Facebook Timelines – explained
Posted by MUSTARD PR
A lot has been said recently about Facebook Timelines and yet still it has left a few of us here at MUSTARD PR scratching our heads in terms of how it will affect PR practitioners. if you are like us and still a bit puzzled about what it all actually means, then this post is ideal for you.
With social becoming more and more integrated with PR, we have been thinking hard about how these changes affect how brands communicate with their fans on Facebook. As many people don’t understand how Facebook rates and ranks content and interactions in their personal newsfeed, let alone how this (and the changes to this) would affect brands, we thought we’d write a post about what it all comes down to: EdgeRank.
Here is a quick breakdown of Facebook EdgeRank and what it means for you – whether you are just a Facebook user in your spare time or whether you run Facebook fan pages for brands.
EdgeRank is an algorithm, and it’s how Facebook ranks all pages and activities, which in turn determines what each person’s newsfeed looks like. The higher your EdgeRank, the more people will see your news and interactions. Just because you have 100 friends, fans or ‘likes’, does not mean 100 people will see your activity and updates.
Three main things affect your EdgeRank: weight, affinity and time:
Weight: Each action, such as writing on someone’s wall or commenting on a photo is ranked, or weighted, by Facebook – however, not all actions are equally weighted. Merely writing on someone’s wall ranks relatively low, whereas posting rich content like images and videos are worth much more.
Affinity: Affinity, or ‘closeness’ also affects EdgeRank. If you interact with, or look at someone’s page regularly, you are signalling your affinity or closeness with them, which means Facebook will see their content as relevant to you.
Time: It goes without saying that old content is not interesting – content on Facebook has a shelf life of 48 hours.
Facebook also rewards those who play by Facebook’s rules. Sharing a link that will lead people away from Facebook, to a personal blog for example, is not popular. This is what has led to the explosion of Facebook ‘applications’, as they sit within Facebook’s platform and rank very highly.
Just like all forms of communication, it’s all about getting a deeper level of engagement.
For marketers, this means sharing interesting content and continually interacting with fans. This means more engagement and interaction and increased EdgeRank. As your EdgeRank increases, so will the amount of friends and fans that see your news.