Should EdgeRank Still be Important to Marketers?
In the summer of 2013, digital marketing professionals were all ready to declare that EdgeRank was dead. Finished. No longer relevant. Although there was a large amount of truth to what they were saying, the concepts of EdgeRank are still very much alive and well.
For those who don’t know, EdgeRank is the name given to the Facebook algorithm that originally determined what people saw in their news feed. EdgeRank is defined as the sum of Edges in relation to Time Decay, Weight and Affinity. This may not sound like a simple concept, but in practice it is. To get down to basics, an Edge is absolutely anything that happens on Facebook; be is a status update, a photo or a share etc. Time decay refers to how long the Edge has been in existence for, Weight refers to the value of the Edge and Affinity is the relationship between a user and an Edge. When these three things are added together, an Edge is given an EdgeRank and this will determine on which newsfeeds it will be found.
This simple algorithm was developed many years ago and since then it has been dramatically changed to incorporate many other factors. This is where the idea of EdgeRank being dead comes from. However, although the name is no longer used and the algorithm has been developed, the initial concept still remains important to marketers. The new algorithm is extensively more complex than the original EdgeRank and provides a much better user experience.
Facebook estimates that there are approximately 1,500 stories that could be displayed in your news feed every time you visit the site. However, as you know, only a tiny percentage of that amount are visible when you log in. Facebook officials have stated that Time Decay, Weight and Affinity are still important in deciding what will be shown but the way users interact with posts and their other activity also plays a huge part. By closely monitoring every aspect of your behavior on the website, Facebook is able to predict the posts that you would want to see in your news feed. Going beyond user preferences, the most recent algorithm even takes into consideration what kind of device you are visiting Facebook from as well as the speed of your connection.
This presents new and exciting challenges for internet marketers whose job it is to have their content seen by a large number of relevant people. The best way for Page owners to approach this task is to create as much high quality, interesting content as possible to attract the highest amount of genuine interaction and engagement. This is of course no easy feat and will require a great amount of research in order to understand who your fans and followers are. However, instead of being seen as an action that will require a large amount of resources for little return, this is something that should be at the very core of every online campaign. If the essence of your social media presence is not to provide an interesting and enjoyable experience for your fans and followers then you are setting yourself up to fail. There is not one single person on Facebook that wants to be bombarded with spam messages and constant calls to action that are of little use or interest to them.
By embracing the early concept of EdgeRank and comprehending the more recent changes to the algorithm, you and your brand will be one step closer to building meaningful and rewarding reationships with your current and potential customers.