Did you ever wonder why you see content from the same people and businesses each day on Facebook? Spooky coincidence? Do certain friends just need to get a life? No, there’s a reason why your Facebook newsfeed looks the way it does — and that reason is called ‘Edgerank’.
I talked about this with my buddy Chris Cornell (@Cornell140 on Twitter, founder and admin of Westchester Social Media on Facebook), and we concluded that business owners need to hear without jargon why Edgerank is important. Want to be seen? Pimp your Edgerank!
What is Edgerank?
Here’s a non-techie explanation: Edgerank is Facebook’s “secret sauce”, which determines which users see your posts in their newsfeed.
This may seem obvious, but to use Facebook effectively as a business, you need to make sure that what you post is seen … in other words, in order to create better relationships, you need a healthy Edgerank. When your business is more visible on Facebook, people are more apt to remember you when the need arises.
Whoa! You Mean Not Everyone Sees My Posts?
Facebook determines which status updates to make visible to each user. Facebook only shows what they think matters most to you. Instead of clogging up your newsfeed with every friend or page update, they use an algorithm that determines the most interesting content to show you. Their filtering system is called Edgerank.
What 95% of People See: Facebook has two versions of the news feed: “top news”, which is the default, and “most recent”, the posts of all your friends and pages, unfiltered, in real time. The overwhelming majority of users – over 95% – choose “top news”, the filtered version, and 70% of posts are never seen! That is why Edgerank is so important.
How Does Facebook Know What you Like?
Facebook looks at and weighs three things:
- how often you interact with various people or business pages over time;
- how much a post is liked, commented on, and shared by others; and
- how old a post is.
Mash those three things together, and you have Edgerank.
How Do I Make Sure My Fans See My Updates?
To improve your business visibility on Facebook, you need two things: consistently awesome content, and consistent engagement.
- Awesome content is content that people feel compelled to respond to. It elicits emotion, and action, in the reader.
- Engagement is when your fans read your update, and then click like, write a comment, or share with their friends.
We are all human. Someone might have liked your page about widgets, but nonstop sales messaging about widgets on your page is boring, and will get minimal engagement.
Instead, make a human connection: inspire, inform, help, entertain! The challenge is to make your daily activity so engaging, that fans routinely interact with it. Remember: Even a page about widgets can say “Click “like” if you are excited for the weekend” on a Friday afternoon!
Examples of Great Edgerank
For good examples, you don’t have to look very far! Pay attention to the content that shows up regularly in your newsfeed, study the status updates that you regularly engage with.
What is the tone, the attitude, the content, and your reaction? What time of day? Is it short (under 80 characters) or long? The NBA page (B2C), AMEX Open(B2B), and Mari Smith (Professional services) are some pages that have it right, at least for me.
Fun fact: check out the Facebook page for Toland Herzig Funeral Home and Crematorium. If they can engage an audience, so can you. Get creative, and add the human touch to whatever you sell.
Optimize, Analyze, Grow
But knowing about Edgerank is only half the story. As Tom Peters famously said, “what gets measured, gets done”. To find out how to measure and improve your Edgerank on Facebook, continue on to Part Two of this series: “Edgerankchecker.com to the Rescue!”.
But first, what are examples of pages you think exemplify the principles of high Facebook Edgerank? And, if you found this post helpful, I would love if you would tweet it, or share it on Facebook!