Social Media Marketing July 28th, 2011
The Facebook News Feed is the place to see all the news you care about. Not just news from your friends, but news from brands, bands, journalists, TV shows, your favourite blog (hint, hint Rise to the Top), etc. But just because you post a status update doesn’t automatically mean that it will be seen by all of your friends/fans (in this post “fans” will be used instead of “Likes” for simplicity).
There was a time when the Facebook News Feed contained every post, by every one of your friends and for good reason: when people were just starting out on Facebook there wasn’t the same plethora of content to go around. Your updates were ordered chronologically, we see this today in the “Most Recent” tab in Facebook. It’s getting on the “Top News” tab that takes some strategic thinking.
Each piece of content whether it’s a status update, photo, video, poll, link, etc., is scored on how relevant it is to each of your friends or fans. What may be relevant to one person, may not be relevant to another. Facebook won’t say that exactly how Edgerank is calculated, but the three major contributing factors are: Affinity, Weight and Time.
This score is based on your relationship with the viewer. Has the viewer liked your content before? Have they commented? Have they watched one of your videos? Have they clicked on a picture or tagged themselves? Have they creeped your profile/page lately? If your connection to the viewer is relatively new, they may get to see more of your updates off the bat, so that the view is given a chance to interact and for Facebook to see if they think your updates will be relevant to the viewer. Commenting is one of the strongest factors for building affinity, simply because typing a comment takes the most effort.
This is the type of content. Facebook wants people to spend time on their site, they are displaying ads after all. Weight refers to the type of content contained in your update. Content that takes longer to consume is likely to be given more weight, so things like video and photos are a sure bet to increase your impressions. This doesn’t mean regular status updates are left in the dust when it comes to weight. Each comment that’s added to an update, increases the time it takes to read/consume, therefor increasing the its weight.
Time decay is the last factor. Out-dated posts are not going to appear in your news feed and for good reason – your news feed would never end! So the best way to ensure that you stay in Top News is to post often and post about things that are current and will get people talking.
The best way to build your Edgerank is to foster relationships between you and your friends/fans. Edgerank is not a two-way street: if you comment on someone’s update, that doesn’t mean they’ll automatically see your updates. So the challenge is to continue the conversation when someone engages with you. Create diverse, engaging content that will spur people to watch a video, view a photo, comment, Like, participate in a poll, etc. Creating a dialogue and keeping people engaged gives you a better chance at expanding your social reach. So ask questions, start polls, say something controversial (that won’t do any damage, of course) and you’ll see your Edgerank rise.