As a marketer, you may have heard of a small (and by small, I mean gigantic) obstacle to overcome in regards to Facebook marketing: EdgeRank- the algorithm Facebook uses to determine what content will show up in a user’s newsfeed. If you aren’t aware of EdgeRank and it’s implications, let me give you a brief breakdown (a more detailed explanation can be found here):
The EdgeRank formula takes into consideration three variables:
- Affinity (u): how often you interact on Facebook with that particular user (or brand page)
- Weight (w): how much interaction on that particular post (likes, comments, etc)
- Time (d): how long ago the post was published
Why EdgeRank is Important
According to Brandglue.com, 88% of Facebook users never return to a fan page once they click the “Like” button, meaning that most users consume branded content in their newsfeed (which EdgeRank determines.)
But here’s the kicker:
Each time a brand posts to their Facebook page, only about 16%-18.5% of fans actually see the post in their newsfeeds (Source: comScore, Facebook.)
Recent Decrease in Engagement
In addition to EdgeRank, another obstacle has sprung up for page owners sinceFacebook’s recent updates. As outlined in a Simply Zesty post, “Facebook Starting to Seriously Piss Off Business Page Owners,” many brands have seen a dramatic decrease in impressions and engagement on their Facebook pages, particularly for pages that do not invest in Facebook advertising. The new changes to subscribing, timelines, and friend lists mean that brand pages are barely showing up in user’s feeds any more.
How to Overcome Edgerank
EdgeRank + Facebook updates = a big time marketing headache. What’s a social media strategist to do?
SOLUTION: Instead of spending time figuring out how to crack the EdgeRank algorithm, why not focus on a more scalable and valuable approach to Facebook marketing: getting your super fans to spread content for you.
Identify your Brand Advocates not just on Facebook, but across all customer touch points: email, Twitter, newsletter, company website, product pages, etc. by asking them “The Ultimate Question,” How likely are you to recommend [brand/product] to your friends?People that answer a 9 or 10 on a 1-10 scale are your brand’s Advocates and social media marketing machines.
Arm your brand army with content and encourage them to share with their Facebook friends and/or other networks. This could be new product announcements, videos, offers, whitepapers, etc.
Superfans Mean Super Benefits
Energizing your Advocates to share on Facebook has some major benefits over pushing content through your Facebook page:
- Increase reach and visibility. Posting content to your Facebook page reaches a subset of your fans who are already connected to you. Mobilizing Advocates to share to their networks allows you to expand the reach beyond your fan base and continue to build your brand army.
- Increase click-through rates. Let’s face it…Consumers don’t trust marketers. They trust their friends. Which are you more likely to click on: a review on the new Kindle Touch posted by your friend or by Kindle’s Facebook page?
- Improve targeting. Instead hoping the right 16-18.5% of your fans see and interact with your posts, go straight to your Advocates who’s genuine enthusiasm for your brand will motivate them to share and recommend to their friends.