An Affinity For Facebook

“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli

Understanding how Facebook operates is becoming increasingly important as their engineers constantly tweak their search and ranking algorithm which determine if the strength of a Facebook “friend” relationship make it worth displaying your post on a news feed. That’s right, Facebook searches wall content and makes determinations as to what will be displayed on a news feed. This Facebook algorithm is called EdgeRank and has a direct impact on what your followers may see. Typically, when you hear about a search engine being changed, the result is improved functionality and findability. However, where EdgeRank is concerned many Facebook users report this new ranking method has actually driven down the views their content is receiving.

Why you may ask, would Facebook reduce views? There is some speculation that companies have gotten so effective at creating no-cost search engine optimized (SEO) organic Facebook campaigns they needed a mechanism to push these companies towards paid advertising plans. Whatever the reason, there’s no need to be discouraged. Despite recent changes, Facebook remains a valuable marketing outlet for your company. Below is one way to increase the odds your Facebook content will be seen by your target audience.

EdgeRank utilizes something they call Affinity to look at the strength of relationships on Facebook. Strength of relationship translates into “hmm, does the follower really want to see this or are they just superficially interested so we will keep the post off their wall. The way to work with Affinity is to make communication on Facebook as mutual as possible, with as much detail as possible. Here’s an example: your company Acme Superjuice has a Facebook business page. One of your Facebook friends is Joe’s Blenders. When Joe’s Blenders posts something about an exciting new product they are rolling out, don’t just hit the ‘Like” button. By all means hit Like, but the best way to get Affinity to assign weight to the relationship you have with Joe’s Blenders is for you to post a comment on their wall. When Joe’s Blender’s posts a comment to your wall in response, Affinity will see that as a high quality contact and make it more likely your wall posts will appear on a news feed. Comments between page owners create high-value bridges which translate into views, so get a dialogue going. Make posts as interactive as possible and invite others to join in comment streams. As part of your business networking plan be sure to communicate with other business owners and customers that posting comments adds value, and when they post to your wall you’ll be sure to write back creating that important bridge. Both sides benefit. As with all social media, when someone posts to your wall or account, whether good or bad, be sure to reply.

While it may seem tricky, Facebook remains an important tool for brand building and there is room for plenty of creativity. We recently assisted a client in creating a contest on Facebook that surpassed expectations! Stay tuned for more on that…

Looking for more Facebooks tips?: keep content up-to-date, add photos and videos of interest, and contact IWD for more information on growing your brand through social media. The online world is constantly evolving and IWD will help you stay current. You’ll “Like” (and hopefully comment on) what we can do for your company!.

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