The world of Google's Pagerank and Facebook's Edgerank is for many people, more akin to the the world of Harry Potter. They might have heard of it, they might know vaguely what it is, but they have no idea how it works! (Some people don't even know what it is.)
They are both very important to how your online presence performs within Google search and via Facebook respectively. Most people know about the power of being on Page One of Google, and your Pagerank goes along way to this, but many people don't realise that Facebook's Edgerank is equally as powerful and manipluative.
In case you hadn't realised, the Newsfeed is the most important part of Facebook. On average (for many it a lot less) only 16% of the Fans of your Facebook Page will actually see the content you post. Edgerank is the algorithm on Facebook that controls what people see. This makes it crucial to therefore understand how it works, doesn't it? Let me start with the basics....
What is an Edge?
An edge is an interaction you make on Facebook. A click on a profile, a link, a like, a view, a comment, tagging, commenting and sharing are all examples of an edge.
What is Edgerank?
The algorithm that Facebook use to determine what appears in your feed from all the content that your friends, liked pages and apps post.
What are the essential parts of the Edgerank algorithm?
1. Affinity - how close Facebook think you are to the person posting the content. In other words what is your affinity to that person or page.
You create an affinity with a person/page when you view their profile, like a status update, comment on a post, share a post/photo, get mutually tagged in a photo etc. The really important thing here to not is that affinity is one way. This means that when you like a comment (for example) from an update from a person/page, Facebook calculates that you have a little more interest in that person/page, so thinks you should see a little more from them in your feed. It is not mutual - their content will only appear in your feed, not vica versa.
TIP: The Chat Bar on your Facebook page is a good barometer from Facebook as to how it sees your current affinities.
2. Weight - this is the importance of your content, and as you may know by know, Facebook values the type of content depending on the levels of engagement it creates.
The heavy edge weights are (in order): video; photos; links; text. Of course it isn't as simple as that, as edge weight is personal and it also accumulates with affinity. In other words, Facebook updates that have more comments, likes and shares will have a heavier edge weighting and therefore will appear higher up in your Newsfeed, as they are deemed by Facebook to be more important to you.
The final part of edge weightings are dependant on Facebook themselves. Depending on what they are doing at the time strategically - maybe launching/promoting a new feature for example - they will give higher higher credence to content on that subject.
3. Decay - this is what Facebook refer to when they mean time -newer posts are better than old posts (i.e. they are decaying).
The trick of understanding your Facebook page is ensure your content reaches the most readers without too much decay. This means knowing when during the day you get your Facebook page traffic.
So what do these really mean and how can you make changes to improve your Edgerank, and therefore have more people reading and (hopefully) sharing your content.
Using Facebook for recruitment is going to become more and more important, so understanding how to improve the performance of your page is crucial to making it an effective platform. As we all know, it isn't just about posting jobs on the timeline, it can be so much more. For sure, use one of the many Facebook Apps like Work4Labs to post jobs to a tab within the page, but the Timeline is all about engaging with your audience and sharing great content with them.
The good thing is that within social recruiting we have been banging on about the word engagement for ages. Social recruiting is all about the engagement. Affinity (as you might have realised by now) is very similar to engagement. So all the things you have read about increasing engagement on social media (and particularly Facebook) should really help you.
Here are 7 ways you can increase your Facebook Edgerank for your social recruiting:
- Understand your audience. If you haven't already done so, take a look at the insights for your Facebook page (the inbuilt Facebook analytics on the page). This will show you the type of content that has been the most popular with your fans to-date. It stands to reason if that is content that is already appreciated then give them more of the same, as a starting point.
For example, on the Sirona Consulting Facebook Page the posts that have the highest affinity levels are graphic images.
- Build your affinity. You need to get more people viewing your posts, commenting, sharing and liking the content.Create content that naturally encourages responses from your audience >> ask questions; create a simple poll; be contentious - there are loads of things in recruitment that fall into this category; posting interesting content; make sure it is relevant to your audience. Their affinity with you/your page will grow every time they interact on the page - even just viewing the post.
TIP: Just posting jobs on the Timeline will not generate much affinity for your page IMO.
- Timing is crucial. To minimise the decay of your posts, vary the times of sharing your content. Understand when are the best times - this will present content to larger numbers of your fans with the minimal amount of decay on the content. Remember - the newer the post the better. Don't discount the weekends and evenings either - many people are online more then than during the day. With the scheduling tool in Facebook now, there is no excuse for not posting across the clock.
- Type of content is important. Facebook ranks content in the order of video - photos - links - text. This is really important to understand. Think about varying your content. And remember - check it every week with the insights - you will quickly learn what content balance works best for your audience.
- Take the Streetfighter approach. No, don't get violent, I am simple referring to the popular retro video game. The secret of winning that game was the combo's - putting several moves together to make a super move to beat your opponents. What you need to do is the same but with your Facebook content. Add links to photos; add questions to video content; post a great video at the right time of day. Try different combo's and see what works for you.
- It doesn't happen overnight. As with anything in life, success doesn't happen immediately. You have to build affinity over a period of time. If you have a product launch or big announcement coming up, create the interest in advance........ build the hype. Makes sense doesn't it?
- Posting frequency. As with everything else in social media, time stands still for no-one. The volume of content and the proliferation of posts means your page is constantly competing for space in peoples Facebook Timelines. I am not saying you should be updating Facebook every five mintes, but once a week will not do you any favours. As with all the things I have mentioned here, test and check with your Facebook Insights. Some pages (and fans) will suit multiple updates a day, while others just one or two. You need to test your own page and discover this for yourself.
Edgerank is really important to understand, so you can fully maximise your Facebook page performance. But don't get lost with all the techno-babble of the Facebook world - if you know your audience, create engaging content and are continually monitoring what works and what doesn't then you are already on the road to having a successful Facebook page.
We work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them with recruitment strategy, recruitment process and social recruiting. If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.