Thursday, June 16, 2016

Did you know? (Facebook: Edgerank)

As I continue my reading for my social media principles class, I keep coming across information that I have never heard before. This past week as I was reading in my Social Media Marketing Workbook, I read about a neat program that Facebook uses to filter through the posts you are able to view on your timeline.

Have you ever wondered why sometimes you might not see certain posts from people or pages that you follow on Facebook? The reason is because Facebook uses Edgerank. Edgerank keeps track of which pages and which posts are the most interactive, and favors them in the newsfeed across the social network. Basically, if you are not as interactive with a person or page, then you are less likely to see their posts on your timeline. Edgerank basically "ranks" the people and pages you follow based on who you interact with the most.

When I read about this, I was quite fascinated. My first thought was, "Wow, then companies must have a hard time trying to reach maximum interactivity." I mean, when people get on Facebook it's typically because we want to see how our friends or family is doing, not necesarily to see updates from different companies we follow. We interact the most with the people we follow because it is "Facebook" (emphasis on the face) not "Businessbook". Some might also think that if a company wants to increase interactivity, then they should focus on using LinkedIn, which might be a more appropriate platform to use.

The fact of the matter is that companies have to do all they can in order to receive the interactivity they want on Facebook. They can do this with various tactics:

  • Sentimental Posts: This is where you're going to see the "cute animal" and the "cute kid" posts. Brands might even post about how much they support a certain cause because they know it will pull their audience's "heartstrings". The audience will then like, comment, and share the post thus increasing the brand's Edgerank.

  • Utility: These are the "How to" posts. Of course people are going to love this! This means they don't have to look dumb when they don't know how to do something that might be expected of them. What an easy way to increase your Edgerank.

  • Counterintuitive: These are posts that take subjects you think you might know a lot about, and show you that you really don't know anything about the subject. Basically, this is a way to enlighten your audience. Note taken: making people smarter helps to increase the interactivity.

  • Fuuny: Simply put, people love to laugh. If a post can make someone laugh, then they are going to want to like, comment, and share with their friends. This is a widely used tactic on Facebook because the majority of people want to find funny pictures and videos on the daily. This can help to make up for their boring office job!

  • Surveys, Polls, Contests: This is a great way to get direct interactivity. These will entice the audience big time. Think about it. Have you ever been scrolling through Facebook and you see "Find out which Friends character you are most like" or "What does your zodiac sign mean?". We all know you've done it. End of story.

  • Quotes: This is my personal favorite. Going along with the "sentimental posts" theme, these are meant to be inspiring. People love posting quotes on their profile to make themselves seem more established and well-spoken. Such an easy way to increase interactivity!

  • Outrage: This is another big tactic used. These are posts that makes people mad. It makes them mad enough that people will even comment opposing whatever is making them mad. A good example of this was the Cincinnati Zoo incident where Harambe, the gorilla, was shot because a young kid fell into the gorilla enclosure. This incident sparked so much interest from the public that of course brands are going to use it to take a stance on and get audience reaction. Brands will leverage this tactic in order to increase their Edgerank 100% of the time.

This information comes from Social Media Workbook by Jason McDonald.

I thought this section of reading was quite interesting. I never realized that Edgerank was used by Facebook until now. I definitely think this is an efficient way to filter through the people and pages you interact the least with. This also helps to explain the specific marketing strategies that brands might use to increase thier chance of interactivity with their audience. I guess this will be something to keep in mind if I ever decide to enter the world of social media marketing.

Now you know something you didn't know before (or did depending on how informed you are). Keep increasing that Edgerank you high societal souls and as always, reach for the stars!

Word of the Day: Cater-Cousin
Definition: An intimate friend.

All the best

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