I’m having a small (read EPIC) war in my head with Edgerank and how to justify to my clients why Facebook is still a viable avenue without spending money, so I’ve had to crunch the numbers putting physical experience into play instead of reading up on other people’s experience which seems to be somewhat tainted. Last week I started with my personal experience and now I'm moving onto my professional experience.
I am so tired of reading articles about Edgerank and how Facebook makes itself better for the user by using this unique and *amazing* algorithm to determine what people see … because it is flawed. It is not amazing. Even worse yet is that many of the people writing these articles have all cannibalised the information directly from Edgerank themselves so I’m dubious as to how much of this they even understand or have looked at themselves. Edgerank is seen as the be all and end all and it probably is … which is really bad for business in my opinion. If you want to read about Edgerank and how they measure it please read here.
The basic premise for those that don’t want to read it is that Facebook grades your posts to weigh up how important they are for fans to see and certain posts are scored differently to others with pictures being the number one piece of content. Then the more people who “like” or “comment” on your posts helps your affinity score with the latter being even more powerful than the former. This is measured overall, as well as, per person. The last thing is how old your posts are. If they’re old but still getting attention you’re not clocking up the points towards your Edgerank anyway. Got it? Post more pictures, get more comments (and as a secondary, likes) and then don’t promote old posts.
If business pages cannot be seen by their fans, they may as well not be there. Facebook recently started putting “reach number and %” at the bottom of each post which really shocked me. I finally got a glimpse of how little of what my clients put out there is even seen. Why? Because Facebook says so. I have one client who has an incredibly targeted and active audience that always loved everything that was put out. I noticed a decline in interaction from when the “Top Stories” were introduced (even though I never put two and two together till much later) but, as everyone else, saw it as a challenge to get noticed more and started actively working at making our posts even more interactive. I went through a phase of worrying terribly about why this drop had occurred and considered that perhaps our content was just not being well received in general. After seeing their average post was only being seen by 15% of their fans it cleared up many of the misconceptions that had been forming in my head. It was because they weren't seeing our posts, not because they didn't like the content.
After reading countless articles, many from Edgerank themselves, I changed my strategy to be perfectly in line with what ‘they’ said we must do. I would like to note that I did not find any official articles from Facebook directly telling us marketers what to do. They all seemed to be third party posts but perhaps I just don’t know where to look …
… so I took it upon myself to do some physical investigations, specific to my clients and prepared a dozen different spreadsheets with what felt like a hundred different calculations. Next week I will give you a breakdown of what my calculations consisted of and what the data told me about Facebook and the way it can and, more importantly, doesn’t benefit my clients no matter how organic I try to be.
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