Ask anyone and they will say Social media marketing is their biggest strength when it comes to digital marketing. And all this started with the emergence of Facebook. If you don’t know how the concept of social marketing works in Facebook then it’s a waste of your time, money and energy. So here we are to discuss more about that. We have heard a lot of buzz about the Edgerank algorithm. And if you really want to know, Facebook promotion is all about the EdgeRank but paid promotion also helps to target your promotion to your real and hardcore followers. But we are not going to discuss that aspect of Facebook here, it’s a discussion for another day.
What is EdgeRank algorithm?
How does it work and does it a play a key role in the promotion of your Brand/Company?
Every content is a source of a status update and every engagement with mentioned source is considered to be an “edge” and hence comes the concept of “EdgeRank”.
This algorithm is used by Facebook to give rank to posts on a user’s ‘top status feed’ to display only those posts which deserve to be on top of the status update feed’ and the rest of the status feeds are sidelined or are given less preference.
Normally when a user logs in to Facebook there are many more posts destined to be displayed on a main page of the user but are not displayed because of the effect of this algorithm.
It is necessary for digital marketer to understand how the EdgeRank algorithm works. If you write posts according to the rules of the algorithm, then your posts will have a higher probability of being shown on the top of the news feed. This gives us the impression that it is very similar to Search Engine Optimization. In fact yes it is.
Understanding how the algorithm works is the key to changing your tactics. And this gives you an edge or advantage that will give a boost to your new marketing campaign.
So what is an ‘Edge’?
Let’s first start off with the name. I know it sounds cool but actually as we mentioned earlier every piece of content is considered as an “edge”.
In its entirety we can say that a status update, liking a status update, uploading a photo or anything new is kind of an edge. Basically, every engagement we have with Facebook that leads to a creation of a new piece of content is known as an Edge.
The EdgeRank formula is based on three things. And they are -:
Affinity is a stat or rating based on how close or friendly you are with someone. You’ve already seen this in play. If you interact or visit someone’s page on Facebook then it s natural that your timeline will have news feed full of the person you are interacting or following. Even if you comment on someone’s photos then you’ll notice that they are appearing in your feed more frequently. This is how affinity works in this algorithm.
Facebook seems to understand that you’ve sent a proactive relation to this particular individual or organization and that’s why the algorithm acknowledges this relation or bond and begins to order the results in your newsfeed accordingly.
But it also has a reverse effect, the more someone appears in your status feed, the more there is a chance that you will develop affinity to that person, which will ultimately make their feed appear on your timeline.
But as a marketer you should be concerned about the rule of affinity because affinity works only one way. The inference is that, if you are checking out the profile of long lost buddy then that doesn’t mean that it will increase the probability of you appearing in their news feed.
Edge Weight is the another part of the EdgeRank which decides which source of content has more weightage than other updates and thus which of them is more likely to be chosen to appear in news feeds.
There are three types of content which are considered to have the highest Edge Weight and they are Videos, Photos, and Links. You should try to incorporate your content with these high weight elements in order to reach as many of your fans as possible
You also need to focus on the matter that each person’s Edge Weight is different, i.e. if some people love browsing and liking images then it is possible that they will have the same type of content appear in their feed than someone who doesn’t follow this practice at all. So just don’t start adding photos to every status update because it’s not possible to understand which types of object each of your follower favours.
So people who don’t often click on photos might prefer a link, a video or an old fashioned text status update. So consider that option as well.
So, clearly every type of element of Edge weight is important, but understanding the relative weights of each type of element will help you increase the power of any promotion or announcement you try to pitch across Facebook.
The last thing that you need to look into EdgeRank is recency, which can be actually described as the time decay. Facebook always focuses on the temporal characteristic of the content. In simpler terms recency means that something new has more probability of appearing on the news feed than something old.
This implies that you should create edges (status updates) at the time when your target audience are actually using Facebook. This increases the chance that your content will reach to your audience and they will interact with it.