A Facebook Page is one of the most straightforward ways for a business to represent itself in social media. You communicate with a defined audience—your fans. You have advertising and promotion opportunities at your fingertips. And, you have the power to grow your audience by mobilizing your base of followers.
Utilizing these tools is not so simple. While great communication is possible, to really make your Page effective, you have to understand the ins and outs of Facebook EdgeRank.
If you haven’t heard about it yet, EdgeRank is the algorithm that controls the Facebook newsfeed—i.e. the mechanism that controls how well you voice is heard on Facebook. To many marketers, algorithm is a word that comes up a lot, but they never bother to understand every aspect of it. EdgeRank is different—understanding is key to taking an advantage.
Essentially, EdgeRank has three components:
- Affinity – score between viewing user and edge creator
- Weight – weight for this edge type
- Time Decay Factor – how long ago the edge was created
Of course, at this point, you might be wondering, “what the heck is an edge?” To be honest, I don’t understand the name either. But for Facebook, an edge is all of those actions that people use to express themselves publicly—a status update, a comment, a like, tag, etc.
Weight & Time Decay Factor are pretty much intuitive. Every social media marketer knows that choosing the right messaging medium and timing it right have a huge impact on the reach.
In contrast, affinity is the mystery ingredient for Facebook’s EdgeRank. Kelvin Newman of Econsultancy shed some light on this topic by explaining affinity as “how ‘friendly’ you are with someone. You’ve probably seen this in action. Spy on an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, snoop on their profile and suddenly they’re in your news feed all the time.”
The problem for companies is that it only works one way. Companies can’t visit their favorite fans, and hope that they’ll start showing up on the fans’ newsfeeds. The fans have to come to you! The key is to attract by building on what EdgeRank you already have going for you.
So, we have some tips for you. How to build your EdgeRank strategy, one step at a time.
1. Prioritize photo-sharing to get started. Sometimes we forget that Facebook really started as its generation’s Pinterest—an innovative, photo-friendly interface that drew people in through sprawling albums and picture tagging. Today, Facebook photos easily are the most viral aspect of Facebook content. The reason their helpful with EdgeRank is that your core Page fans will be much more likely to add edges (i.e. shares, comments, likes) to a photo than a status.
2. Make yourself “Facebook Stalk-able.” This is the content creation component of EdgeRank building. You want to produce a high level of quality content through daily Facebook posts, full photo albums, a well-stocked timeline, and a great "about" page. If your page is “stalk-able,” you simply will have more edges for users to grab onto—raising your potential for affinity points.
3. Push your available network toward new content by using other Social Media. Have you ever thought about promoting one social network over the other. Well, if you’re trying to build EdgeRank affinity, promoting Facebook content (including photos) with Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest could be really helpful. This can help your time decay also, by accelerating how fast your followers see content.
4. Engage, engage, engage! Last but not least, with any social media (especially Facebook), make sure you're dedicating time to engage with your followers! This is the hardest part for many B2B marketers who are still acclimating to devoting time to social media and who think they can do the bare minimum and still see results. Show your paying attention by responding to comments and questions promptly, ask your followers engaging questions, or create a contest. All are ways to engage with your followers, which increases their activity on your page and with your content.
Hopefully this post inspires you to take your EdgeRank to the next level. If you're still looking to master some of the basics of your company Facebook page, grab a copy of our free "Social Media Optimization Playbook."