Facebook EdgeRank changes: Pay to play
We all knew this day would come; it was just a matter of when. Facebook EdgeRank changes are now urging businesses to pony-up the cash to get their content to fans. There are numerous opinions about the method (getting businesses to join Facebook, having the businesses garner all the fans, then charging the businesses to actually have their fans see updates). I find it best to remember that Facebook is a publicly traded company, and of course they are going to try and make money. So, let’s avoid the ethical debate and get to the solutions, shall we?
Facebook EdgeRank refresher:
-EdgeRank is an algorithm developed by Facebook to determine what updates appear in a user’s News Feed and how high the content will be positioned
-This is all determined on Facebook’s end, and the algorithm is only visible to them
-There is no accurate way to determine the EdgeRank of any particular post, yet there are some indicators of posts that have a better EdgeRank score
-September 20, 2012 Facebook dramatically altered the algorithm, reducing the effectiveness of organic marketing via Facebook
What are your options for addressing Facebook Edgerank changes?
Adjust post technique
Many bloggers have discovered a loophole in the system. While it isn’t the most aesthetic solution (or the only solution), it has extreme value. Text based posts (text only posts) are the only updates that actually increased in reach (20% to be exact) after the changes on September 20, 2012. Bloggers are now explaining the content they would normally attach a visual, through text, and then navigating users to follow a link in the comments. The comment section of the new post is then updated with the link (by the page administrator,) ensuring a larger audience will see the post. Clever huh? If you go this route, be sure to mix up your strategy. Don’t make every post text.
Surprise, surprise! Promoted content (update advertising) is a pay model that lets you set how many fans can be exposed to your update. It’s a simple process for page administrators and will never leave you guessing why your posts are only reaching 45 fans. One aspect to remember here is that page updates never reached full audience before these changes. Although you now have to pay to reach a larger audience, with this option, you can get the attention of a fan that liked you, but can no longer see your updates because of the changes. Determining the value of a post should be set before walking down this path.
If you’re on a tight budget or perhaps you are more concerned about having visually appealing and consistent content, then this is the option for you. Comparing the early results of the changes, it looks as though updates only vary by 6.5%. Also, while reach is down, virality of posts appears to be on the rise.
It’s still quite early in determining the long-term effects of the Facebook Edgerank changes. Yet, I’m a firm believer that great content can trump all of this. If you are sharing information that users find relevant, useful, insightful, (insert awesome adjective here) then it will find a way of reaching the right audience.
To all the page admins out there, have you noticed any changes? What are you doing about it?
Contributed by Steve Martin