People opening box of knowledge

Understanding the Facebook Algorithm to Drive Business Success

By: Taylour Lynn Scanlin
Communication Specialist at BrawnMedia

Notice when you login to your own personal Facebook Page how your newsfeed is constructed. Not every post, picture, or video from your 600 friends or brand pages appears in real-time. It’s as if it’s tailored to you – weeding out the unnecessary jabber and including information that’s relevant to you. This is no accident.

There’s a formula called, The EdgeRank, developed by Facebook to sift through content and pull information that you’d find most interesting. Based on your previous activity, such as whose pages you’ve commented on, liked, or shared, the Facebook algorithm recognizes this and for all intents and purposes, puts these users and brands in your newsfeed in order to enhance your experience.

When it comes to your Business Facebook Page, however, it’s important to recognize that your posts are not reaching every single person who has liked your page. Users tend to interact with their friends rather than brands, so a lot of times you’re missing out on chances to increase your brand awareness. So how do you change your strategy?  It’s important to understand that everything that happens on Facebook has an “edge.” The constant flow of information is given an edge rank based on three factors: affinity, weight, and time, which makes up the Facebook Algorithm. In order to have an advantage over your competitors, you must understand the composition of the algorithm:

The Facebook Algorithm = ∑e    ue   we   de edges e
Affinity (ue)
Affinity is how often a user interacts with a friend or brand. Anytime a user comments, likes, or shares, Facebook’s algorithm monitors this information and implements it into your newsfeed. The reality is that users are going to engage with their friends more than the brands they’ve liked. So this poses a challenge to businesses. It’s important to keep in mind what kind of content will generate a response to result in engagement with your brand.

Weight (we)
Weight is simply the reaction to different types of content. Each of us has different preferences, for example, some users prefer videos and other may like photos. With that, each type of content results in a different “weight,” for each user. Also, the more users that interact with an edge, increases the likelihood that edge will appear in other people’s newsfeeds. In order to take advantage of this, you must post content that resonates with users’ interests.

Time (de)
Time refers to recent content that is posted into the newsfeed.  When you log-on to Facebook, you don’t see information from a week ago for a reason, it wouldn’t be interesting to you. So if you post something during a time of day when your target demographic checks Facebook, you will most likely be seen.

In order to incorporate this equation into your Facebook marketing strategy, you need to have two things: quality content and a relevant fan base. There’s a reason why content is “king.” The more quality content you post, the more likely people will respond and engage with your brand. And remember, it’s not the quantity of your users, it’s the quality. Having followers who are actually interested in your brand is going to help you dramatically.  If these actions are not followed through, you will eventually disappear on Facebook.

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