It is a reported fact that Facebook users spend on average 40 % of their time just interacting with their News Feed, while only 12 % is spent on profiles and brand pages (comScore report, Nov 12). This is not surprising as users will always want to see the most important updates and news from their friends and the brand channels they have chosen to interact with. This feed is controlled by an algorithm called EdgeRank, which filters all possible updates and news during a certain time period and decides which selection of news the user will see when he logs into his account.
This formula analyses two main criteria for posts, labeled with either active or passive criteria. Active criteria refer to the user’s behavior, such as the interactions with a certain user or type of posts (i.e. the user has more affinity to videos than to text only). Passive criteria refer to the community´s behavior as users react to different posts.
In practice, if you interact mainly with one friend and one brand page, the final decision of which posts are displayed first in the news stream depends on the Facebook community’s acceptance of the friend or brand page (so it’s popularity). A brand page which is well made and delivering fun and entertaining content can easily excel private users though as that brand page is likely have more followers.
Since Facebook was launched, the experience has centered around relevance and reach. By learning the basics about EdgeRank algorithm, brands and users alike can improve their social media appearance and the generated content for their fans and followers. The blog getpostrocket offers six hints to improve your own EdgeRank:
- Keep it short
- Be visual
- Ask for what you want
- Post daily
- Be relevant, but not pushy
- Be timely
Of course it is noteworthy at this point, that EdgeRank does not influence fixed advertising places. So if you purchase a fixed site, your ranking cannot be affected. So it can be said that bypassing the EdgeRank algorithm is possible, to certain point, with paid media. However, advertising areas and promoted accounts are always indicated as paid for and recognized easily by experienced users. To promote a paid post can create high visibility but it cannot give hints about the relevance for user’s interest.
Ultimately, brands and companies should always use paid promotion within social media as flanking methods, while constantly focusing on natural generated content. Throwing money at the problem will only get brands so far as to fulfil the premises of the EdgeRank algorithm, it is really the active and passive interaction with quality content which will help a brand rise in the rankings.