Remember when people launched entire companies dedicated to helping people get more visibility in Google’s search results? While search is certainly still a vital part of any brand’s visibility strategy, there is a new algorithm in town.
It’s called Edgerank, and it is Facebook’s formula for deciding what users see in their NewsFeed. Each object (a status update, a link, a video, etc.) is matched with each of your fans and then given a score for each. If the score is high enough, that object will appear in their Top News Feed. If it isn’t sufficiently high, the content is lost to that particular user. And even more alarming is that if the score is low enough it might not even appear in the user’s Most Recent News Feed, making it almost certain that he/she will never see your content.
The implications of this algorithm for brands are huge. You might have 1 million fans on your page, but unless they are actively engaging with your content, you are not reaching them. And that’s the key. Your Edgerank is determined by how much engagement you get from your fans. Facebook wants to show their users what they think they want to see. Your job as a brand then is to keep your fans engaged or lose their attention altogether.
Here’s how you do that:
The Edgerank algorithm is made up of three functions: affinity, time, and weight. Affinity is based on the number of interactions your fans have with your content. The more a fan likes or comments on content, the more visible your brand will be to them. Time is how long its been since a user interacted with your content. Someone may have commented on 800 of your posts in 2009, but if they haven’t done it since, your Edgerank will be low. And weight is a way of prioritizing the types of actions a person takes on your content. A comment is weighed heavier than a link.
What all this means is that you must find a way of not just getting your fans engaged but keeping them engaged. Buddy Media published a white paper with ways brands can encourage interaction among their fans to increase their edgerank, giving you 10 tips for greater engagement. Here in the Digital Communication office at the Center we each have a copy on our desk, and I encourage you to do the same.
For those of you who are too lazy to go over and download the white paper, here are their 10 tips to help your brand stay in your fans’ news feed:
- Ask questions
- Post games and trivia
- Interact with fan engagement
- Incorporate wall sapplets
- Incorporate relevant photos
- Relate to current events
- Incorporate videos
- Post content for time-sensitive campaigns
- Include links within posts
- Be explicit in your posts
And if you’re still not convinced of the magnitude of Facebook on your brand’s ability to compete online, check out this interview I did with Michael Jaindl at ReadWriteWeb’s 2Way Summit. He talks about why it is important to take Facebook seriously and then gives a few tips on how to keep your fans engaged.