What's Facebook Edgerank?
Put simply, Edgerank is the algorithm that Facebook applies to our content to determine what's going to show up for users in their News Feed. Facebook continually tweaks this algorithm for one purpose, and that's to spur quality engagement from its community.
Over the past few years, Facebook has made a lot of changes to both its policies (e.g. banning like-gating) and to Edgerank that have made it harder for brands to get in front of the folks that matter to them. With that in mind, here are 5 tips to keeping your edge:
1) Avoid Click-baiting Titles
Click-baiting is when a post provides a link to click without any real context as to why that person should be clicking on the link. You might notice that Facebook article shares provide a blurb that lets the reader know what they're about to read, and for good reason: Facebook has noted that both text and context are a better user experience (read: more successful at encouraging engagement).
2) Go for Comments and Shares
That thumbs-up just isn't what it used to be: virality is going down for post likes. Facebook will give more weight to weightier engagement, and in Facebook real estate that means comments and shares. But how? Read on...
3) Share, Don't Sell
The overall trend with Facebook's algorithm and policy changes are to penalize brands for being too overtly promotional in their posts. Facebook users aren't generally amenable to seeing "buy this" CTA's in their newsfeed - and Facebook itself doesn't have anything to gain from brands making sales from free real estate. With that in mind, sticking to a good content marketing strategy of being entertaining, useful or otherwise engaging is the way to go here.
It's important to note that you don't just have to post your own original content. Sharing content from your target influencers, for example, is a great way to engage them and engage your community in one post.
4) Go Multimedia
People like to watch videos; this, like cats and bacon, is a consistent internet theme and probably not going to change anytime soon. Remember, you don't have to just share your own videos; Facebook is chock full of videos being shared, so finding the ones that are already trending and sharing them with your community is a great way to leverage multimedia content without the heavy lifting of creating it.
TIP: if you're posting your own video, consider putting subtitles on the screen. Facebook auto-play means that some folks will turn their volume down in the workplace, so you may need to hook them with a catchy title and the subtitles.
5) Use Trending Topics Wisely
Edgerank takes note of both what trending topics are, and when they're trending. This means that content written about those topics in a timely manner will be prioritized - as long as the posts are actually adding value to the conversation (read: not committing any Facebook content sins). Some folks might call this "headline jacking," but I'm not a huge fan of that concept: it's much more me-focused than community-focused. If you have something interesting to say about the topic, and your post is adding a unique perspective to the conversation, go for it. If you're posting for the sake of hitching your wagon to a shooting star, forget it: it'll annoy your community and be severely penalized in reach.
Below is a screenshot that shows you how to find those trending topics when you're logged in as yourself.
At the end of the day, a good Facebook marketing strategy is one that just has people acting like real people. When in doubt, thinking about how we share on our personal feeds is a great way to keep ourselves honest.
Any other Facebook marketing tips? Feel free to share in the comment field.