Aside from being massively more crowded than years prior, Facebook’s EdgeRank (the algorithm that determines what an individual sees in their news feed) has become more complicated and specific to the tastes of individuals that it’s nearly impossible to leverage the tool if you don’t have a relevant fan base who loves to interact with and share your content.
Despite the fact that Facebook remains very secretive about their algorithm, Argle Social’s webinar last week provided answers to several key questions for marketers and gave new insight into how we should behave in regards to EdgeRank.
Three Variables That Determine EdgeRank
Facebook’s EdgeRank is determined by three variables: Affinity, Weight, & Time Decay.
1. Affinity is the relationship Facebook thinks you have with a given piece of content, according to actions you have taken in the past. In other words, the more you share, comment, ‘like’, and click on different objects, the higher it will (eventually) appear in your news feed.
2. Weight is the importance Facebook assigns to actions people take and different types of content distributed by people and companies.
Objects (content distributed):
- Status (copy w/no video, photo, or link)
“Time decay” refers to how recent or “old” the item is. Simply put, newer items are more likely to appear in the news feed than older items. This is why posting content at times when your audience is logged in to Facebook is crucial in increasing exposure.
EdgeRank Best Practices
More generally, you should consider a few things when thinking about EdgeRank:
1. Give your brand personality. You have to be interesting to get exposure on Facbeook. Everything you put into the news feed must be compelling, entertaining, informative, or nurture the community in some way. Share exclusive content. Include lots of photos and videos. Start your own traditions. You are no longer competing against other advertisers – you are competing against people’s friends, families, dogs & cats. They have personalities, so you must too.
2. Use separate campaigns and contests. Campaigns allow you to determine what content is best and see the big picture of things in a very tactical medium. Run a 3-month campaign (no shorter) to gain new perspectives on different types of content.
3. Include calls to action. Click ‘like’ if you agree. Comment with YOUR favorite color. Share this get well graphic with a friend of yours who is sick. Be careful not to use these too often, but throwing them in every so often can give you a nice boost in interactions. What could be easier than telling them exactly what to do?
4. “Stir the hornet’s nest”, as it was referred to in the webinar. This is my personal favorite and one that can drive massive results. Pinning your fans against each other with borderline controversial content, “bubble” events, and content that pushes their buttons (a little) is one of the best ways to get people talking. Don’t make the mistake of getting political, challenging moral beliefs, or being offensive here – just don’t be afraid to put something out there that people might disagree with.
Now let’s turn it over to you:
What EdgeRank best practices do you have to share?