning Facebook. Let’s call him Martin. Martin; a recent immigrant from the UK is a keen Facebooker as it enables him to keep contact with the Poms back in the Motherland.
A soccer or “football” lover; Martin recently penned a long and carefully crafted article about a football team of his youth. He was sure it’d be a hit with his Facebook pals, all of whom love the game, know the team concerned and enjoy a sporting debate. Many friends were specifically mentioned in the story. Martin posted his story and waited for the tsunami of response but received barely a comment; let alone a debate as he’d anticipated. Three interactions in total. He was social; he was networked but he was confused. Anyone share this sort of experience on their organisation’s page?
Why? EdgeRank; that’s why. EdgeRank is how Facebook decides what links, images, status updates and photographs of yours get shown in other people’s Newsfeed. Without such a system we’d soon be overwhelmed by a torrent of content.
The Newsfeed is the first thing we see when we log on to Facebook and it’s probably the only thing. It’s likely to be set to Top News as in:
So tell us Hootville; how does EdgeRank work?
EdgeRank measures every single piece of your Facebook content by three criteria: interaction, affinity and timeliness.
Interaction. Let’s say you post a link to a great story. If someone presses the Like button under that link, the links’ EdgeRank lifts. If someone writes a comment under that link it’s even better as a comment is considered a deeper interaction. Sadly most people do neither and thus that link gets a low EdgeRank and is be unlikely to be displayed on others’ Newsfeed. More interaction = higher EdgeRank = more displays on Newsfeeds.
Affinity: Facebook knows who interacts with you the most and shows them your content in their Newsfeeds more often. This is why so many of your interactions can come from the same people. It’s a vicious cycle.
Timeliness: material that has just been posted is more likey to appear on others’ Newsfeeds.
The sorry truth is that most of your content will have a low ranking and thus not be shown beyond your very bestest friends and fans’ Newsfeeds. To pull rank you must prioritise interactions at all costs. It is no different to being willing to tweak your website endlessly to get better search engine results. More on this to come.
(Yes – we know Martin’s parental and ethnic staus were irrelevant to the story but we felt they added depth to the narrative.)